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2009: The Year of Wise Latinos

El Diario/La Prensa, Editorial, Staff Posted: Dec 29, 2009

There is no question that 2009 was a historic year for Hispanics. In 2010, Latinos must build on these achievements.

This year, we saw the expertise and strength of Latinos on center stage with the successful nomination of Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the highest court in the land. Sotomayors stellar record and her deft navigation of confirmation hearings were inspiring. Hispanics marshaled a range of experts and supporters to champion her confirmation and Latinas proudly adopted the badge of "wise Latina."
We can raise a champagne glass and toast more.

Last week we learned that President Obama has appointed more Hispanics to senior positions than any of his predecessors. This is very impressive considering that President Bill Clinton was known for opening the doors wide to Hispanic ascendency in the White House. Obama has tracked more than 48 Hispanics to high-profile jobs, among the more notable being that of Hilda Solis as secretary of labor and Thomas Perez, the assistant attorney general for Civil Rights.

All of these individuals have distinguished records. And indeed, many of them have courageous stories of perseverance in the face of tough obstacles. But its too easy to leave these stories as simply individuals rising against the odds. Their successes reflect a long commitment by Latinos to struggling for the fairness and opportunities that our sons and daughters deserve. Sotomayor articulated this when she talked about standing on the shoulders of others.

We can mark other triumphs as well. A mobilization of Latinos across the United States led to the ouster of Hispanic-basher and anti-immigrant crusader Lou Dobbs from CNN.

The appointments and organizing are strong examples of what Latinos can accomplish when we are focused and collaborate. They are incentives for expanding a leadership pipeline, one grounded in a commitment to shaping policies for the best of our nation.

May 2010 bring another wave of Latino talent to the forefront.

Related Articles:

Adios, Lou Dobbs

A Triumph for America

Obama Still Very Popular With Latinos

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