NHLA Statement On The Departure of Secretary Of Interior Salazar
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, after four years of impressive accomplishments as head of the Department of Interior, Secretary Ken Salazar announced his decision to step down in March. The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), a coalition of thirty leading Hispanic organizations in the nation, joins in thanking Secretary Salazar for his exemplary leadership and service to the nation.
As head of the Department, Secretary Salazar oversaw a moratorium on offshore drilling after the BP oil spill, promoted alternative energy sources across the nation, and settled a longstanding dispute with American Indians. With Secretary Salazar at the helm, the Interior Department has authorized nearly three-dozen alternative energy projects that provide enough electricity to power more than 3 million homes.
Hector E. Sanchez, NHLA Chair stated: “NHLA is honored to have had such an outstanding leader represent the Latino community at the highest levels of government. We thank Secretary Salazar for his outstanding work and leadership. As a member of the cabinet, Secretary Salazar was one of two voices for our community at the highest level of government. We will miss Secretary Salazar’s participation in President Obama’s administration and renew our call for the president to nominate at least three Latino cabinet members so that his administration reflects the diversity of America. With the Latino community heading into the epicenter of an historic policy debate around immigration reform, the budget and other related policies, 50 million Latinos and the nation cannot afford to be without the unique perspective and voice of high level Latino representatives.”
“Secretary Salazar has been a strong advocate for the environment and his commitment to protecting our lands has made our nation a better place. With his departure, and that of Secretary Solis, the president should now look to the abundance of skilled and qualified Latino professionals prepared to serve the nation in his second term. The president has stated his belief in assembling government that reflects the diversity of America, so we look forward to welcoming the Latino leaders he selects for his cabinet. As the Latino community has grown, so too have the ranks of Latinos qualified to serve in public office, which makes now an ideal time to expand Latino representation at the highest levels of government.”
President Obama relied heavily on the support of Latinos in the 2012 Presidential elections. During the November elections, Latinos helped deliver victory to the President – 71 percent of the Latino electorate cast votes for President Obama. Approximately two-thirds of Latinos in key battleground states such as Colorado and Nevada voted for him.
Established in 1991, The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) brings together Hispanic leaders to establish policy priorities that address, and raise public awareness of the major issues affecting the Latino community and the nation as a whole. For more information, please visitwww.nationalhispanicleadership.org.