January 27, 2009

Senate Democratic Hispanic Task Force members Announced for 111th Congress

Highest Membership in 20 Year History

Washington, D.C. - Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chair of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chair of the Senate Democratic Hispanic Task Force, announced the members of the 111th Congress Senate Democratic Hispanic Task Force. Forty-four Senate Democrats have joined the Hispanic Task Force (HTF), the largest membership since Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) founded it twenty years ago.


Sen. Reid said, "I am both proud and impressed by the exceptional interest my colleagues have shown. We went from 24 members to 44. In my state of Nevada, Hispanics showed a high level of involvement with our democracy; yet more evidence of their commitment to our nation. I commend Senator Menendez for his leadership guiding the task force and thank him for his role as liaison between this important community and his peers in the Senate. I am pleased he will continue his leadership of this important group as Senate Democrats strengthen their ties to the Latino community."


"Thanks to Sen. Bingaman's visionary leadership twenty years ago, we now have an institution in the Senate that brings to the forefront the priorities of the Hispanic community and fosters relationships between Senators and Hispanic leaders throughout the nation," said Sen. Stabenow. She continued, "It's rare to see this kind of excitement and participation in a Senate task force. I think it can be attributed to the growing participation of Hispanics in the political process and in government. It is important that Senate Democrats continue to engage the Hispanic community as we move forward to create new jobs, expand access to health care, and build our economy's green future."


Sen. Menendez said, "Latinos are no longer the sleeping giant of our civic process - the community has shown over the past year that it is fully engaged and is having a major impact. It is encouraging that 44 out of the 100 senators are showing their commitment to the issues that most impact the Latino community through their participation in this task force. We are going to have an active agenda that includes listening to the Latino community about the issues that impact it and communicating what we learn to our Senate colleagues."


The HTF was founded in 1989 by Sen. Bingaman to promote strong partnerships between the Hispanic community and Senate Democrats. Each year, the HTF hosts events and meetings that bring together Democratic senators and Hispanic leaders to discuss federal policies. In the 111th Congress, under Majority Leader Reid, the Democratic caucus will carry on the fight to improve opportunities for Hispanics. At the same time, members of the HTF will continue to work with their colleagues in the House of Representatives to ensure that issues important to the Hispanic community will be heard in Congress.



Members of the 111th Senate Democratic Hispanic Task Force


Senator Daniel Akaka (HI)

Senator Evan Bayh (IN)

Senator Mark Begich (AK)

Senator Michael Bennet (CO)

Senator Jeff Bingaman (NM)

Senator Barbara Boxer (CA)

Senator Sherrod Brown (OH)

Senator Roland Burris (IL)

Senator Robert Casey (PA)

Senator Benjamin Cardin (MD)

Senator Chris Dodd (CT)

Senator Dick Durbin (IL)

Senator Russ Feingold (WI)

Senator Diane Feinstein (CA)

Senator-Designate Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)

Senator Tom Harkin (IA)

Senator Daniel Inouye (HI)

Senator Tim Johnson (SD)

Senator Ted Kaufman (DE)

Senator Edward Kennedy (MA)

Senator John Kerry (MA)

Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN)

Senator Herb Kohl (WI)

Senator Mary Landrieu (LA)

Senator Frank Lautenberg (NJ)

Senator Carl Levin (MI)

Senator Joe Lieberman (CT)

Senator Blanche Lincoln (AR)

Senator Robert Menendez (NJ)

Senator Jeff Merkley (OR)

Senator Barbara Mikulski (MD)

Senator Patty Murray (WA)

Senator Bill Nelson (FL)

Senator Jack Reed (RI)

Senator Harry Reid (NV)

Senator Charles Schumer (NY)

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (NE)

Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI)

Senator Mark Udall (CO)

Senator Tom Udall (NM)

Senator Mark Warner (VA)

Senator Jim Webb (VA)

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)

Senator Ron Wyden (OR)