Governor Gavin Newsom issued a proclamation Wednesday declaring Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, 2021, as Latino Heritage Month in the State of California.
In the proclamation, Newsom says Latino heritage is rooted in California’s identity with more than 15.6 million Latinos living in the state, with the majority of Latino immigrants descending from Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala.
“Diversity is California’s strength and Latino communities contribute to this strength every day,” Newsom said in his proclamation. “This month, we honor the heritage of all Latinos in the state and celebrate the Independence Days of our neighbors Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, Chile, Nicaragua and Belize.”
In his proclamation, Newsom makes note of the inequalities and injustices the Latino community has faced and fought against.
“When reflecting on the past year, we recognize and are grateful to the Latino Californians who helped keep our neighborhoods, communities and state vibrant and prosperous,” he said.
Much of the Latino community has served on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic, Newsom said, as teachers, business owners, scientists and soldiers, farmworkers and first responders, and artists and activists.
“Their extraordinary contributions have put them front and center in the fight against the COVID19 pandemic and they have met the moment with an indomitable spirit and unwavering resilience,” he said.
He also mentioned the Latino community has faced generational health disparities at disproportional rates.
“This Latino Heritage Month, we acknowledge these disparities and continue to pursue a more equal and just society that will ensure we all recover equitably from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Newsome said.
As of Thursday, 43.3 percent of Kern’s COVID-19 cases have been identified as Latino. Death rates for those who identify as Latino is also 20 percent higher in the state of California, according to the California Department of Public Health.