Austin council member Jose Velasquez proud of Hispanic representation

The City of Austin made Hispanic Heritage Month official, by acknowledging the contributions Latinos continue to make in Austin.

Bright and early inside city hall, council member Jose Velasquez presented a Hispanic Heritage Month proclamation surrounded by other council members, and members of the Hispanic community. 

"It is a duty that I don't take lightly being born and raised here. When I was growing up, I wasn't allowed to speak Spanish when I was a kid [and] we're not talking 80 years back. We're talking about 40 years back," said Velasquez.

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Velasquez says he’s proud to represent alongside council members Vanessa Fuentes and Chito Vela.

"It's come such a long way. I'm thinking about Latino heritage in particular," said Vela.

Just in city hall alone, Vela says this is the most Hispanic representation ever seen on the dais.

"I've seen the Latino community just bloom. Today, we have three Latino members of the Austin City Council, whereas before we always only had one. It's an honor and a privilege to be part of that transformation of the Austin community," said Vela.

The proclamation was accepted by Habla and the Austin Latino Coalition, both local Hispanic organizations in Austin. Paul Saldaña breaking down the impact this community has in Austin.

"Latinos in the U.S. Are nearly 63 million strong and in Austin, Travis County where 460,000 strong, one in three Austinites are Latino, one in two children in Austin are Latino," said Saldaña.

Saldaña reminded all why Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated.

"Hispanic heritage month is really a time for us to celebrate the history, contributions and achievements of Latinos in the United States and in Austin," he said.