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April 16, 2009

Velázquez Joins Obama at Summit of the Americas

NEW YORK – Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.) today traveled with President Barack Obama to Mexico City for meetings with the nation’s leaders, and will continue on with the President as he heads to the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago.  This is the President’s first trip to Mexico and the Caribbean since he took the Oath of Office, and the Congresswoman will join in discussions on the economy, immigration and security issues, and the environment with many of the United State’s closest neighbors.  

“President Obama has expressed a willingness to take on issues that will help build a better future for working families and entrepreneurs here in New York -- from immigration reform and border security to trade relations and economic growth,” Velázquez said. “I look forward to taking part in these exchanges and representing the views of New York City’s diverse communities.”

Congresswoman Velázquez is part of a select group of Congressional members invited to accompany the President on this trip.  As Chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the U.S. House Small Business Committee, the Congresswoman brings a unique perspective to the group.  With more than 2.3 million Latinos living and working in New York City, the Congresswoman has worked to ensure immigrants have access to health care, affordable housing, job opportunities and assistance dealing with language and cultural barriers. 

“Our relations with Latin America could not be more important than they are in today’s economic and political climate,” Velázquez said.  “By strengthening bonds with Latin America, we can open new avenues for New York businesses and help keep families strong despite the borders that may separate them.”

The 2009 Summit of the Americas will be held in Trinidad and Tobago, April 17-19, under the theme of “Securing our Citizens Future by Promoting Human Prosperity, Energy Security and Environmental Sustainability.”  The summit brings together the 34 democratically-elected leaders of the Western hemisphere and provides a forum to discuss solutions to common political, economic, and social problems in a multilateral and comprehensive way.  The top issue of this year’s summit will be the current economic crisis, which also encompasses issues of access to increased credit and lending from multilateral banks, sub-regional banks and international development banks. Other issues will include promoting human prosperity, energy security and environmental sustainability.

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