Pete Gallego Slams Quico Canseco's Anti-Hispanic Agenda

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Just because you're Hispanic doesn't mean you're pro-Hispanic, the same way being gay doesn't mean you're pro-gay (remember Larry Craig, anyone?).

In Texas's 23rd congressional district, Democratic State Rep. Pete Gallego is slamming his opponent and fellow Hispanic Rep. Quico Canseco for falling into this category. In the first press release on many on Canseco's anti-Hispanic policies, Gallego takes Canseco to task for voting to cut money for Pell Grants. These grants are especially essential for Hispanic youth, many of whom are the first in their family to go to college. Or, try to – many can't if they don't receive adequate Pell Grant support.

The 23rd district is full of Hispanic families hoping their children can go to college and achieve the American Dream. Rep. Canseco doesn't want them to so he can use grant money to pay for massive tax cuts for corporations and the massively rich. Canseco is no representative at all; he's a misrepresentative.

“Education opened the door to opportunity in my life, and I believe all Texas should have a shot at a better future. In Congress I'll fight to increase grants, increase access to opportunity, and protect the future of our Texas students,” Gallego explains in the press release.

There is only one public servant in this race.

Canseco's Anti-Hispanic Agenda: Gutting Opportunity

Quico Voted to Cut Funding for Pell Grants

San Antonio-August marked the beginning of another school year, with many new students entering college as freshmen.  Many of these are Latinos who are the first in their families to go to college.   And, many of these students are relying on a Pell Grant to make the dream of a higher education a reality.

Over 657,000 Texas students attending college received a Pell Grant to help pay for college in the 2010-2011 school year.  Despite the importance of Pell Grants, Quico Canseco and other Tea Party Republican extremists in Congress voted to cut the money for Pell Grants. This action hurts every Texas student who relies on grants – and these students are disproportionately Latino. Cuts to Pell grants could erase the gains in higher education made by Latino students in recent years.

“Extremists like Quico Canseco are putting the American dream out of reach for students from working families.” said Rebecca Acuña, Gallego for Congress spokeswoman. “Quico's irresponsible vote to gut financial assistance hurts families and our state as a whole. A Pell Grant can change a student's future, especially in the Hispanic community.”

Quico Canseco voted to cut more than $15 billion from the Pell Grant program next year – a move that would threaten Hispanic students. Approximately 40 percent of Hispanic college students rely on Pell Grants. Pell Grants currently cover 22 percent of a Hispanic student's college expenses. Seventy four percent of students who receive Pell Grants come from families with yearly incomes of $30,000 or less. Estimates show that the budget Quico Canseco voted for would reduce Pell Grant funding by 42 percent.

“There's an unquestionable connection between access to education and a better future,” added State Representative Pete Gallego. “Education opened the door to opportunity in my life, and I believe all Texas should have a shot at a better future. In Congress I'll fight to increase grants, increase access to opportunity, and protect the future of our Texas students.”

This communication is part of a series that will highlight some of Quico Canseco's votes that negatively affect Texans, and disproportionately hurt Hispanics in Texas.

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About Author

Ben Sherman

Ben Sherman has been a BOR staff writer since 2011. A graduate of the University of Texas, Ben has worked on campaigns, in political consulting, and has written for other news outlets like Think Progress. Ben considers campaign finance reform the fundamental challenge of our time because it distorts almost every other issue in American politics.

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