We must celebrate President Obama and his administration’s hard fought policy achievements in the face of partisanship, division and inaction, and give thanks as Americans and be proud that the president’s achievements are achievements for us all.
We’re almost ready to end the year and ring in 2016. But first, as has been done in this country since its founding, we celebrate Thanksgiving, and we have much to be thankful for. This has been an eventful year in the world, and as we approach next year’s elections, we must reflect and celebrate the hard fought policy achievements of President Obama and his administration despite the current era of political partisanship, division and inactivity, and give thanks as Americans and be proud that the president’s achievements are achievements for us all.
– The President’s Healthcare Law. – Despite staunch opposition and nay-sayers in the Republican Party to this law, the Affordable Care Act is achieving its goal. Since its implementation, more than 16 million Americans, many of them Latinos, have obtained health insurance, and although there is still some way to go, Republicans remain committed to taking away the health insurance for the most vulnerable in our society.
– Equality For Our Brothers and Sisters in the LGBT Community. – The President and Vice President publicly supported marriage equality before the Supreme Court said, in no uncertain terms, that the United States Constitution grants and protects marriage rights to same-sex couples. We can be thankful for the President’s leadership on equality and tolerance on an issue that has been historically controversial.
– Deferred Action Programs. – Thanks to President Obama’s executive orders, many people who came to this country undocumented without fault of their own, can contribute to their communities without fear of being deported at any time. Although we were unable to obtain the ultimate goal, comprehensive immigration reform legislation, the country is more aware that you cannot deport 11 million people (although many Republicans would like that) and that the economic contributions of immigrants is huge and that the separation of families does not reflect the values of Americans. Soon we will have a legislative solution for our whole community.
– Moving Forward with Better Environmental Protections. – Despite strong resistance from skeptics, with President Obama’s leadership, we have taken steps to protect the environment by limiting the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere and more recently the President rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would transport crude oil from Canada through middle America to the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the environment of the Midwest.
– America Looks More Like America. – Three of President Obama’s cabinet members are Latino, a justice of the Supreme Court is a Latina, two of the candidates running for president are Latino and two are women. Gradually, efforts to diversify the country’s institutions to reflect the people are bearing fruit. Soon it will no longer be remarkable that minority race politicians are running for president. And perhaps soon we can all look forward to the day when we welcome a president of Hispanic heritage.
This article originally appeared in the Washington Hispanic