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Bob Menendez grew up the son of immigrants in a tenement building in Union City. A product of New Jersey's public schools and a graduate of the state's universities, he[…]

The Latino community, Menendez says, is a sleeping giant.

Question: What advice do you have for the Latino community? 

Robert Menendez: It would be that it is a sleeping giant that I think is about to awaken and needs to wake up. It needs to wake up by using its electoral power in a way that can decide the course of events immediately in our country, and for the long term. I think the community has a transformational opportunity to change and impact not only, for example, who the next President of the United States will be – which in and of itself would be significant – but where public policy will head. When you have 17 million Latinos in the country who are eligible to vote, and when you see where they’re located in the states that are critical for an electoral victory for the next President of the United States, you have an opportunity to have transformational change by the use of your power. Our challenge . . . My message to the community would be you’ve got to use that power, because that power ultimately comes back in the things that you care about for the future of your family, for the future of the community that you live in, and in the nation that you call your own.



Recorded on: 9/12/07