OPINION

Opinion: Marco Rubio fights for Florida’s Latinos

Sen. Marco Rubio waits at the side of the stage in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Sat. Jan. 16, 2016.

Sen. Marco Rubio waits at the side of the stage in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Sat. Jan. 16, 2016.  (ap)

My organization, The LIBRE Initiative, has spent the last half-decade working hand-in-hand with our Latino community in Florida. Listening to their stories and their dreams, I’m reminded of my own parents’ decision to leave their home in Mexico and come to America in search of opportunity. Whether we’re from Mexico, the Caribbean, Central or South America, or even if we’re fourth-generation Americans, every member of the Latino community simply wants the chance to succeed.

And that’s why we need Sen. Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate.

We applaud Sen. Rubio for being one of [Obamacare's] most outspoken opponents, and commend him for supporting reforms that would empower patients rather than politicians.

- Daniel Garza

This isn’t a decision we take lightly — in fact, we’ve never supported a candidate before today. But Latinos in Florida would be hard-pressed to find a better leader, and one who stands up for what’s most important to us. Over the course of his career, Sen. Rubio has consistently fought for the policies that would unleash the economic opportunities and the expanded access to education we all seek as Americans.

Sen. Rubio has been an outspoken defender of education reform, which according to Pew Research polling, is the most important issue for Latinos. He believes that every family should be able to send their children to the school of their choice, rather than be forced to send them to a failing school simply because of their zip code. He has introduced legislation in Congress that would give every family – including Latinos – the education they need.

The same is true from Sen. Rubio’s economic proposals. Few things are as important for both our fellow American’s and our community’s success as a healthy, growing economy. Polling from the Pew Hispanic Center shows this is the most important issue when it comes to the vote of the Latino community. No wonder: When the economy grows, it raises wages, creates jobs, and spurs the entrepreneurship that is synonymous with the American Dream.

Sen. Rubio recognizes this. That’s why he has devoted so much of his career to putting the economy on an upward trajectory. He wants to unshackle job seekers and job creators from top-down regulations and government control, and free individuals to pursue success on their own terms. His proposals, if enacted, are time-tested and proven to lead to a brighter future for all Americans.

Sadly, economic growth and increased opportunity have been hard to come by during the Obama years — the economy is barely growing, wages are mostly stagnant, and it’s getting harder and harder to make ends meet. This is the natural result of President Obama’s policies of more government and more control, which inevitably lead to less opportunity for the people who need it most. Our Latino community knows this.

The good news is that Sen. Rubio has worked to roll back the policies responsible for America’s economic woes. He has also helped stop some that would have likely made the situation even worse.

There are many examples. Sen. Rubio has helped stop higher taxes on the middle class. He opposes increased government spending, which drives America into deeper debt and mortgages our futures. He’s fighting against counterproductive energy regulations that drive up the cost of utility bills and everyday goods, yet have little effect on the actual climate. And he’s voted against special-interest handouts that enrich lobbyists and the well-connected at our expense.

Sen. Rubio’s record is especially impressive on Obamacare. There’s no doubt that the Latino community needs access to affordable health care, but Obamacare has only given us skyrocketing premiums, deductibles, and co-pays while crushing competition. We applaud Sen. Rubio for being one of the law’s most outspoken opponents, and commend him for supporting reforms that would empower patients rather than politicians.

The Latino community needs leaders who stand up and fight for opportunity — and a better future for all of us. Sen. Marco Rubio is that leader, and Florida will make a smart decision by re-electing him this November.

Daniel Garza is president and chairman of The LIBRE Institute. You can see here a video of the author explaining the High School Diploma Initiative here.

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