Rep. Acosta recognizes National Hispanic Heritage Month at state Capitol
State Rep. Leslie Acosta celebrated National Hispanic Heritage Month with a variety of activities at the state Capitol.
“We are fortunate to have so much diversity in our state,” Acosta said. “As one of the 720,000 Hispanics who calls Pennsylvania ‘home,’ I am proud to live in a place where we honor our various traditions and cultures instead of hiding them. Our state is stronger because we’re accepting of our differences.”
Acosta began the celebration with a news conference to highlight an art exhibit on display in the Senate Fountain area titled, “Aquí,” (Here). The featured artists are all of Latino descent and live in different areas of the state, including Philadelphia.
“These artists bring such a unique perspective to their work,” Acosta said. “Their personal experiences, backgrounds, and rich cultural heritage are represented in all of their art, and I am thankful we are able to share their pieces throughout Pennsylvania.”
The exhibit, curated by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, will be featured at the state Department of Education and later will be showcased at the Susquehanna Art Museum in Harrisburg.
Others attending the conference included Pedro Cortés, Pennsylvania secretary of State and the first Latino to be confirmed to a cabinet-level position in the commonwealth;Philip Horn, executive director, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; State Reps. Peter Schweyer, Mike Schlossberg, Tom Caltagirone and Patty Kim.
Also at the event were representatives from the Governor’s Commission on Latino Affairs and U.S. Senator Robert Casey, Jr.’s office, who honored other Hispanic-Americans of note in Pennsylvania, including former State Rep. Ralph Acosta, the first Latino to be elected to the state House.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives also unanimously adopted the resolution introduced by Acosta H.R. 482, which recognizes Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, 2015 as “National Hispanic Heritage Month” in the state of Pennsylvania. It also honors Captain Michael Anthony Bastone Sr., the first Latino to earn the rank of captain in the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office. Bastone and other officers were in the House chamber to receive the recognition.
“Captain Bastone has honorably served the Sheriff’s Office since 1995, facing adversity to rise through the ranks,” Acosta said. “His dedication, service, and pride for his heritage are inspiring to us all.”
Acosta said as the first Hispanic-American woman to be elected to the state legislature, National Hispanic Heritage Month held special meaning for her.
“I feel so honored to be able to represent my friends and neighbors in such a meaningful way,” Acosta said. “I am able to highlight issues and conversations important to the Hispanic-American community, which is so vital. We need more men and women fighting this fight, and I hope to see more Hispanic-Americans in public office in Pennsylvania soon.”