Friday, February 10, 2012

SNAP! Gutiérrez on the ‘food stamp president’

In this video, US Representative Luis Gutiérrez (D-Illinois-04) good-humouredly explores the facts and figures behind Newt Gingrich’s declaration that President Obama is “the food stamp president.” In the process, Gutiérrez exposes how shallow Gingrich’s intellectual depth really is, something that’s always fun to watch. Gutiérrez concludes his remarks with the one obvious fact that seems to elude the Republican candidate and his allies: "Hunger knows no race or religion or age or political party. Hunger is colorblind."

I’ve long been a fan of Luis Gutiérrez. I knew him primarily as Alderman for Chicago’s 26th Ward, where he was a leading champion of Chicago’s Human Rights Ordinance and other progressive causes. The Human Rights Ordinance banned discrimination against GLBT people in Chicago a couple decades before the state of Illinois finally followed suit. In so doing, it extended human rights protections to roughly a third of Illinoisans. It was a very big deal.

Gutiérrez ran for Congress in 1992, and I was a little concerned because it would me the loss of a progressive leader in the Chicago City Council. However, he carried that leadership to Congress where he champions many of the issues I most care about, including comprehensive immigration reform.

So, that’s why I’ve admired and respected Rep. Luis Gutiérrez for a 25 years. This video gives just a little hint of why.

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