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As Sonia Sotomayor is voted in as our next Justice of the Supreme Court, she represents a critical addition to the Supreme Court's bench. She is a highly qualified judge who has risen through the ranks, offered measured and moderate opinions and is one of the most qualified candidates to be considered for this lifelong appointment. While her critics questioned her on a number of issues, her record speaks for itself and earned the votes and respect of the Senators who voted for her appointment. Everyone stands to win by this important appointment as Sonia Sotomayor represents a victory for all people who have come from diverse backgrounds, socio economic classes and struggled to gain the best education they could afford. She represents the type of person who works hard, applies herself diligently, carefully weighs and balances the information and then makes her decisions.

Sonia Sotomayor was raised in a close knit family with her mother as a strong role model. She saw all the things her mother sacrificed for her and encouraged her throughout her life. Her strong family values and cultural ties provides a great foundation for her as she moves to this new appointment and will render decisions that affect all of our families across the nation. It is a time to rejoice and celebrate for mothers across the country.

While communities across the country are celebrating this victory and especially the Latinos, it is a great victory for all of us. Our country's demographics are shifting dramatically and we see richness, diversity and blending of cultures becoming the rising and driving forces for our populations' change. In the decades ahead we are swiftly moving to multicultural communities requiring services that address changing needs in our population. The Census Bureau is predicting by 2042 or sooner, the entire U.S. population will reflect a huge movement towards the multicultural communities comprising the majority of our population. In California, we already have passed that tipping point and are developing programs to address these needs.

Appointing judges onto critical institutions like the Supreme Court who render decisions that affect the basic fabric of our society is an important step towards having representation in key decision making positions of national institutions. We applaud Sonia Sotomayor for everything she has accomplished and for all the work that lays ahead of her. This is truly a teachable moment for all of us.

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