SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC/CONEL), the nation's leading organization for 16 million Hispanic American Evangelicals, drew the attention of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton over the weekend. More than 1,000 pastors and church leaders, representing 40,000 U.S. churches, watched the candidates' video greetings during a main session Friday night. Both Trump and Clinton touched on the top priorities of Latino voters: the economy, education and immigration. During the NHCLC convention, Hispanic Evangelicals focused attention on similar topics: education, life, religious liberty and immigration.
"As politicians court the vote of Hispanics in our nation, they should pay close attention to the heart of Hispanic voters: their children. No other issue matters matter more than this one," explains Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the NHCLC, as he highlights the warm heart of Latino voters. "Hispanic parents rank education as a top priority, ahead of immigration and second only to the economy, because they still believe in the American dream. Hispanic families value hard work, education and faith – a powerful trifecta that is sure to yield a stronger America. So candidates who say they love Hispanics should reflect that conviction in their words and in their actions."
A recent internal survey of NHCLC members revealed that Hispanic evangelicals remain undecided. No candidate from either party has a lock on their support, and more than one-third of those polled say there is no one who clearly represents them at this point in the race. They also noted that the candidate's policies mattered more than rhetoric.
In his video greeting to NHCLC members, Trump promised, "we're going to create good schools, and I mean, in some cases, hopefully, great schools." Hillary Clinton invited, "let's work together to . . . give everyone a quality education regardless of their zip code. Let's . . . make sure every young person in America has the chance to live up to his or her God-given potential."
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, founder and president of NHCLC/CONEL and a former public school educator, views education equity as a matter of biblical justice. "It's time to remind Americans that we are not only one nation under God, but we are also a nation of liberty and justice for all. We will bring biblical justice to our nation's public classrooms when academic achievement is no longer dependent upon a student's zip code, ethnicity or income. And we will truly love our neighbors as ourselves when we love their students as our own."
The NHCLC, which values Education as one of its core directives, advocates for Hispanic student success including education equity and high academic standards for all students as a part of its mission as a Christian organization. Education resources for parents and churches, including information on Education Sunday, are available at www.FaithandEducation.com.
NHCLC is the world's largest Hispanic Christian organization, serving as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,000 U.S. churches and another hundreds of thousands of congregations spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora. For additional information, visit http://www.nhclc.org.
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SOURCE National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference