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SALT LAKE CITY — Attorney General Sean Reyes looked out over the crowd gathered in the Capitol rotunda Thursday to celebrate Utah Latino Day on the Hill.
"I would not be the attorney general of the state of Utah without the Hispanic community," Reyes said.
The gathering advertised itself as "a bipartisan celebration of the Latino population, culture and traditions."
Reyes said people are not going to agree on every issue, but it's important to have an underlying respect for one another.
"Whether you're brand new to this country because you come as an asylee or a refugee, or whether you're brand new to this country because you come from other circumstances, or whether you've been here for multiple generations, it doesn't matter. We are one grand familia," he said.
The Latino community in Utah is estimated to have about $8 billion in buying power, Reyes said. Nationally, it's estimated to be $1.7 trillion by 2020, he said.
Reyes pointed to the top of the Rotunda at the painting "Father Escalante Discovers Utah Lake in 1776", and said there were Hispanics charting the Utah territory for the first time as the Continental Congress was writing the Declaration of Independence.
Just before an assortment of dances began, Reyes told the audience, "I want you to be proud of being Latino, Hispanic. … We can do so much more together than we can fractured, fighting one another. We have enough enemies outside who don't want to see us succeed."
The subsequent dances and the music represented cultures and countries from all over Latin America.