Latino Dems Rebuke Governor for “Que Pasa” Statement

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: January 22, 2016

Contact:       Elizabeth Converse, Communications Director

                    Utah House Democratic Caucus

                    801-835-7087 |

Latino Legislators Speak Out Against Governor’s “Que Pasa” Statement

Salt Lake City – Representatives Mark Wheatley, Angela Romero and Sandra Hollins, joined by Senator Luz Escamilla spoke out today against comments made by the Governor during a press conference where he said “Yeah, yeah. Qué pasa? You know, here’s your doobie for the day and you’ll feel better,” while answering a question about medicinal marijuana bills the legislature is set to hear.

Representative Wheatley said, “This kind of insensitive remark from the top elected official in our state is completely unacceptable. I have worked with the Governor many times before, but for him to mock both an entire group of people based on their language and  those who are sick and dying and in need of alternative treatment is more than careless, it’s revealing. This seemingly small slip of the tongue can and will be incredibly destructive to communities of color, like the ones I represent.”

Representative Hollins added, “It’s simply false. It’s the kind of falsehood that you see presidential candidates flinging around just as irresponsibly. Words matter, especially when you are dealing with communities that have been historically repressed. People in my community are regularly passed up for jobs and houses because of assumed drug use, with absolutely no proof and no validity. What the governor has done, whether he realizes it or not, is point to the people in my district and say ‘other’.”