50 Thousand People Ask Kansas State Rep. Peck to Resign Over Hateful Remarks on Immigrants

A Growing Wave to Reject Offensive Language Spreads Locally and Across the Nation to Hold Politicians Accountable 

For Immediate Release

Thursday March 24, 2011

Contact: Natali Fani-González 202.787.1813.

WHAT: Press conference with local and national civil and human rights advocates asking State Rep. Peck to resign over hateful remarks. Advocates present 50 thousand petitions to Kansas Governor Sam Brownback asking for Peck’s resignation, hold him accountable for his hateful rhetoric.

WHEN: Friday March 25, 2011 at 10:00AM

WHERE: In the South Steps of the Kansas State Capitol (known as the “Front Porch” of the building), Topeka, KS. 

WHO: Sunflower Community Action, Presente.org, Somos Republicanos, Latino Informational Network of Kansas, Kansas/Missouri DREAM Alliance – KSMODA, Topeka LULAC Council, National People’s Action, Wichita Metro American Gl Forum, others. 

Topeka, KSFriday March 25 at 10:00AM, local and national civil and human rights advocates will gather with 50 thousand petitions calling for State Rep. Virgil Peck to resign for his hateful remarks towards the immigrant community.

“Rep. Peck’s words were dangerous,” explained Lalo Muñoz from the Latino Informational Network of Kansas. “There is no place in our Kansas State Legislature for someone who uses offensive words to endanger and create fear in our communities.” 

Last week, Rep. Peck made headlines when, during an appropriations committee meeting, he made a reference to an agricultural program that controls the state’s feral hog population by shooting them from helicopters. “Looks like to me, if shooting these immigrating feral hogs works, maybe we have found a (solution) to our illegal immigration problem,” stated Rep. Peck. 

Presente.org, a national online advocacy group that promotes the political empowerment of Latinos, coordinated a petition drive calling on Rep. Peck to resign from the Kansas State Legislature and for the state and national Republican Party to hold him accountable for his hateful rhetoric. 

“Across the nation, we witness the continue dehumanization of Latinos and immigrants; as the fastest growing community in the nation, this intolerable phenomenon has great consequences,” expressed Joaquin Guerra, National Campaign Director for Presente.org. “It’s critical for elected officials to actively protect everyone in our communities —not to make certain segments targets.”  

Since 2003, there has been a 40% increase in hate crimes against Latinos, and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) just released a new study that counted 1,002 active hate groups in the United States in 2010—a 40% increase from 2009. According to SPLC, there are six chapters of anti-immigrant groups in Kansas. 

Local and national advocates will gather at the South Steps of the Kansas State Capitol; then, they will proceed to deliver the 50 thousand petitions to Governor Brownback to hold Peck accountable.