America was the word of the day on Capitol Hill, but not because of a certain recent spelling blunder.
Conveniently-named actress America Ferrera of "Ugly Betty" fame appeared briefly on behalf of Voto Latino Thursday to launch a new voter outreach campaign called America4America. At the presser, she explained why she decided to get politically involved.
"At nine-years-old, California was facing down Proposition 187 and one day before heading out to school my mother had to pull me aside to prepare me for what might happen at school," Ferrera began. "And she said to me, 'you are an American, and don't let anyone scare you, you belong here.'" Proposition 187 was, of course, what was called the "Save Our State" ballot initiative, which would have prohibited illegal immigrants from using the state's education, healthcare and social services. (While it was passed by voters, the law was later deemed unconstitutional by a federal court).
"Now the irony of asking America where she was from, is funny, but the moment was terrifying," Ferrera said. "I'm standing here today because this moment has never left me, and nearly 20 years later in 2012, on the eve of this important election, we're announcing this campaign because that moment of intimidation and fear that I experienced is still too real for so many Americans," she concluded to boisterous applause.
And no, we asked, and she won't be running for office.