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Elena Valdez (cq), originally from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, raises her hand to answer a question at her citizenship class at the Woodbury Library in Denver on August 30, 2007. Mrs. Valdez has been living in the U.S. for over 14 years, and has now qualified to become a United States citizen. In the background, a series of portraits, part of the Cesar Chavez Hall of Fame- an award presented annually to a Colorado resident of Latino descent who has taken an active role in the community, depict (from left) such people as Polly Baca (cq), the first minority woman in the Colorado State Senate, Manual "Sam" Sandos (cq) and Mary Baca (cq) member of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing form part of the members of this hall of fame. Citizenship classes are filling up - fueled by anxieties and uncertainties over the immigration debate. This has prompted a record surge in citizenship applicaitons in Colorado. The Latina Initiative is among several local groups working to get legal residents signed up for ciitizenship classes and helping them get their paperwork in order to become U.S. citizens and eventually voters. (JAVIER MANZANO/ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS) Elena Valdez (cq)

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