Children cheer “Bienvenido Dr. Biden” at vaccine clinic

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Just outside the International Peace Gardens in Glendale, the First Lady Dr. Jill Biden was well received by Utah’s Latino community.

“Bienvenido Dr. Biden, Welcome Dr. Biden,” cheered a group of children from Comunidades Unidas as she walked into the Cinco de Mayo pop-up vaccination clinic.

Comunidades Unidas painting welcome sign

The children spent most of Tuesday night making the sign in preparation for her visit.

Comunidades Unidas, also known as Communities United, put together the one-of-a-kind clinic with the help of Rep. Angela Romero and the Salt Lake County Health Department.

Dr. Biden meets with Rep. Romero and Comunidades Unidas Executive Director Mayra Cedano

“Right now in Utah, Latinos are lacking when it comes to getting a vaccination at the same pace as others,” says Rep. Romero. “I knew that we needed to highlight our community health worker program, and with organizations such as Communities United, who has been working in the community, but I also wanted to show the First Lady the diversity of our state and of our city. 84104 is one of the most diverse zip codes, and everyone is welcome in the community.”

Before the First Lady could visit with the migrant mothers and families who wanted to get the COVID-19 shot, Lesley Soledad stole her attention.

Lesley Soledad talking with the First Lady

“I would really appreciate [it] if you could take into consideration immigration reform,” she told Dr. Biden.

Soledad began telling the First Lady her mom was pregnant with her when her parents came to the United States from Mexico, surviving with the help of one woman.

“And when I was born, they decided that my name would be Lesley, as the young girl who helped them and make their dream come true,” she adds.

In an interview with ABC4 News Soledad tells us, “I felt very fortunate to be able to talk to such an important person, and knowing that she could take what I said and make it an action.”

Dr. Biden would soon learn one of the women who received the vaccine was Lesley’s proud mother, Siliva.

First Lady speaking with Silvia Soledad

“She is very smart and the best girl in the world,” says the mom.

Dr. Biden told Soledad the president was with her and that he is working on it.

Comunidades Unidas Executive Director Mayra Cedano says this is a big win for Salt Lake City’s westside.

“We said ‘You know what? Let’s talk about the vaccine, let’s talk about the important work that so many immigrants are doing out there, and let’s also tell her that it’s important to remember that we need comprehensive immigration reform,'” says Cedano. “It was defiantly an honor, and a huge privilege, and a huge responsibility.”

After the First Lady left the vaccine site, she flew out to Las Vegas to spend Wednesday night. She’ll wrap her three-state tour in Colorado.

Editors Note: A graphic in our news story incorrectly spelled the word immigration.

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