politics

20 Badass Latinas Shaping the 2018 Midterm Elections

With heated debates taking place in Washington over issues like immigration, reproductive rights, and affordable healthcare, every Latina should be paying attention to the 2018 Midterm Elections. These 20 badass candidates and organizers are getting involved in a real way and certainly making 2018 a year to remember. Above all, even more Latinas are running for office in 2018 than ever before, and making sure our voices are heard.

So read up on the candidates, and also make sure you’re registered to vote on November 6th.

1. Veronica Escobar

Credit: Veronica Escobar. Digital Image. Veronica Escobar for Congress.

Running for: Congress, Texas 16th District

Sylvia Garcia is running in Texas’s 16th District and will likely become the first Latina congresswoman from the state of Texas. Garcia is a former El Paso County judge and she has proved herself a true opponent of Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy.

2.  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Credit: Instagram. @ocasio2018

Running for: Congress, New York 14th District

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican activist from the state of New York made headlines for beating one of Congress’s most powerful Democrats in the primary by almost 15 points. And now, she’s on her way to be the youngest woman to ever sit in the House of Representatives. 

3. Jana Sanchez

Credit: Twitter. @janasanchez

Running for: Congress, Texas 6th District

Jana Sanchez has the potential to make one of the biggest political upsets this November, flipping the red Texas 6th District with her progressive platform. Sanchez’s grandparents were migrant farmworkers in the district, and as a result, voters are paying attention to her strong ties to the community.

4. Ximena Hartsock

@Ximenahartsock / Instagram

Founder of Phone2Action

Chilean-born Ximena Hartsock founded Phone2Action after her work in DC politics showed her that many people want to contact their elected officials but don’t know how.

5. Lupe Valdez

@LupeValdez / Instagram
Credit: Twitter. @LupeValdez

Running for: Governor of Texas

Lupe Valdez made history as the first Latina nominated for governor in Texas by a major party. Valdez has been the Sheriff of Dallas County for over a decade, and she hopes to bring important issues like equal pay, reproductive rights and LGBTQ equality to the table in Texas.

6. America Ferrera

@AmericaFerrera/ Twitter

The “Superstore” actress and new mom has been a vocal opponent of President Trump’s immigration policies from the beginning. She is also an active member of several organizing groups, including the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, and Voto Latino.

7. Xochitl Torres Small

@XochforCongress / Twitter

Running for: Congress, New Mexico 2nd District

This 33-year-old lawyer is hoping to shake up New Mexico’s mostly Republican 2nd district. Torres Small believes her strong hometown connection to the community and its needs will cut through the district’s right-leaning politics. 

8 Lea Marquez Peterson

@LeaPeterson / Twitter

Running for: Congress, Arizona 2nd District

Lea Marquez Peterson is a Republican candidate for Congress from Arizona, and she’s also in a very tight race. Peterson is leaning on her experience as President & CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to push for growth and more jobs in her district.

9. Maria Elvira Salazar

@maelvirasalazar/ Twitter

Running for: Congress, Florida 27th District

After spending much of her career reporting on politics, Cuban-American journalist Maria Elvira Salazar is turning the table and consequently running for Congress in Florida’s 27th District.

10. Christina Lopez

Credit: Twitter. @christinajopez

Regional Organizing Director for Nevada Democrats

Nevada is very important in this election for Democrats hoping to take back the Senate. As a result, organizers like Christina Lopez are on the ground every day, knocking on doors, talking to people about their vote, and above all, proving that real change starts with grassroots efforts.

11. Sylvia Garcia

@SenatorSylvia

Running for: Congress, Texas 29th District

State Senator Sylvia Garcia is running for Congress in the Texas 29th, after a strong win in the March 6th primary. She’s also a strong supporter of “better jobs, healthcare, and education” for all Americans, as well as equal pay and LGBTQ rights.

12. Kate Marshall

@KateMarshallNV / Twitter

Running for: Lieutenant Governor of Nevada

Kate Marshall, whose family came to the US from Mexico in 1921, is seeking the Lieutenant Governor’s position in Nevada. In addition to a plan to clean up Carson City, Marshall also hopes to push for affordable housing and a stronger economy for her state.

13. Juana Matias

@Juana_B_Matias / Twitter

Running for: Congress, Massachusetts 3rd District

Thirty-year-old Juana Matias made waves in 2016 when she beat an established Massachusetts politician and became a state representative. Two years later, it seems like she’s set her sights on the US House of Representatives, where if she wins, she’ll be the first Latina sent from her state.

14. Gina Ortiz Jones

Credit: Ana Isabel Photography. Digital Image. Gina Ortiz Jones for Congress.

Running for: Congress, Texas 23rd District

Gina Ortiz Jones is in one of the most competitive races this November, against a Republican Congressman in the Texas 23rd. If she wins, she’ll be not only the first woman to represent her district in Congress but also the first openly gay woman of color AND the first Iraq War vet to represent Texas in Congress.

15. Talia Fuentes

@TaliaForScience / Twitter

Running for: Congress, Arizona 9th District

Talia Fuentes is a Democrat, a single mom, and a former radio DJ. She was inspired to run for office by Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2016 platform, and therefore Fuentes fights for issues like science-based policy, Medicare for all, as well as legal protection for DREAMers. 

16. Sindy M. Benavides

Sagrario Ortiz / Facebook
Credit: Sindy M. Benavides. Digital Image. LULAC.org.

Chief Operating Officer for the League of United Latin American Citizens

The League of United Latin American Citizens’ (LULAC) works to advance the education, health, and political power of Hispanic communities in the US. As COO of the organization, Sindy Benavides works on issues from Latinx voter turnout to education.

17. Erika Andiola

@eandiola / Instagram
Credit: Instagram @eandiola

Activist

Erika Andiola is an openly undocumented Mexican-American and a powerful voice for a group that is often silent out of fear. In the 2016 election, Andiola was Press Secretary for Latino Outreach for the Sanders Campaign. She now spends her time organizing and fighting for immigration reform and other key issues.

18. Rosario Dawson

rosariodawson / Instagram
Credit: @Instgram. @rosariodawson

Actress and activist Rosario Dawson sits on the board of Voto Latino, a group dedicated to empowering Latinx candidates for leadership roles and running for office. Since it was founded in 2004, Voto Latino has registered over half a million new voters.

19. Betsaida Alcantara

@Betsaida_11 / Twitter

Communications and Digital at Anti-Defamation League

A former communications staff member on Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s Presidential campaigns, Alcantara now works with the Anti-Defamation League. In 2018, the ADL works to fight against hate crimes, white supremacy, and extremism in America.

20. Delores Huerta

Credit: Twitter. @DoloresHuerta

Founder of the Delores Huerta Foundation and OG Badass Latina

At 87-years-old, iconic activist Delores Huerta is still marching the streets, as well as recently participating in a hunger strike over family separations at the border. Consequently, her foundation works to pursue social justice for all people.


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Demi Lovato Tops the List for Google’s Most Searched in 2018

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Demi Lovato Tops the List for Google’s Most Searched in 2018

As the year comes to an end, we reflect on 2018 and everything that went into making this year. What better way to do that than to look at the things we Googled. This week, the tech giant released its lists of all the things we followed in 2018. Between movies, weddings, celebrities, and politics, it’s been a busy year. Still, musician Demi Lovato edged out every other big name to become the most searched for person in 2018.

Beating Megan Markel and Brett Kavanaugh for the number one spot, Lovato also topped another category. The pop star is this year’s the most searched for musician as well. Lovato was able to beat out other artists like Cardi B and Ariana Grande who also had a huge 2018.

There’s no doubt Lovato had had an eventful year.

Filled with both professional accomplishments and personal trials, it makes sense that the pop star is a constant in our search history. Here are some of the incredible events that made Demi the number-one searched person this year.

March 2018- Demi’s DC performance

Lovato is a vocal supporter for laws regulating firearms so it’s no surprise she lent her voice to the March for Our Lives rally. The pop star performed her single “Skyscraper” during the first annual gathering in Washington, DC. Started by victims of the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the event protested lax gun regulations. Besides performing, Lovato also marched alongside the students, activists and other stars.

May 2018- Demi’s big collabs

In May, Lovato fulfilled one of her dreams by collaborating with fellow Latina Christina Aguilera. For Aguilera’s first album in six years, the pair wrote and recorded “Fall In Line.” Fans of both artists declared it the feminist anthem that 2018 needed.

Lovato also teamed up with Clean Bandit for their single “Solo.” The song earned the Latina her first number one song on UK music charts.

June 2018- Lovato releases “Sober”

Lovato has always been very transparent with fans about her struggles with mental health and addiction. So, when the star relapsed after six years of sobriety, she didn’t shy away from talking about it. Lovato released “Sober,” a song in which she detailed her experiences with addiction and sobriety.

Her heartbreaking lyrics included a shout out to her fans:

“And I’m sorry for the fans I lost who watched me fall again / I wanna be a role model, but I’m only human.”

July 2018- Demi overdoses

Just weeks after she released “Sober,” Lovato was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical in LA. News media reported that the musician had suffered a heroin overdose and Twitter flipped at the news. The hashtag #ImConfidentInDemi began trending with both fans and fellow stars tweeting their support.

It was later revealed that Lovato had actually overdosed on oxycodone laced with fentanyl. Though she was revived later the same day, Lovato would spend two weeks in hospital healing.

August 2018-Lovato’s stay in rehab

After her two week stay at Cedar-Sinai, Lovato checked herself into rehab. Before flying to a rehabilitation center in Chicago, the Latina sent a message of thanks to her fans. Lovato would spend a total of three months getting the treatment she needed before being released.


November 2018- Lovato gets out to vote

After being out of the public eye for so long, Lovato fans were anxious to see their girl back in action. After no social media presence for three months, Lovato took to the polls for an Insta-worthy moment in her first Instagram post since rehab.

Always politically active, Lovato expressed thanks for being home in time to vote. She also encouraged her fans to go out and exercise their right to vote.

December 2018- Never giving up and Demi’s big Grammy nomination

Since her overdose, Lovato has been spending less time on social media and more time one her self. The singer took up Jiu Jitsu as a way to center her mind and care for her body. In her second Insta post since July, Lovato posted a picture of herself in her Jiu Jitsu gear with the hashtag #NeverGiveUp. This was a very welcome message to all the millions of Lovato fans wishing for her recovery.

Days later on December 7th, the world woke up to news of this year’s Grammy nominations. “Fall in Line,” Lovato and Aguilera’s collaboration, was nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. The artist took to Twitter to express her disbelief and appreciation. She also explained how surreal it was to be nominated with Aguilera, one of her childhood idols.

Lovato has had her share of hard knocks this year but she is strong and surrounded with lots of love. Here’s hoping that Lovato’s 2019 is filled with nothing but blessings.


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13 Latinx Books Published This Year That Everyone Should Read

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13 Latinx Books Published This Year That Everyone Should Read

The literary scene in 2018 was filled with Latina writers of all ages and backgrounds putting out the work that reminds you why they’re fiercely talented. The books featured on this list include some of the most acclaimed and beloved releases of 2018 by newbie and established escritoras. Whether you’re looking to discover your new favorite author or book or you’re looking for the best of the best, this list is for all the book nerds out there who can’t wait to get lost in a good book.

“Fruit of the Drunken Tree” by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

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LA TIMES Bestseller list ????Every day thankful to booksellers and every human along the way who’s made it possible for this book to find some wonderful readers ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #instabook #igbooks #bookstagram #writersofinstagram #literaryfiction #readmore #fiction #novel #bookphotography #pursuepretty #booknerdigans #bookcover #booksofinstagram #bookish ‪#amwriting #debutnovel

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In the national bestseller “Fruit of the Drunken Tree”, Ingrid Rojas Contrerars examines the terror and violence inflicted on Colombia in the 1990s by Pablo Escobar from the perspective of two young girls. Seven-year-old Chula lives a sheltered life in a gated community in Bogotá while her new maid teenager Petrona hails from the guerrilla-occupied slums. Alternating between their individual narratives and own coming of age experiences shines a light this unlikely friendship and the secrets therein. This is Contreras’ debut novel and it’s inspired by her own life and received love from readers and critics alike.

Buy it here.

“The Poet X” by Elizabeth Acevedo

No list would be complete without Elizabeth Acevedo’s debut young adult novel “The Poet X.” Written in verse, the story centers around Afro-Latina Xiomara growing up in Harlem and the struggle to pursue her desires while living in a strict religious household. An award-winning slam poet herself, Acevedo’s gift shines brightly through Xiomara’s poetry and gives this story a sense of raw honesty and emotional complexity about finding your own strength. It’s a National Book Award winner in Young People’s Literature so it’s clear why it’s on this list. Learn more about Acevedo on our list of Dominican readers you should know.

Buy it here.

“After the Winter” by Guadalupe Nettel

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Our ????✨ final book club of the year ✨???? will take place one week from today on Tuesday, December 4th at 7PM. Join us! #litsyndicate Claudio is a haughty Cuban expat with a misanthropic streak and an outsized sense of entitlement to boot. Though he's carved out a comfortable existence in New York City, Claudio dreams of his perfectly matched companion, a woman of refined taste and impeccable manners. Cecilia is a pensive Mexican grad student and a recent transplant to Paris. Braced by aloof Parisian manners and the winter's bitter cold, Cecilia is driven into seclusion until she embarks on an intense romantic friendship with her next-door neighbor, Tom. After Tom suddenly departs for a trip of indeterminate length, Cecilia finds herself at sea, incapable of coping with the her obsessive yearning. Here Claudio and Cecilia cross paths, producing a fascinating glimpse into the narratives people encrypt on one another in moments of loneliness and desperation. Beautifully evocative of place, After the Winter vaults from Oaxaca to Cuba to New York City to Paris, lingering at last in Père Lachaise. At once devastating and redolent of the delicate pleasures that make life worth living, After the Winter is a subtle and profound novel filled with unforgettable characters and motifs. #guadalupenettel #afterthewinter

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Guadalupe Nettel’s exploration of loneliness in the city is also a story about how we make connections. The first person narratives alternate between Claudio, a Cuban expat in New York and Cecilia, a Mexican expat in Paris. Cecilia is a shy, literature student who shares a fascination for watching funerals near her apartment with her sickly neighbor. Meanwhile, Claudio lives with the submissive and wealthy Ruth who gives into his every desire and tolerates his misogynistic ways. While visiting a friend, Claudio meets Cecilia and they embark on a transformative relationship where Nettel dives into what love looks like between two flawed individuals. Nettel lives in Mexico City and is considered one of the most important Latin American writers of her generation. This book is a translation of  “Después del invierno” released in 2014.

Buy it here.

“Sexographies” by Gabriela Wiener

Peruvian journalist  Gabriela Wiener’s collection of stories of her foray into the risqué in “Sexographies” explores the carnal while also delving into bigger issues including gender politics, motherhood, and sexuality. The openly polyamorous Wiener discusses going to a swingers party with her husband, participating in a dominatrix demonstration, and even profiles a Peruvian sex guru and his six wives. From an ayahuasca ceremony to prostitution to squirting (yes, she goes there), Weiner dives right in and provides meditations and musings on the messiness and kinky aspects of life with passion and candor. Weiner is the former editor of the Spanish version of Marie Claire and this is her first book-length work to be translated into English.

Buy it here.

“Latinas: Struggles & Protests in 21st Century USA” by Iris Morales

This relevant and timely collection features a variety of women reflecting on their struggles and experiences as mujeres fighting for social change. The contributions are both poetry and prose from educators, artists, activists, journalists, and writers engaged in their communities. They touch on how their gender affects their lives but also the inequalities within race, immigration status, and social status. But beyond the ugly truths, there’s also a hope for a better future and a love of sisterhood that will leave you with a sense of empowerment.

Buy it here.

“Love War Stories” by Ivelisse Rodriguez

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Happy book birthday to Love War Stories by Ivelisse Rodriguez! @aracien11 ????????????This is an incredible debut collection of short stories that will hit you right in the feels. • Synopsis: Puerto Rican girls are brought up to want one thing: true love. Yet they are raised by women whose lives are marked by broken promises, grief, and betrayal. While some believe that they’ll be the ones to finally make it work, others swear not to repeat cycles of violence. This collection documents how these “love wars” break out across generations as individuals find themselves caught in the crosshairs of romance, expectations, and community. • This collection does an incredible job of portraying the complex threads of love that can run through our lives and the different forms they can take. Not all of the stories have happy endings but each one contains a kernal that readers will recognize in themselves or the women around them. It is a powerful collection and was a great read ❤️I highly recommend it if you are looking for a collection that will shake you, make you smile and make you think. . . . #Books #bookstagram #vscocam #vsco #bookworm #leyendo #weneesdiversebooks #vscobooks #bookish #booklove #instabooks #latinx #bookphotography #unitedbookstagram #latinxreads #shortstories #bibliophile #booksofinstagram #read #lovewarstories #vscobook #reader #igreads #igbooks #latinasleyendo #bookstagramer #latina #libros #leer

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The acclaimed “Love War Stories” by Ivelisse Rodriguez is all about young girls and the ideas they’re raised with about love and their battles with traditional expectations. The intersection between the ideals they’re brought up with and their own desires in real life are where the love wars live. The collection documents the struggles between generations caught up in their own traditions of love that younger generations inevitably rebel against. Rodriguez deftly speaks to these sentiments and provides a variety of perspectives on the subject of love mainly involving Puerto Rican women but speaking to Latinx women. It’s a real reflection on what it’s like to battle with the idea of love among different generations in Latinx culture. Learn more about Rodriguez on our list of books by Puerto Ricans you should read.

Buy it here.

“The Fall of Innocence” by Jenny Torres Sanchez

“The Fall of Innocence” is perhaps unsurprisingly about the long-term effects of childhood trauma. In the book by Jenny Torres Sanchez, readers are introduced to sixteen-year-old Emilia DeJesus as she attempts to move on from the trauma she experienced eight years ago near her elementary school. The book follows her attempt to survive though not necessarily cope with the attack until it’s once again at the forefront when a discovery is revealed about her attacker. Faced with a past she’s fought to forget all these years, Emilia is forced to confront how her trauma has affected her and her family. The grim ending may not be what some readers may expect or want but Sanchez received acclaim for her authentic exploration into the lifelong effects of sexual violence in childhood.

Buy it here.

“Blanca & Roja” By Anna-Marie McLemore

“Blanca & Roja” by Anna-Marie McLemore is a Latinx spin on “Swan Lake” with McLemore’s now signature touch of magical realism. The del Cisne sisters are like any other siblings in that they are bonded by love but also torn by rivalry. They know that either can succumb to the family curse that will leave one of them in the body of a swan. Things get even more complicated with two local boys get involved and their fates are intertwined. It’s a story about love, sisterhood, and friendship told by a skilled storyteller who knows how to take fantastical stories and make them feel real. Learn more about McLemore on our list of Mexican and Chicana writers you should know about.

Buy it here.

“The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary” by NoNieqa Ramos

YA writer NoNieqa Ramos was an educator for 14 years and her experience with kids like Macy, the protagonist of “The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary” is what inspired her to write this unique book. The story is told in a series of vignettes that resemble a dictionary, where Macy tells her story by breaking down why she is the way she is. In school, she’s been deemed “disturbed” and at home, she’s dealing with a promiscuous mom, a brother in Child Protective Services, and a dad in prison. It’s an honest and at times hilarious look into the mind of a 15-year-old girl.

Buy it here.

“All the Stars Denied” by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Guadalupe Garcia McCall takes on the first mass deportation that affected thousands of Mexican-American citizens during the Great Depression in “All the Stars Denied”. The story follows Estrella and her family who own Rancho Las Moras in Texas and face resentment among white farmers who post “No Mexicans Allowed” signs. During a protest against this treatment, Estrella’s family becomes a target for repatriation (regardless of citizenship) and she suddenly finds herself across the border separated from half her family. This is a story about an event from the past with eerie resemblance to present day.

Buy it here.

“Someone Like Me: How One Undocumented Girl Fought for Her American Dream” by Julissa Arce

This young adult memoir from social justice advocate and national bestselling author Julissa Arce tells the story of growing up undocumented in Texas while still trying to achieve the American Dream. Arce was born in Taxco, Mexico and as a child, he was brought to the US by her parents where she grew up to become a scholarship recipient and honors college grad. She eventually works her way up to become a vice president at Goldman Sachs all while undocumented. This is YA version of her original and equally powerful memoir “My (Underground) American Dream” published in 2017. It’s a story of survival, about dreaming big, and about a very difficult reality for many young adults like Arce.

Buy it here.

“You Have the Right to Remain Fat,” by Virgie Tovar

“You Have the Right to Remain Fat,” by Virgie Tovar has been hailed as a “manifesto for the fat revolution” for its protest of the diet and skinny body type culture. After twenty years of dieting Tovar is over the sense of guilt and the pressure to conform to a certain body image. Here she talks about her “Ultra Mega Badass Fat Babe Lifestyle“ and addresses Fatphobia writing that it’s “a bigoted ideology that positions fat people as inferior and as objects of hatred and derision. Because of the way fat people are positioned in our culture, people learn to fear becoming fat.” Mic drop.  Learn more about fatphobia by checking out our interview with Tovar.

Buy it here.

 “Broken Beautiful Hearts,” by Kami Garcia

New York Times-bestselling author Kami Garcia”s YA romance novel “Broken Beautiful Hearts” is exactly the blend of drama and love you expect from a romantic lit book. The story follows Peyton Rios, a star athlete whose dream of attending college are shattered when she falls down a flight of stairs. The question is did someone push her? Before the fall she’d learned her boyfriend’s dark secret which left her heartbroken. While on the mend in Tennessee she meets and falls for Owen Law but soon discovers he too has a secret and she has to decide if their love is worth fighting for. The book received love from critics and readers alike for its captivating and real depiction of teenage love.

Buy it here.

Read: 13 Hot and Heavy Romance Novels By Latinas Made for Cuffing Season

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