politics

This Year, Rising Latina Politicians Became Icons- Here’s A Look At The Most Empowering Women Set To Turn U.S. Politics On Its Head

Politics have been on everyone’s mind ever since the 2016 election and, thankfully, things seem to be improving for Latinas running for office. Not only did a record number of women run for office in 2018 but the trend continued with wins and a record number of women heading to Congress next year. And, thankfully, Latinas made up some of those numbers.

You probably know all about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but did you know that there were 9 Latina political stars this year who made strides for all of us? Some of them won their elections and some lost but, overall, it’s been a good year. Here are the Latinas in politics that you need to know before the year is over.

1. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

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The 29-year-old Latina is definitely the breakout star of 2018 politics. The progressive candidate first made headlines when she shockingly won the Democratic primary for New York’s 14th congressional district. Today, the “100% people-funded” Congresswoman-elect is getting ready to take office in 2019. The issues she supports include immigration justice and abolishing ICE, gun control and an assault weapons ban, criminal justice reform, supporting LGBTQIA+ and more.

2. Veronica Escobar

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Escobar is the current member-elect of the United States House of Representatives for Texas’s 16th congressional district in El Paso. She made history in 2018 by becoming one of the two Texas Latinas to be the first to serve in Congress. She ran on a platform of immigration reform, improving veterans’ services, expanding access to affordable healthcare, protecting the environment and more. 

3. Sylvia Garcia

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The second Texas Latina to win Congress in 2018 is Garcia, who will be representing Texas’s 29th congressional district. “I’ve dedicated my life to my community and public service, and want to take my fight for working families, immigrant justice, women’s rights, and equity for all to Washington,” she said on Twitter earlier this year.

4. Guadalupe “Lupe” Valdez

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Although she did not ultimately win the 2018 Texas gubernatorial election against Republican opponent Greg Abbott, Valdez still made headlines for being the Democratic nominee. “From migrant farmworker to Captain in the U.S National Guard, federal agent to the very proud Sheriff of the good people of Dallas County, I’ve dedicated my life to defending Texans and I’m not done yet,” she said. Despite her loss, we’re hoping to see more from Valdez. As she said, she’s not done yet. 

5. Michelle Lujan Grisham

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Great news doesn’t just happen in Texas. Lujan Grisham is the current governor-elect of New Mexico, becoming not only the first Democratic woman to win the governor seat of NW but also the first Democratic Latina elected state chief executive in the history of the United States after replacing Susana Martinez, a Republican. She ran with Howie Morales as her Lieutenant Governor. 

6. Mary Sally Matiella

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With record numbers of women running for Congress, Matiella was one of those. She was the U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Army, holding office from 2010 until 2014, and in 2018 ran as a Democrat to represent Arizona’s 2nd congressional district for the United States House of Representatives. Although she lost the primary to Ann Kirkpatrick, who went on to win the 2018 election, we’re hoping to see more from her in the coming years.

7. Lea Marquez Peterson

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The Republican nominee for Arizona’s 2nd congressional district was Marquez Peterson, winning the primary and running against Kirkpatrick in the general election. Although she did not ultimately win the seat it was still great to see another Latina candidate on the ballot. She continues to be active on Twitter and supporting her local community in Tuscon.

8. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell

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Ecuadorean-American Mucarsel-Powell is another example of Latinas winning big in Congress in 2018 after she was elected to represent Florida’s 26th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. She made history in 2018 by becoming the first Ecuadorian-born person to be elected to the U.S. Congress, and she is the first Latina member born in South America and the first woman to represent her district. Oh, and she was endorsed by President Obama,

You know, NBD. 

9. Elizabeth Guzmán

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Although Guzmán was elected to the House of Delegates in Virginia back in 2017, she still deserves a spot on this 2018 list for two major reasons: Earlier this year, she delivered the Spanish response to the 2018 State of the Union Address. She also is taking part in the new initiative between the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators and Rutgers University called the Latinas Lead Initiative whose goal is to recruit and train Latinas for office.

“All of the Latinas who are running for local office, we didn’t know about each other. We all had our own campaign strategies,” Guzman said to NBC News. “Finding Latinas who are willing to help is important, to be there and take our success and failures. Trying to come up with a strategy. We are famous for working hard.”


Read: Latinas Are Rejoicing Over Indigenous ‘Roma’ Star Yalitza Aparicio’s Appearance On The Cover Of Vogue Mexico

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The Spanish ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Is Being Shared To Honor Hispanic Workers Fighting COVID-19

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The Spanish ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Is Being Shared To Honor Hispanic Workers Fighting COVID-19

There’s no denying that the world looks a lot different now than it did in 1947. And while the list of all of the positive changes that the decades stretching between now and then have done for the world and minorities, a recent campaign is also highlighting the ways in which our current president could take some notes on certain values the United States held dear during this time. Particularly ones that had been pressed for by one of our former presidents.

As part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Good Neighbor Policy” effort, he worked to promote positive and healthy relations between the United States in Latin American countries.

At the time Rooseveltaimed to ensure that the North, Central and South American countries avoided breaking under the influence of Axis countries during World War II. As part of this campaign, Roosevelt comissioned a Spanish and a Portuguese version of the U.S. national anthem. According to Time Magazine he also “recruited Hollywood to participate in this Good Neighbor Policy; Walt Disney went on goodwill tour of South America, hoping to find a new market for his films, and ended up producing two movies inspired by the trip: Saludos Amigos (1942) and The Three Caballeros (1944). The Brazilian star Carmen Miranda also got a boost, and her role in The Gang’s All Here made her even more famous in the U.S. And alongside these cross-cultural exchanges, the U.S. government decided it needed an anthem that could reach Spanish speakers.”

According to NPR, Clotilde Arias, wrote wrote the translation at the end of World War II, was born in the small Peruvian city, Iquitos in 1901 and moved to New York City to become a composer when she was 22-years-old. Her version of the anthem is now part of an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Now in an effort to support Latino communities affected by the coronavirus, the non-profit We Are All Human Foundation’s Hispanic Star campaign commissioned the a remake of the song.

Hoping to raise awareness of its Hispanic Recovery Plan and efforts to help to connect Hispanic small businesses and workers with resources during the pandemic, the campaign brought the old recording from obscurity.

For the song, the 2019 winner of the singing competition La Voz,  Jeidimar Rijos, performed “El Pendón Estrellado.” Or, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” 

The song has already received quite a bit of comments and support on Youtube.

Hang in there, fam. We can only get through this together.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Delivered an Impassioned Speech After the ‘Green New Deal’ Failed to Pass in the House

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Delivered an Impassioned Speech After the ‘Green New Deal’ Failed to Pass in the House

Those of you who have been following Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s career closely know that the “Green New Deal” has been a cornerstone of her platform since taking office in January. The “Green New Deal” is, according to the Sierra Club, a piece of legislation that aims to “mobilize vast public resources to help [the US] transition from an economy built on exploitation and fossil fuels to one driven by dignified work and clean energy.” On Tuesday, the Senate voted against passing the legislation by a margin of 0-57–an outcome that was largely expected.

What was unexpected, however, was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s reaction to a fellow House member who dismissed the trailblazing bill as one that would only benefit “rich liberals.”

“If you are a rich liberal from maybe New York or California [the Green New Deal] sounds great,” Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin (R) stated. “Because you can afford to retrofit your home or build a new home that has a zero emissions, that is energy efficient, affordable and safe.”

Needless to say, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez did not view the goal of reducing carbon emissions as a liberal fantasy in the same way Rep. Duffy did.

When it was her turn to speak at the committee hearing, Ocasio-Cortez didn’t mince words in her rebuttal.

“When we talk about the concern for the environment as an elitist concern, one year ago I was waitressing in a taco shop in downtown Manhattan,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “This is not an elitist issue. This is a quality of life issue. You want to tell people that their concern and their desire for clean air and clean water is elitist? Tell that to the kids in the South Bronx which are suffering from the highest rates of childhood asthma in the country. Tell that to the families in Flint…Call them elitist…People are dying!”

After the journalist and liberal media personality Brian Tyler Cohen Tweeted out the video to his 43,000 followers, the video quickly went viral–garnering more than 8 million views and 64,000 retweets in less than 24 hours.

Latinas, as usual, took to Twitter to support Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez…

The reaction on Twitter proves that combating climate change is not an issue that only effects elite liberals.

In fact, many Latinas view climate change as one of the most pressing issues in politics today.

@AOC Thank you for being a voice of reason. Your words come from the heart of many Americans who believe in helping our fellow man; who believe that clean water and air for ALL is top of the list of Congressional concerns. We MUST save the planet.— Janet (@SurruscoJanet) March 27, 2019

According to environmental scientists, the clock is ticking when it comes to both reducing and preventing humanity’s negative environmental impact.

Many Latinas experience first hand that negative consequences of the climate change crisis.

We, the people of communities like the Bronx where @AOC represents and the 7th where @AyannaPressley represents and the 5th Suffolk, where I represent are the original EJ warriors. We have been poisoned 4 generations w/ bad air, water & land. It’s not elitist, its righteous.— Rep. Liz Miranda (@lizforma) March 27, 2019

In fact, the affects of climate change disproportionately impact low-income Americans who are often displaced due to the destruction of unusual environmental occurrences.

Of course, there were those Latinas who were just ecstatic that they finally felt truly represented by a Representative.

All. Of. This! #AOC is my voice! @AOC represents my voice and my concerns for this country!!!! https://t.co/Ek8q3O36Q6— Alicia Figliuolo / adotfig on ig (@AliciaFigliuolo) March 27, 2019

It’s not every day that Latinas feel that their voices are being heard by politicians.

Some Twitter users reminded everyone that the devastating effects of climate change should not tainted by partisan politics.

The real question should be how ignorant are those old white men who don’t understand that #climatechange is real and will destroy humanity. #ScienceisReal We know the answer, they are driven by #Greed #GreenNewDeal— Michele Garron (@bassm67) March 27, 2019

Facts should not be made into a Republican vs. Democratic issue. The negative impacts of climate change are widely accepted by the scientific community.

Although the Green New Deal didn’t pass in the Senate, we’re very sure that this isn’t the end of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s fight against climate change.

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