politics

She Is A Peruvian Immigrant And One Of The New Women Running Things In Government. Meet Elizabeth Guzman

Elizabeth Guzman made history this month when she became one of two Latinas to ever be elected to the Virginia House of Delegates. She is joined by Hala Ayala in breaking that glass ceiling in Virginia, and she did it for all the right reasons. The Peruvian immigrant successfully unseated Scott Lingamfelter, a Republican who had been the delegate representing Virginia’s 31st district since 2002 and championed anti-immigrant legislation. Guzman spoke with FIERCE about why she joined politics and what pushed her to keep going.

The results of the 2016 election had a very powerful impact on Virginia Delegate-elect Elizabeth Guzman and her family.

She recalls a moment after President Trump’s electoral win when her 9-year-old son told her their family needs to flee the country because they spoke Spanish. That pushed her to run for office, and kept her going throughout her campaign.

“I knew I had to stay in this race more than ever. I need to fight for my children,” Guzman says. “I need to fight for the children who look like them because they’re American.”

The fear felt by her children and community motivated her to fight for her place at the table.

Elizabeth Guzman for Delegate / Facebook

Guzman first got the urge to go into politics during her time as a Bernie Sanders delegate.

“One of the things that he said when he did his concession speech was that we need to continue the revolution,” Guzman recalls.

This assured her that no election, be it at a state or local level, could ever go uncontested again.

“We need to fight for every single seat so we can make a difference,” she says.

It wasn’t uncommon for the delegate-elect to hear derogatory language about immigrants from leaders in her county and home state.

Those words along with President Trump’s claims that immigrants bring in violence and drugs and undermine American workers, and the anti-immigrant voting record of her opponent Scott Lingamfelter, spurred her to take action. Guzman became determined to change the narrative.

The delegate-elect wants Latinas to know that their voice is more important than ever.

For her, the historic victories of women from marginalized communities around the country is proof that more women need to engage with their elected officials directly. Latinos and Latinas need to speak for themselves on the issues that affect them.

“I think it’s important because our role is to explain to elected officials and legislators what our values are as Latinas,” Guzman says. “Elected officials and legislators should hear from Latinos and not some third party people who are not immigrants. They just don’t know the experience so they need to hear from us.”

One of Guzman’s key objectives is ensuring the representation of the diverse communities and cultures that make up the state of Virginia.

Elizabeth Guzman for Delegate / Facebook

When the newly elected delegates in Virginia head to work in January, Guzman’s expects deeper, more inclusive conversations that reflect that diversity of individuals elected to office as well as the state as a whole. She believes this crop of delegates, with their different professions, class backgrounds and ethnicities, will bring productive legislation that positively impacts all Virginians. Guzman hopes to work amongst individuals who got into politics in order to make a real difference, as opposed to gain power within the rat race.

To the women concerned by the state of politics right now, Guzman’s message is to keep up the good fight, raise their voice and work to create the change they believe the world needs.

Elizabeth Guzman for Delegate / Facebook

“Women are multifaceted by nature,” she says. “We can do anything we want when we do things that we are passionate about.”


READ: Everyone Is Still Talking About The 13 Women Who Made History In Last Week’s Election, Including The Three Latinas

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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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A 9-Year-Old Girl Was Detained By Border Patrol On Her Way To School

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A 9-Year-Old Girl Was Detained By Border Patrol On Her Way To School

A 9-year-old U.S. citizen was separated from her mother for 36 hours after agents at the border accused her of lying about her citizenship.

Like thousands of students in our country, Julia Isabel Amparo Medina’s daily commute requires her to cross the U.S. border.

The fourth-grade student attends Nicoloff Elementary School in San Ysidro, California and was in a carpool to school from her home in Tijuana when she ran into traffic. Medina, was commuting to school in a car driven by her mother’s friend Michelle Cardena, Cardena’s two children and her own older 14-year-old brother, Oscar. When the long line to get into the U.S. seemed to be jampacked upon their 4 a.m arrival, Cardenas instructed the kids in her car to walk to the border. She assured them that when they reached it, she would call them an Uber to get them the rest of the way to their school.

But Medina and her never made it across the border or to school that day.

According to the New York Times who talked to a Customs and Border Protection spokesman, two Amparo and her brother arrived at one of the San Ysidro port of entry facilities for pedestrians at 10:15 a.m. last Monday.

Upon their arrival, Amparo and her brother presented their U.S. passports to a CBP officer who soon accused her of being someone else. Note: Amparo’s passport image which was taken years before so she did not look exactly like herself. They also accused her brother of smuggling.

A CBP spokesperson has said that Amparo “provided inconsistent information during her inspection, and CBP officers took the 9-year-old into custody to perform due diligence in confirming her identity and citizenship.”

After CBP officers the confirmed that her brother was a U.S. citizen, he was permitted to enter the U.S while his sister stayed behind. It wasn’t until 6:30 pm on Tuesday, that Amparo was confirmed to be a U.S. citizen as well and was released and admitted to the U.S. to her mother.

Speaking to NBC7, Amparo said she was “scared” of her detention and that she was “sad because I didn’t have my mom or my brother. I was completely by myself.”

According to Amparo’s mother Thelma Galaxia, her daughter claims that she was told by an officer that she and her brother would be released if she admitted to being her cousin. Galaxia claims that officers also convinced her son Oscar to sign a document that Amparo was his cousin and not his sister.

When Galaxia was alerted that her children had been detained she contacted the Mexican consulate.

After being notified by the consulate that her daughter would be released at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. While the family felt relieved to be grateful to be reunited with their daughter, Galaxia says the separation should never have happened.

Over the weekend, Twitter was swift to express their outrage over the incident.

Some even expressed their dismay of having a similar situation happen to them.

Many are using the incident as an example of the racial issues plaguing so many U.S. citizens like Amparo.

So many of the comments included outside opinions from those who have yet to experience the direct targetting of ICE.

Over all, nearly everyone was quick to point out the saddest aspect of Amparo’s experience.

Read: Preschool Students Are Doing Active Shooter Drills And I Guess This Is The New Normal Now

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