Written by Victoria Cepeda
Revised 9/30/10 by Efrain Nieves
In a year of Midterm elections, we wanted to highlight some of our political achievements, as a community, in the hopes to demonstrate that together we can indeed make a difference. It is my opinion that these accomplishments are the byproduct of our determination and hard work . By uniting to get the message across, Latinos can achieve great milestones. Regardless of how some may perceive us to be, we are strong, thriving and growing. Yes, as it’s the case with any family, we are bound to have our ‘bad seeds’ but overwhelmingly we can boast of having disciplined and hardworking “children” representing in a positive way.
Here are two recent milestones and accomplishments that merit our acknowledgment and recognition.
- Victor Ramirez became the first Latino state senator in Maryland defeating David Harrington. He was born is Salvador and was elected state delegate in 2003. He has also served as a member of the Special Committee on Higher Education Affordability and Accessibility from 2003-2004. In 2007 Ramirez proposed a bill allowing undocumented students to attend college paying in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities.
- Chicago city clerk Miguel del Valle announced he will be in the run for mayor in the windy city. If elected he will be the first Latino mayor of Chicago. The 59 year old Puerto Rican is a former Illinois state senator from 1987 until 2006. In 2007, del Valle won election for city clerk becoming the first Latino to be elected in a city-wide office. He founded the Illinois Association of Hispanic Employees as well as many other Latino organizations in the state.
- According to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO)’s article “Latinos Achieve New Political Milestones in Congress and State Houses”, much to the contrary of what it may seem, the number of Latino elected officials has climbed steadily over the past eleven years, with significant increases are noticeable in regions outside the traditional centers of Latino population with Latinos serving in 43 states in 2007, up from 34 in 1996. There are now Latino elected officials serving in nine states – Alaska, Georgia, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia – where eleven years ago there were none. The number one example, thus far, has been Sonia Sotomayor’s appointment to the Supreme Court’. She became the 111th justice, its first Hispanic, and its third female justice.
What other events or milestones do you believe we should celebrate?
Keep pounding familia.
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