Rep. McNerney Leads Bipartisan Effort to Save the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

In response to President Donald Trump’s proposal to defund the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) led two bipartisan letters to the House Appropriations Committee imploring Congress to fund the MBDA in the FY2018 appropriations, and recommending that MBDA provide an annual policy report to Congress to address gaps in equity between minority and non-minority owned firms. Continue reading Rep. McNerney Leads Bipartisan Effort to Save the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

LinkedIn

Remembering Martin Luther King Jr. and His Support of the Latino Community

More than 50 years after Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, his words continue to resonate with communities of color. As a leader in the civil rights movement, we often discuss the integral role he played in advancing the causes of African Americans. But what we don’t often discuss is how he also inspired and mobilized Latinos across the United States.

As Raul Yzaguirre, the former president of the National Council of La Raza, told the Associated Press, MLK’s speech pushed him to advocate for more than just Latinos. “Although the focus was on the African-American community at the time, I think his thoughts, his sense of justice resonated with those of us who had perhaps a broader sense of inclusion, who wanted Latinos and Native Americans and other minorities to be an integral part of a civil rights movement,” he said.

And two years after the March on Washington – which showed many the effects of organizing on a large scale – the 1965 voting rights marches in Selma further showed them the power of grass-roots organizing. And reflecting on King’s legacy 10 years after his death, Chavez wrote in Maryknoll Magazine that the civil rights leader led the way through his nonviolence, which inspired the United Farm Workers’ philosophy.

“It has been our experience that few men or women ever have the opportunity to know the true satisfaction that comes with giving one’s life totally in the nonviolent struggle for justice,” he wrote. “Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of these unique servants and from him we learned many of the lessons that have guided us. For these lessons and for his sacrifice for the poor and oppressed, Dr. King’s memory will be cherished in the hearts of the farm workers forever.”

Continue onto Remezcla to read about how Martin Luther King Jr. advocated for the Latino community.

LinkedIn

‘It’s About Time’: Catherine Cortez Masto, 1st Latina U.S. Senator Sworn In

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto brought Latinos forward hundreds of years Tuesday as she was sworn in to the U.S. Senate, becoming the first Latina and first Mexican American woman to do so.

“It’s about time,” Cortez Masto said in the hallway outside the Senate chamber just before taking her oath.”I look forward to using my voice.”

Vice President Joe Biden stood directly in front of Cortez Masto, D-Nev., as he read the oath to her and three other senators – all senators were sworn in groups of four. She was escorted in by the now former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid who is passing the baton of representing Nevada to her.

Cortez Masto carried with her a Bible that she said was given to her by her aunt who had sponsored her for her confirmation, a Catholic religious rite.

“I have always said it’s important to have diversity in the United States Senate,” said the freshman Senator.

Several family members and friends joined Cortez Masto at the Capitol for her ceremony. Her mother Joanna was with her at the ceremonial swearing in, where members and their family get to take the oath one on one with the vice president. When Cortez’s mother walked up to Biden, the vice president said he wanted to know what she was drinking, which at first seemed to take some family members aback. But Biden followed with a compliment that she looked young enough to be Cortez Masto’s sister.

“It’s the most amazing day of our lives. I’ve waited a long time for this. I’m not disappointed,” Joanna Cortez said. Asked if she had expected her daughter would one day walk the halls of Congress, she said. “Do I have to be truthful? No I didn’t really. It’s always a wish a parent has for her children, although I never thought I’d be around to see it.”

Continue onto NBC News to read the complete article.

LinkedIn

LAPD’s 1st Latina Commander, Cancer Survivor Marches in Rose Bowl Parade

Los Angeles Police Department Commander Anne Clark is the first Latina to hold that job in the force, and she made this historic accomplishment while undergoing radiation therapy to battle cancer. In Monday’s iconic Rose Bowl Parade, Commander Clark marched to draw attention to the disease and to thank those who have helped her.

In August 2014, doctors found a mass in Clark’s chest. She was diagnosed with stage-1 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The cancer diagnosis was scary, especially for her young son. Clark underwent four months of chemotherapy, then follow-up radiation therapy. It was grueling, and she suffered from massive headaches and barely was able to eat. But the treatment was successful and she has been in remission ever since.

“If you’re going to have cancer, it’s a good one to have,” Clark joked. “It is my understanding that it is one of the most well studied forms of cancer, and the standard of care and treatment is well established.”

While in the last legs of her treatment in February 2015, Clark learned that after nearly 30 years with the LAPD, she had been promoted to Commander, the first Hispanic woman to hold this position in the force.

“I got the phone call when I was off finishing my cancer treatment, which is even more remarkable,” Clark said. “I came back to work in February 2015 into the rank of Commander with a whole new set of responsibilities.”

“I am incredible grateful for the emotional support I received from the force — from the chief down,” Clark said. Members of the force volunteered to take her to treatments and were a big source of help and encouragement.

Clark decided to take her experiences as a Latina and cancer survivor and march with the City of Hope, a cancer research fund, in the Rose Bowl Parade. She wanted to highlight the work of her oncologist and the LAPD.

“I want to put a human face to us,” Clark said. “I think sometimes that gets lost in the contemporary media message. I want to show that those of us in uniform end up having cancer like anyone else. We have struggles like any other human being.”

Read the complete article on NBC News.

LinkedIn