Hispanic Heritage Month

Thursday, September 18, 2014 Written by 
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Hispanic Political Power Rising


 In March of this year, Hispanics officially became America’s most populous group.  Making up 39% of the of the U.S. population, they have edged past non-Hispanic whites (the next most populous group) who comprise 38.8%.


 Politically, Hispanics represent the fastest growing ethnic voting bloc nationwide, according to TheGuardian.com. The Latino electorate is expected to double within a generation.


As Hispanic American voters have grown, so have those elected to represent them. 


 Today, there are 37 Hispanics or Latinos serving in Congress and 4 serving in the Senate—a record number. 


 The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) was founded in December 1976 as a legislative service organization of the United States House of Representatives to support the advocacy of issues affecting Hispanic communities.  Congressman Xavier Becerra (34th District) and Congresswoman Amanda Renteria (21st District) are two of California’s finest.


 Xavier Becerra


First elected into the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992, Congressman Xavier Becerra has used his leadership to advocate for working families and small business owners, combat poverty, improve the Social Security program for women and minorities, and strengthen Medicare. He was the first Latino to serve on the Committee on Ways and Means, serves as the Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security, and was elected the fourth ranking Democrat in the House as the Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.


As the first university graduate in his family, Congressman Becerra understands the importance of working-class families and their impact within our communities. He has committed himself to the establishment of the National Museum of the American Latino to ensure that people remember and celebrate the history of America’s diverse communities.


 Amanda Renteria


Amanda is the daughter of farmworkers -- her dad is an immigrant from Zacatecas, Mexico, and her mom is from Lindsay, California. As the first Latina in history to serve as Chief of Staff in the United States Senate, Amanda Renteria has dedicated herself to public service. With a motivation to help others and serve her community, Amanda serves on the Advisory Board of Stanford University’s Haas Center for Public Service. She is also a frequent speaker and panelist for young professionals’ groups and other community-based organizations.


 In 2010, Amanda was named Outstanding Chief of Staff by the Tri-Caucus Staff Association. She was also chosen by her peers to serve on the steering committee of the Bipartisan Chiefs of Staff group. In 2009, she received the Imagen Foundation’s Latina Leaders Award, and in 2011, she received MANA’s Primera Award for being the first Latina Chief of Staff in the US Senate. Her hard work and perseverance for the betterment of her community has been well displayed through her projects, involvement, and legislature.


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