Friday, June 1, 2012

Latina labor leader recognized for her contributions to America

Dolores Huerta was recently recognized by President Barack Obama when he presented her with the Medal of Freedom, the highest award given to a civilian for their contributions to American society.  The Public Broadcast System interviewed this great leader before she received the Medal.  Here is that interview:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

From one Latina to another, Solis comments on Huerta's Medal

Statement by Secretary Solis on Dolores Huerta receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom

WASHINGTON D.C.  -- Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today issued the following statement regarding the selection of Dolores Huerta for the Presidential Medal of Freedom: 

"As a young girl growing up in La Puente, Calif., I was mesmerized by images of Dolores Huerta. I remember seeing in the newspaper the iconic photo of her holding up the HUELGA sign and seeing her on television, standing behind Robert F. Kennedy just seconds before he was assassinated. 

"I thought she was beautiful, with a mane of raven-colored hair, eyes that danced, and a soft, sweet voice that carried an extraordinary message whenever she spoke to crowds. But for me, her true beauty came from the inside. She lived an authentic life, in service to others. Her passion was and is justice. She has for more than half a century dedicated her life to helping the men and women who harvest America's fields. She has advocated for non-violent protest and has taught people that they have both the personal power and the responsibility to work together to improve their lives. Back then, I never dreamed that I would ever meet her, let alone have the honor of calling her my friend.

"I don't know if Dolores inspired me to become a public servant, but I do know that she inspired -- and insisted -- that I become the best public servant I could be. We got to know each other in the early 1990s, when I was in the California State Legislature. Wherever there was injustice . . . Dolores was there. I remember one of our first meetings as if it were yesterday: I was serving in the State Senate and working with a group of female farmworkers who were organizing a union. There were reports of violence during the campaign, and Dolores came to my office in Sacramento to see me. 

"She showed me a video of a man brutally throwing an entire crate of strawberries on the head of a woman working in the fields. When the video concluded, she looked up at me and simply said, 'We need to do something. Let's get to work.' And we did, crafting legislation and collaborating closely with the Agricultural Labor Relations Board in California. Our efforts made a difference. 

"Dolores was no stranger to acts of violence or threats of intimidation against her. At the age of 58, she was beaten and nearly killed by a San Francisco police officer during a non-violent and lawful protest. She suffered broken bones but never a broken spirit. 

"Today, President Obama will honor her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for a lifetime dedicated to workers' rights and social justice. She joins the ranks of other luminaries throughout history, including Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Teresa, who have received this much-deserved honor. 

"At 82 years young, Dolores still continues to empower people through the Dolores Huerta Foundation, which organizes low-income immigrant communities in the Central San Joaquin Valley for better access to education, health care, fair lending and a cleaner environment. Her passion for justice has expanded to include women's equality, reproductive rights and LGBT issues. Her dancing eyes and sweet voice continue to inspire people across the country and around the world, just like they did for a young girl from La Puente who grew up to be the first Latina in a president's Cabinet. Today, she is my mentor, adviser and wonderful friend. And she is still beautiful." 

SOURCE U.S. Department of Labor

Monday, March 26, 2012

Latina Congresswoman could face callenge in reelection

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez Could Be Challenged By Puerto Rican

The New York Puerto Rican congresswoman defends her performance

by José A. Delgado |, El Nuevo Día (March 25, 2012)

WASHINGTON - Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, who is Puerto Rican, could face the challenge of a New York City Councilman of Puerto Rican origin, en route to the Democratic primary next June 26.

Councilman Eric Martin Dilan, whose father, Martin Malave Dilan, was born in Puerto Rico and is a New York State Senator, has announced his intention to challenge Velázquez for the federal seat she occupies in the lower house of the US Congress, which was redistricted after the 2010 Census.

Two other lesser-known candidates intend to run for the position.

Being a predominantly Democratic district, with a strong boricua and Dominican base, the winner of the primary would be virtually assured election to the United States House of Representatives in the November general election.

Velazquez's district - which has included areas of Brooklyn, Queens and a portion of lower Manhattan - was added an area with a high Jewish population, where the Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair and an ally of Dilan, Vito Lopez, is very strong politically, political commentator Angelo Falcón told El Nuevo Dia today.

Although Dilan has the support of the Democratic machine of Brooklyn, Velazquez has two decades in office and is long-established, said Falcón, president of the National Institute for Latino Policy (NILP), with offices in New York.

About 43% of the population of the Velazquez' district is Hispanic.

"As I move around the district and I ask people what has been her greatest achievement, people do not have an answer," Dilan said, according to the local cable TV news station "New York 1."

Velazquez, however, defends her performance and welcomed the possible challenge.

"I'm very proud of my record. It is his prerogative, but it will be an interesting experience for Dilan, "said Velazquez, who was the first and, so far, only Puerto Rican woman in Congress.

She was also the first Hispanic woman to chair a committee of the House of Representatives. She is currently the ranking minority party member on the Small Business Committee, which she headed from 2007 to 2010.

"No matter who the challenger, she's a formidable incumbent, a reformer in her county," said Falcón, who noted that Velazquez has a clean record as a government official.

Another who could face a primary challenge is Congressman Charles Rangel, a Democrat from a district that includes parts of upper Manhattan and the Bronx.

State Senator Adriano Espaillat, who is Dominican-born, has indicated that he is considering a challenge to the veteran Rangel, who has spent four decades in Congress and whose image has been affected after being censured by the full federal lower house, after it was determined that he incurred ethical violations.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Latina to challenge Eggman in 13th Assembly District

Paderes stakes claim to Assembly race

Xochitl Paderes.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
TRACY, CA -- Challenges are nothing new for Xochitl Paderes. The Tracy native had her first child at the age of 15, earned top-secret clearance while in the Marine Corps and has a job streamlining the state’s bureaucracy.

Now, she’s taking on Stockton Democrat Susan Eggman for a seat in the state Assembly.

Paderes declared earlier this year that she seeks to represent Tracy, Mountain House and the rest of the 13th Assembly District. And the Democrat who’s volunteered with the Stockton Shelter for the Homeless, Tracy Interfaith Ministries and the Guadalupe Center in South Side Tracy says her roots are vital to giving the region the representation it deserves.

“(I hear) local leaders growing increasingly concerned about a growing distance between elected leaders and the Central Valley,” Paderes said, adding that while Stockton is the district’s largest city, it’s not the only one that matters.

“People need to know each issue that comes from the city (of Stockton) is just as important as those that come from others.”

The 36-year-old mother of three who calls Stockton home doesn’t have experience as an elected official. But Paderes says her experience with software and technology for the California Department of Fish and Game gives her insight into state government that few representatives have.

Paderes said that while many elected leaders have no idea about the state’s numerous commissions, boards and audit process, she has a firsthand look at the inefficiencies that can hold back government.

“(I have) a whole different level of experience … and perspective that a lot of people don’t have,” Paderes said.

Her work developing software to streamline the fiscal process for the fish and game department has its roots in her four years of active military service. At the Pentagon, she worked in communications and network engineering, including work on the World Wide Web when it was still in its infancy.

But, she said, her motivation for joining the military was her first child — and having someone tell her that she wouldn’t be able to cut it as a Marine.

“My decision to join the Marine Corps was because I wanted to be a responsible mother to my son,” she said, adding that her family was hugely supportive.

Now, the 36-year-old’s first child is 20 years old, and she is married and has two more children, ages 15 and 10.

And it’s her family, past and present, that have inspired her to serve, Paderes said, citing her World War II veteran grandfather’s remark that he was only fighting “to protect and serve.”

“My desire isn’t to be a politician,” Paderes said, “it’s to continue serving my community.”

Policy-wise, Paderes said she recognizes the importance of strong public schools, and that there need to be “strategic and achievable goals” with the state budget.

Though she supports a tax increase proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown, she called it a short-term fix to a wide-ranging problem, and suggested that raising taxes alone isn’t going to solve the problem.

“We’re putting duct tape on a bucket that’s filled with holes,” she said.

Paderes also rejects the idea of building a peripheral canal or tunnel to send water around, not through, the lower reaches of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, an estuary that provides water for part of San Joaquin County’s $1 billion-a-year agriculture industry.

As of last week, the California Secretary of State’s website, Paderes, had no campaign contributions to report as of the most recent filing deadline.

However, the candidate’s website claims endorsements from the Tracy Police Officers Association, California Nurses’ Association and California Professional Firefighters.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Latina Scout leader to be recognized by US Hispanic Chamber

Hispanic Business reports that The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce today announced it would honor Anna Maria Chávez with its 2012 Chairman's Award at an event titled "A Celebration of Women Entrepreneurship in America" during the Chamber's Legislative Summit gala. The Summit will take place in Washington, D.C., on March 21-23, 2012.
The annual gala honors and recognizes the affect that Hispanic businesswomen have in America.
The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman Nina Vaca said: "The annual Chairman's Award is presented to an individual who stands out as a leading advocate of Hispanic entrepreneurship in America. Through her work with the Girl Scouts, the nation's largest organization for girls, Anna Maria Chávez is a true inspiration for young women in America and continues to help shape tomorrow's leaders through innovative and supportive programs."
Chávez said that she is "deeply honored to accept the The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's 2012 Chairman's Award."
"I am especially honored because entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills are essential components of the Girl Scout experience," she added. "The Girl Scout Cookie Program alone is the largest girl-led business in the country providing immeasurable benefits to girls and their communities. We reach girls from every sector of society and empower them to realize their full potential as leaders—as young women who have the courage and confidence to make our world a better place. I look forward to a future in which our young girls will be standing in my place for their remarkable and meaningful achievements."
The Girl Scout Cookie Program generates more than $750 million in sales. It aims to teach the Girl Scouts five essential business skills: goal setting, decision-making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. The Girl Scouts organization says that it has nearly 325,000 Hispanic Girl Scouts and adult volunteers, an increase of more than 50% in the past decade.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

An online place for Latina moms

CafeMom Announces Founding Corporate Sponsors for Mamas Latinas, Its New Bilingual Online Destination for Hispanic Moms
Top Hispanic Industry Veterans Hired for Key Leadership Positions

--  CafeMom has announced the launch partners for Mamas Latinas (, its web destination catering to Hispanic moms which will launch in January, 2012. Moms can now pre-register at and view a series of "Soy Mama Latina" videos featuring Latina moms sharing their unique stories and perspectives on raising their children in the U.S.

Founding partners include Chevrolet, General Mills, Kmart, and Sears. To support the new website, CafeMom also announced several key hires for the Mamas Latinas executive team.

"We are thrilled to be launching Mamas Latinas in collaboration with these great brands that have been consistently committed to reaching and connecting with Hispanic consumers," said CafeMom CEO, Michael Sanchez. "With the support of these companies, we look forward to creating a groundbreaking destination that will add value to the lives of millions of Hispanic moms."

Founding partners will be fundamentally integrated into the site experience, adding value to moms' lives through the development of active communities, compelling content, and great deals. Word of mouth initiatives and private insights platforms add to the level of custom programs, unprecedented in Hispanic marketing.

"Both Kmart and Sears recognize how critical Hispanic moms are to the success of our businesses," said Andrew Stein, VP of Marketing Planning for Sears and Kmart. "By 2014, one in four moms online will be Hispanic - as an influential and underserved group of consumers we want to make sure we fill their specialized needs. We are delighted to partner with CafeMom and Mamas Latinas to deliver this compelling platform for this important consumer."

Leading the effort is Mamas Latinas Co-founder and EVP Lucia Ballas-Traynor, a 25-year Hispanic media veteran who has been at the helm of leading brands such as Univision's Galavision, MTV Tr3s and most recently People en Espanol, the top selling Hispanic magazine in the U.S. Three well-known industry leaders will join Ballas-Traynor on the executive team. -- Johanna Torres -- Editor-in-Chief -- is a leading multi-media editor, journalist and producer with deep experience in the U.S. Hispanic media market. Torres has served as Editor-in-Chief for national publications like Ser Padres and Lamaze, and as Founding Editor of Meredith's Siempre Mujer magazine, one of the top three leading Hispanic magazines in the U.S. Torres also founded Mi Blogazine, a lifestyle blog for Latinas. She also serves as Lifestyle Expert and Blogger for outlets such as AOL Latino, and regularly appears as a guest on CNN en Espanol's NotiMujer, Univision, Telemundo, and Yahoo's De Moda.

-- Stacey C. Rivera -- Managing Editor
-- joins the team from Latina Media Ventures, where she worked as Digital Content Director, responsible for the day-to-day management of, the website owned by Latina magazine, the leading English-language lifestyle magazine for Hispanic women. Rivera's work with top Latino celebrities to create original video and social media content lead to significant increases in traffic to During her career, Rivera has served as managing editor at Hallmark Magazine, Stuff magazine, and Hamptons Country.
-- Andrea Slodowicz -- VP, Marketing -- is a Hispanic industry leader in consumer communication and innovation. As VP Director of Strategy and Content Development for Starcom MediaVest Group Multicultural, Slodowicz was responsible for the development of award-winning, ownable ideas and custom implementation for top 500 advertisers, such as Kraft, Post, Avon, Comcast, Heineken, and Wendy's. During her 10 year tenure with the agency, she also directed strategic media planning across Tapestry and MV42's for an esteemed client roster. Slodowicz has been recognized for her innovative multicultural marketing with numerous prestigious awards including AdAgeMagazine's "25 Twenty Somethings" and Media Magazine's "The New Media DNA".

"I am delighted to lead a team of such seasoned and talented Hispanic market veterans," says Ballas-Traynor. "They all have a deep understanding of Hispanic moms as well as what kind of conversations, content and offerings that engage and moves them. Most importantly, they are all as passionate as I am about the opportunity to create a rich destination where Hispanic moms can connect over their common culture, heritage, and life experiences."

About Mamas Latinas: Launching in January 2012, Mamas Latinas is poised to become the leading and most trusted bilingual online destination dedicated to connecting, informing, entertaining and empowering Latina moms by super-serving their culturally unique interests and needs. At the core of Mamas Latinas will be a dynamic community offering, engaging and targeted editorial content, and entertaining diversions like games.

About CafeMom: Launched in late 2006, CafeMom is the number one site on the internet for moms and the premier strategic marketing partner to brands that want to reach moms in a rapidly changing digital environment. CafeMom reaches more than 9MM unique visitors per month on and 23MM+ unique visitors per month on CafeMom Plus (comScore, Sept. 2011), a boutique network of sites that reach moms and parents. CafeMom is also the leader in developing custom programs for top brands that want to connect with and understand moms online. In May 2011, CafeMom extended its offering beyond community and content and into commerce by launching, a local daily deals site targeted to moms and their families. CafeMom lead investors are Highland Capital Partners and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. The company was founded by Andrew Shue and Michael Sanchez.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Latina appointed to Education Board

Lockheed Martin Vice President Maria E. Ruess Confirmed to Barry Goldwater Foundation Board of Trustees

WASHINGTON, D.C.  -- Maria E. Ruess, a Lockheed Martin vice president of business development, will serve on the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation Board of Trustees. She was nominated by President Barack Obama in May and recently confirmed by the Senate.

Since joining Lockheed Martin in 1999, Ruess has held various positions of increasing responsibility in business development, program management, engineering and finance. In May, Ruess was named vice president for international business development and strategy within the Mission Systems & Sensors business, headquartered in Washington, D.C.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation was formed by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry M. Goldwater. The organization encourages outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering and awards scholarships to undergraduate sophomores and juniors from the U.S.

Ruess has more than 20 years of experience supporting professional development with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). A former teacher at Saint Bernard's High School in Los Angeles and a Hands on Science Outreach volunteer at her local school, Ruess continues to mentor students through organizations such as the Hispanic College Fund and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, and is a board member of Great Minds in STEM(TM). She is also an active leader in many Lockheed Martin organizations including the Women's Success Forum, the Executive Diversity Council and the Hispanic Mentoring and Leadership Association, as well as the chair of the Hispanic Leadership council.

Ruess was honored as one of the Most Influential Hispanics in Technology and Business from Career Communications Group, Inc. at a ceremony this summer. In 2009, she received the Pioneer Award from Great Minds in STEM, a non-profit organization that focuses on STEM educational awareness programs for students from kindergarten to careers.

Ruess received her bachelor's degree in engineering from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Cali, Colombia, and earned her master's of business administration from George Washington University.

Lockheed Martin invests heavily in STEM education programs. In 2010 alone, the Corporation spent more than $12 million on K-12 and higher education programs and scholarships. Lockheed Martin employees also volunteered nearly 200,000 hours in education-related activities. Overall, Lockheed Martin delivered standards-based, STEM-related curriculum to 3.5 million students through direct classroom engagement of its employees and strategic education partnerships with NASA, National Geographic, and the National Science Foundation.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation's 2010 sales from continuing operations were $45.8 billion.

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SOURCE Lockheed Martin