Things That Matter

These Latinos Are Going To Play A Major Role In Disrupting Politics In 2019 And Beyond

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One of the biggest misconceptions in U.S. politics is implying that all Latino voters have the same political inclination. First and second generation, Mexicans, Cubans, Venezuelans, Dominicans, and Puerto Ricans are often thrown into the same basket, which is a grave political mistake.

Truth is that the Latino vote is diverse: some voters defend migrant rights while others question what they call “cue jumpers”. Some align with what the Democrats do in terms of foreign policy, while others defend the hard line that Republicans often have against regimes such as Maduro’s in Venezuela or the echoes of the Castro dynasty in Cuba. Truth is that the Latinos make up about 17 percent of the U.S. population. According to the Pew Center, 69 percent of Latinos voted for the Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections, while 29 percent voted for Republicans, and Latinas voted overwhelmingly for Democrats in a 73-26 percent ratio versus Republicans.

The race is on.

Leading up to the 2020 presidential election (believe us, it is closer than you might think!), here’s 20 Latino politicians you should keep your eye on.

1. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, United States Representative

Political Party: Democratic Party

Credit: Facebook. @Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Did you know? She is the youngest woman ever elected to the House of Representatives. She is also one of the most vocal opponents to the Trump Era. She has not been afraid of speaking out against the POTUS, even calling him a racist in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

2. Julian Castro, Former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Political Party: Democratic Party

Credit: Instagram. @secretarycastro

Did you know? He is one of the many Democrats who is waiting to hear on what Joe Biden plans to do for 2020. He was one of the youngest and most dynamic members of the Obama administration. He has announced an interest in running for the presidency in 2020.

3. Antonio Villaraigosa, Former Mayor of Los Angeles, Co-Chair of Mercury Public Affairs

Political Party: Democratic Party

Credit: Instagram. @antoniocalifornia

Did you know? He was adored by Angelenos during his tenure. Even though he has not expressed his desire to run for office in the near future, he works as a policy consultant and we would not be surprised if he came back to the political arena soon.

4. Filemon Vela Jr., US. Representative for Texas

Political Party: Democratic Party

Credit: Instagram. @repfilemonvela

Did you know? He has been some of the most vocal people against President Trump’s immigration policies. The fact that he speaks out against injustice in a state like Texas, where immigration is a hotly contested topic, speaks volumes of how much he is willing to risk politically to follow his ideals.

5. Cristóbal Alex, president of Latino Victory

Political Party: leaning towards the Democratic Party

Credit: 150225-dc-alex-120p_e0c2e88974bb9a087f5e687dd7cfdb31.nbcnews-ux-640-440. Digital image. Latino Victory.

Did you know? He is one of the main actors when it comes to mobilizing the Latino vote. Together with actress Eva Longoria, he founded Latino Victory, described as “a progressive political action committee working to grow Latino political power by increasing Latino representation at every level of government.”

6. Mario Lopez, president of the Hispanic Leadership Fund

Political Party: conservative, Republican-leaning

Credit: 20170426201244002_hd. Digital image. C-Span.

Did you know? He is a key member of grassroot efforts to empower Latino voters. He does so through the Hispanic Leadership Fund, which, according to its website “is the first center-right non-partisan national Latino advocacy organization governed exclusively by Latino political and public policy professionals.” He is a constant feature in TV interviews when it comes to Latino issues, so we will see plenty of him leading up to the 2020 elections.

7. Carlos Curbelo, former United States Representative for Florida

Political Party: Republican Party

Credit: Instagram. @carloslcurbelo

Did you know? Unapologetically conservative. He is one of the main targets for Democrats. He is young, Catholic and the son of Cuban exiles. He takes on hot issues like immigration without budging but lost his seat in the 2018 midterm elections to Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.

8. Lincoln Díaz-Balart, former United States Representative

Political Party: Republican Party

Credit: Twitter. @LincolnDBalart

Did you know? He is one of the strongest political voices in the generally conservative Cuban-American community in Florida. He has created a powerhouse duo with his brother Mario Diaz-Balart.

9. Mario Díaz-Balart, United States Representative and Transportation, Housing + Urban Development Subcommittee Chair

Political Party: Republican Party

Credit: Twitter. @MarioDB

Did you know? He has a solid and constant Twitter presence contrary to many old-guard Republican politicians. Together with his brother Lincoln he is one of the leaders of the Cuban-American community. He knows that political families appeal to some voters and we are sure to hear much more from him in the coming months.

10. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, former United States Representative from Florida

Political Party: Republican Party

Credit: Instagram. @RosLehtinen

Did you know? A veteran politician who was the first Cuban American and first Latina to be elected to Congress. We all know how important Florida is in elections (remember Gore vs Bush?). Yes, here she is a few years ago with salsa queen Celia Cruz. She championed trans right in a conservative state when her son transitioned.

11. Ruben Gallego, United States Representative

Political Party: Democratic Party

Credit: Instagram. @reprubengallego

Did you know? This U.S. Representative for Arizona is only 39 years old. He is a Harvard graduate who is bound to become a rising star in his party due to his charm and bright mind. He was even a Marine, so he has got it all.

12. Vicente Gonzalez, United States Representative

Political Party: Democratic Party

Credit: Logo. Digital image. https://gonzalez.house.gov/

Did you know? He has become one of the fiercest opposers to the border wall. In a statement, he said: “It is increasingly worrisome that the president is not kept accountable for his rhetoric – be it online or on any platform. No, Mr. President, you cannot shut down the Southwest Border as a bargaining chip for your useless border wall proposal. The American people need to understand that this action would have vast, terrible implications for American consumers and businesses.”

13. Susana Martinez, former governor of New Mexico

Political Party: Republican Party

Credit: Twitter. @Gov_Martinez

Did you know? She has it all to climb the ranks of the Republican Party after she just finished her tenure as governor of New Mexico. She is a woman and she is a Latina, which appeals to an elusive electorate for the GOP.

14. Brian Sandoval, former governor of Nevada

Political Party: Republican Party

Credit: Instagram. @governorsandoval

Did you know? He just ceased to be governor of the almighty state of Nevada, which generates millions and millions of taxes. He just joined MGM Resorts as an executive, where he will have a lot of political leverage in the upcoming elections, particularly given Trump’s history with casino ownership.

15. Albert Morales, Senior Political Director at Latino Decisions

Political Party: former Democrat

Credit: dba1c7206b04399d8f47d1c33a42650e_f718. Digital image. Latino Decisions.

Did you know? He is based in D.C. as the mastermind of Latino Decisions, a company dedicated to Latino political opinion research. They have worked with people like Hillary Clinton gathering data on the Latino vote. Morales will be key in defining strategies for various candidates, most likely Democrats.

16. Darren Soto, United States Representative

Political Party: Democratic Party

Credit: Instagram. @repdarrensoto

Did you know? He is of Puerto Rican origin, which makes him more than appealing to Florida voters. One of his key platforms is gun control. People like Darren will be key for Democrats in the hotly contested swing state come 2020.

17. Marco Rubio, United States Senator

Political Party: Republican Party

Credit: Instagram. @marcorubiofla

Did you know? After being defeated by Donald Trump in the 2016 primaries he has no intention to run for 2020 and has expressed his support of the current President. As the prospect of Trump not ending his presidency has gone from lunacy to distant probability, Rubio could become one of the frontrunners to challenge the Democrats. Do not count out the possibility.

18. Joaquin Castro, United States Representative

Political Party: Democratic Party

Credit: Instagram. @joaquincastrotx

Did you know? No, you are not seeing double and we didn’t make a mistake. Joaquin is the twin of Julian (scroll up to No. 2 in this list). They were born to a Chicana political activist, so social justice and human dignity run through their veins. Latino Kennedys, anyone?

19. Eva Longoria, activist

Political Party: Democratic Party

Credit: eva-header-V2. Digital image. 1843 magazine

Did you know? Yes, she is better known for her role in Desperate Housewives, but she is a political powerhouse. She has a degree in Chicano studies from Stanford, leads various NGOs to support Latinos and women, and has spoken at the Democratic National Convention. She will certainly get her voice heard as we head up to 2020.

20. Nanette Barragán, United States Representative

Political Party: Democratic Party

Credit: Instagram. @repbarragan

Did you know? The representative from Long Beach, California went to the border with fellow California politician Jimmy Gomez to meet with migrants at the border. The two representatives sat with the migrants in the cold and demnaded access to the processing center that Border Patrol said was at capacity. They were denied entry to verify Border Patrol’s claims.


READ: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Unapologetically Bringing Puerto Rico To The Halls Of Congress

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The Bernie Campaign Teamed Up With Cardi B To Talk About Police Brutality, DREAMers And Raising Wages

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The Bernie Campaign Teamed Up With Cardi B To Talk About Police Brutality, DREAMers And Raising Wages

@BernieSanders / Twitter

Vermont Senator and Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and rapper Cardi B have been teasing their on-screen discussion on issues ranging from police brutality to canceling student debt for a few weeks now. Finally, the Sanders campaign published the video in all its nearly ten minutes of glory.

The two met at Detroit’s TEN nail bar, a deluxe nail salon founded and operated by two women of color. Cardi B came prepared with a list of questions that her own followers have brought up with her. In essence, Cardi B served as a representative of her fans’ political interests and brought them to a Presidential candidate to see if he would be the guy to officially represent their needs in the nation’s most meaningful capacity–as POTUS 2020.

Six weeks ago, Cardi asked her fans what they would want to hear Bernie Sanders discuss.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

On July 2, the rapper shared a video to Instagram telling her followers that her number one question to Bernie Sanders is about how to end police brutality in this country. “What would you like to ask? what change would you like to see in your community and in the USA 🇺🇸?” she posted. “2020 is getting very close let’s get familiar with who is running and how they can change the country! Put your questions down below and your questions may be answered very soon.”

Nobody expected she was actually going to sit down with Bernie Sanders and represent the Bardi Gang’s political issues.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

Hilariously, Sanders wiggled his fingers alongside Cardi B’s as he told us that, “Cardi B’s nails are juuuust a little different than mine. Our views on the issues are pretty similar.” 

Cardi B absolutely nailed it as an interviewer. She steered the conversation and truly represented her followers’ interests. She opened the video to remind everyone that, “A couple of weeks ago, I asked my followers what types of questions would you want to ask a Democratic candidate. Let’s go baby.” Here are the takeaways.

Number one: Cardi and Bernie’s shared goal is getting Trump out of office.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

“You know what I’m trying to do is I’m trying to advocate the youth in my community because I feel like there’s a serious problem right now in America,” Cardi opens. “We have this bully as a President and the only way to take him out is somebody winning.”

“We’ve got to get rid of Donald Trump, obviously. Because Donald Trump is an overt racist. He’s just way out there.”

The first question on Cardi’s mind is putting an end to police brutality in America. Bernie has a three-pronged plan.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

Cardi B got vulnerable and talked about the mental effects of what it’s like to “constantly see on social media police brutality against black men and against minorities. What are we going to do to change that, because that is discouraging our people? We constantly see our men getting killed every day, and it seems like nobody cares.”

Sanders wants to end the militarization of police departments, which he sees as a form of intimidation.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

To address police brutality, he wants the Department of Justice to investigate every police killing to ensure accountability and prevent local police departments from covering up crimes. He also wants to federally obligate police departments to “look like the community they serve” and “not like an oppressive army.” Sanders related to the “disgust” of seeing 1 in 4 young black men in the criminal justice system. His solution to that specific issue is to invest in free education instead of investing in prisons and incarceration. 

During his first week as President, Sanders will reinstate the executive order that gave protections to DREAMers, and he wants to extend those protections to their parents.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

Cardi had recalled meeting a fan who enrolled for protections under DACA and is now facing deportation back to Mexico–a place that he has no living memory of ever knowing. Bernie wants the 1.8 million young people who qualify for DACA to experience the freedoms of this country. When he said he wants to expand that program to their parents, Cardi did a little jiggle and let out a “Yeahhh!”

Bernie is going to raise taxes to allow free healthcare and education, but it will be cheaper on a day to day for Americans.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

“People are afraid to pay more taxes than they’re already paying,” Cardi rightly stated. Bernie’s plan to offer free health care for all will ultimately be cheaper for the overwhelming majority of people than paying for premiums, deductibles, and copayments.

Cardi B will never forget how hard it was to make a living wage before she found fame.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

Cardi B brought up how “certain people like to brag” about how there are more jobs in America, but she’s questioning the quality of these jobs. Why are her followers having to work two or three jobs to survive? Bernie wants to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. 

By placing a modest tax on Wall Street, Sanders plans to cancel student debt.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

Forty-five million Americans are living with student debt. Sanders knows that those of us in our 20s and 30s were told that we had to go to college to get a good job. Where the good jobs at? Our generation is far less likely to own homes and make financial progress in our lives. For the first time, our generation is worse off than the generation before it. 

Sanders has a message to Cardi B’s followers: “Trump doesn’t want people of color to be participating in the political process.”

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

“Participate in the political process,” he tells POC. You can spend five minutes to register to vote here.

Watch the full interview below!

What do you think about Cardi B’s interview?

READ: Cardi B Claps Back At “Republicans And Conservatives” Who Want Her To Shut Up When It Comes To Politics

Trump Made It His Personal Business To Get Israel To Ban Two Democratic Congresswoman From Entering After Saying They “Hate Jewish People”

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Trump Made It His Personal Business To Get Israel To Ban Two Democratic Congresswoman From Entering After Saying They “Hate Jewish People”

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Two Democratic members of Congress have just been barred from visiting Israel next week in a move that many fear will deepen the injured relationship between Democrats and the Jewish state and strengthen the bond between Trump and Israeli leaders. On Thursday, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blocked Congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) from embarking on a planned trip to the country. 

Deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely confirmed the ban in a statement to CNN. 

“The plan of the two Congresswomen is only to damage Israel and to foment against Israel,” Netanyahu said.

The decision came after President Donald Trump said Israel would be showing “great weakness” if they allowed the women of color legislators, who have both been very critical of the country, to visit. “It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people,” the president wrote on Twitter Thursday morning. “There is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!”

The private trip was organized by a Palestinian-led nonprofit. The women were expected to visit Israel and the West Bank, where Tlaib has family, as well as Bethlehem, Hebron, Ramallah, and Jerusalem. In the latter Middle Eastern city, they were to join members of the Palestinian Authority at the Temple Mount (called Haram al-Sharif by Muslims), a major holy site for Jews, Christians and Muslims.

The decision to block the trip comes one month after Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer said that the women would be allowed to visit Israel, noting at the time that barring them would be impertinent.

“Out of respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America, we would not deny entry to any member of Congress into Israel,” Dermer, who is close to Netanyahu, said

For some on the left, the Israeli government’s decision to go back on their word is proof that the decision was made in spite of the women. 

Even more, they see it as potentially damaging to an already strained relationship.

“Israel’s denial of entry to Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar is a sign of weakness, and beneath the dignity of the great State of Israel,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “The President’s statements about the Congresswomen are a sign of ignorance and disrespect, and beneath the dignity of the Office of the President.”

In a separate statement, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the decision a “sign of weakness, not strength,” adding that “it will only hurt the U.S.-Israeli relationship and support for Israel in America … Many strong supporters of Israel will be deeply disappointed in this decision, which the Israeli government should reverse.”

Netanyahu’s main grievance with the women is that they support the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Both Omar and Tlaib voted for legislation that would have made it US policy to boycott Israel; the measure was thwarted 398-17 in the House.

Since about 2005, the BDS movement has attempted to force Israel to change its approach to the Palestinians through external pressure, like demanding companies to halt business with Israel, asking consumers to stop buying Israeli products and calling on scholars and cultural leaders to stop collaborating with colleagues in the country. For supporters, the mission is much like the boycotts that targeted apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s. 

For opponents, however, the movement, and its followers are deemed anti-Semitic.

Democratic presidential candidates have chimed in on the matter as well, with some recognizing that difference in views does not equate to anti-Semitism and others directly placing their anger with Trump, who they believe helped stir up Isreali leaders with his damaging remarks against Reps. Tlaib and Omar.

“Israel doesn’t advance its case as a tolerant democracy or unwavering US ally by barring elected members of Congress from visiting because of their political views,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tweeted. “This would be a shameful, unprecedented move. I urge Israel’s government to allow @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib entry.”

Speaking to Trump, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) called the president a bigot and told him, “opposing Netanyahu’s policies is not ‘hating the Jewish people.”

Former US representative Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) added: “President Trump, you show great weakness every single day—when you attack women of color when you degrade the office of the president, and when you ask our allies to stoop to your level.”

In July, Trump told Omar and Tlaib, among other members of their “squad” — which also includes Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) — to “go back” to their countries. Tlaib was born in the United States, and Omar was born in Somalia and is a naturalized US citizen.

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