politics

This Latina Wants To Represent East L.A. On The National Platform After Trump’s Victory

Courtesy of Maria Cabildo

Maria Cabildo has been a longtime affordable housing advocate working in Los Angeles’ 34th Congressional district. The Congressional candidate, once named the Patron Saint of Boyle Heights, has spent the last 24 years of her life as an advocate and leader in the district she is currently seeking to represent. mitú talked with Cabildo about why she decided to enter the race for Xavier Becerra’s vacated Congressional seat after a lifetime of service to her neighborhood.

Maria Cabildo wants to take her battle for disadvantaged Americans and the results of the 2016 elections convinced her to run for office.

Courtesy of Maria Cabildo
CREDIT: Courtesy of Maria Cabildo

“Running for office wasn’t something I was planning to do and the night of the election, I was completely taken aback, like the rest of the country. Actually, my daughter, who is 15 years old, had watched the whole election with a lot of interest,” Cabildo told mitú. “The night of the election she was really devastated. She was in tears. After I consoled her, the very first thing that came out of her mouth was, ‘What about my future?’ I reassured her that there was nothing to worry about and that her future was fine.”

Even though she knew that her family would be okay, she knows that so many families won’t be, and she wants to fight for them.

Courtesy of Maria Cabildo
CREDIT: Courtesy of Maria Cabildo

“Almost immediately after Donald Trump was elected, affordable housing was impacted because the building of affordable housing is actually financed by tax credits that come out of the treasury and those tax credits really rely on corporations investing in those tax credits to build affordable housing,” Cabildo recalled to mitú. “So, immediately after the election, the market for those tax credits declined and a lot of those investors retreated because they were anticipating that the changes in the tax code would mean that they no longer have as much of a need for these tax credits. Also, the safety net issues that I’ve been work for my whole career also started to crumble right before my eyes so it was a number of factors that propelled me into it.”

Cabildo didn’t intend to jump onto the race at first, it was something that came about the more she thought about her own work moving forward under President Trump.

Courtesy of Maria Cabildo
CREDIT: Courtesy of Maria Cabildo

“I wasn’t, at that moment, saying that I was going to run for office but I was thinking to myself that I have this whole life of service already,” Cabildo told mitú. “I’ve been a non-profit leader for the past 24 years doing work for some of the most disadvantaged people in Los Angeles so I knew that no matter what happened, I was going to be stepping it up even more. I just didn’t know what that was.”

She is focused and wants to make sure we hold Republicans accountable.

Courtesy of Maria Cabildo
CREDIT: Courtesy of Maria Cabildo

“I think what we really need to focus on is organizing and keeping up the pressure on the Republican members of Congress. We’ve all seen that a lot of these Republican Congress people are coming home to a lot of angry constituents and I think that the way that we’re going to be able to counter Trump and his anti-immigrant rhetoric is by really keeping up pressure on Republican members of Congress so that they are not just falling in line behind the president,” Cabildo told mitú. “We have to take back the House in 2018. That’s really what’s critical.”

Cabildo wants the people voting on April 4 for the 34th Congressional seat that she has experience leading.

Courtesy of Maria Cabildo
CREDIT: Courtesy of Maria Cabildo

“I plan on going out there and knocking on doors and communicating with voters. When I founded East LA Community Corporation, that was in 1995. We knew that one house alone or one apartment building alone wasn’t going to transform communities and that what we needed to do was band people together to basically to develop a vision of what they want their community to look like and then organize to make that vision a reality,” Cabildo said to mitú. “When it comes to engaging with voters, I can tell them that I have already proven myself to be someone who listens to community, works with community to bring investments and change and fight for policy that’s important to them.”

And as for the people in the 34th district, Cabildo says she knows how different the needs and the people are.

Courtesy of Maria Cabildo
CREDIT: Courtesy of Maria Cabildo

“It’s such a diverse district so of course when I think of the 34th district, I think about the families like the family that I grew up in in East L.A. But I also think of the families who I raised my children with in Eagle Rock. It’s such a diverse district that I think of so many different people when I think of the district. I think of the señoras and the seniors that hang out in front of church after mass on Sunday with my mom,” Cabildo told mitú. “I started my career in Koreatown, like my first office was across the street from the Ambassador Hotel. I built my very first housing in Koreatown. I also raised my kids in Northeast L.A. I have really spent so much time in this district so not one single type of person really pops into my head with I think of the district.”

Above all else, Cabildo wants for the voters to remember one thing: she is their fighter.

Courtesy of Maria Cabildo
CREDIT: Courtesy of Maria Cabildo

“I’ve already proven that I’m a fighter right here in L.A. and I’ve taken on some really tough projects. I’ve been someone who is fighting for this district already. In Congress, we have this huge fight ahead of us. There are so many issues that are important to me but I think of really creating opportunities for working families again because the truth of the matter is that even before this election, families and working people in the 34th district were struggling,” Cabildo told mitú. “We’ve had growing income inequality in Los Angeles, gentrification and we really need to look into how do we preserve economic opportunities and extend economic opportunities for people in L.A., especially in the 34th Congressional district.”


READ: This Latina Is Running For Congress To Represent Her ‘Hood

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Rep. Gutierrez Went To ICE For Answers And When He Didn't Get Them He Staged A Sit-In

politics

Rep. Gutierrez Went To ICE For Answers And When He Didn’t Get Them He Staged A Sit-In

@RepGutierrez / Twitter

Rep. Luis Gutierrez is not going down without a fight. The representative from Illinois’s 4th congressional district took a stand and tried to confront Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials in their Chicago office on Monday. Gutierrez was seeking answers about the fate of Francisca Lino, a Chicago woman and mother of six who is currently facing deportation after 18 years in the U.S.

Gutierrez’s protest and arrest is the latest in a long line of anti-deportation demonstrations across the country started by the detention of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos in Arizona and sweeping raids that have left undocumented communities in fear.

Francisca Lino has lived in the U.S. for 18 years, has six children, and is married to a U.S. citizen. Last week, during a check-in with ICE, Lino was told she’d have to leave.


“ICE needs to be careful not to turn routine supervised-release visits into a high risk of detention,” Leon Fresco, former deputy assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice’s Office of Immigration Litigation, told CNN. “Or it will unwittingly create more fugitives who won’t show up to these visits.”

Rep. Luis Gutierrez heard about Lino’s situation and immediately organized a meeting with ICE officials in Chicago.


The Washington Post described Rep. Gutierrez as a sort of “father figure” to Lino, who has been there with Lino for the past 15 years, as she attempted to clear up her immigration issues.

Rep. Gutierrez held a 5-hour sit-in after the original meeting didn’t culminate with the ending he was hoping for.


“Look, there’s a lie, and the lie keeps repeating,” Rep. Gutierrez told CNN’s Erin Burnett. “[The lie is that] they’re going after criminals, they’re going after the bad people in the immigrant community. The fact is, they’re going after DREAMers.”

DREAMers have been fearful of the Trump administration using their information from DACA renewals or enrollment against them. In New York City, Republican politicians filed a lawsuit to prevent Mayor Bill de Blasio from purging information that can be used for deportation from the IDNYC system. The information will now only be made available under a judge’s order.

Rep. Gutierrez and the immigration activists in the room refused to leave the building after being threatened with arrest. As Rep. Gutierrez’s Twitter caption states, officials arrested them then quickly released those detained.


Rep. Gutierrez told CNN that he asked the officers to arrest him because he was there for answers and would not be leaving.

Here’s a video of the arrest as it happened.

El congresista Luis Gutiérrez fue arrestado hoy en las oficinas regionales del Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas de Estados Unidos (ICE) en Chicago.

Artemio Arreola, director de organización política de la Coalición de Illinois de Inmigrantes y Refugiados (ICIRR), mencionó que todos fueron detenidos por “desobediencia civil” e indicó que permanecían en el cuarto piso de las instalaciones de ICE.

“Luego nos amenazaron con llevarnos arrestados y les dijimos que estábamos dispuestos a ir a la cárcel por nuestros inmigrantes. Nos pusieron las esposas y a los minutos nos las quitaron, porque a ellos les gusta tratar con tiranía a los que ven vulnerables”, agregó el Congresista.

Posted by JP Dominguez on Monday, March 13, 2017

After the arrest, Rep. Gutierrez tweeted this photo with a caption that lets everyone know that he is not done fighting yet.


“They were scared to arrest us because they know our cause is just,” Rep. Gutierrez tweeted. “We ended our sit in but we will #resist.”

Watch Rep. Gutierrez talk to CNN about his arrest.


READ: Watch Congressman Luis Gutierrez Passionately Explain Why He’s Boycotting The Inauguration

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