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

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!

A Deadly Virus Is Back With A Vengeance And It’s Hitting Our Farmworker Community The Hardest

Things That Matter

A Deadly Virus Is Back With A Vengeance And It’s Hitting Our Farmworker Community The Hardest

UNM / Instagram

Farmworkers face dangerous and even life-threatening conditions each and every day they’re at work. It’s a seriously difficult job to do but so many of our country’s most at-risk people are the ones doing it.

Our nation’s farmworkers face discrimination, refusal of payment, immigration crackdowns, physical injury, and now – according to an NBC report – an outbreak of valley fever.

This outbreak of valley fever has the potential to be deadly for farmworkers.

Credit: @NBCNews / Twitter

A new NBC News report details the story of Victor Gutierrez, who contracted valley fever, a dangerous fungal disease. Victor was suffering from flu-like symptoms – coughing, night sweats, exhaustion, and a strange feeling that he was burning up on the inside. He ignored the symptoms and kept working so that he wouldn’t lose his job but eventually the illness caught up with him and he was struggling to breathe.

The next day, Gutierrez’s lungs filled up with fluid and he felt so sick that he went to a local clinic. This time, they tested him for valley fever, and it came back positive.

He told NBC News: “The nurse called me and told me to rush to the clinic because it was an emergency.” They told him he might only have six months to live.

While Gutierrez managed to beat those odds by taking the antifungal medication fluconazole for more than a year, he has seen valley fever kill many other people he’s known.

The worst of the valley fever outbreak is happening where nearly two-thirds of our nuts and fruits come from – putting a huge amount of workers at risk along with our economy.

Credit: @NBCNews / Twitter

In California, rates of new cases rose 10 percent in just one year. The state budget has $8 million for valley fever research, while about $3 million will go to the Valley Fever Institute at Kern Medical Center, in the heart of the growing threat.

These figures pale in comparison to the actual costs associated with valley fever. In 2011, California spent approximately $2.2 billion in valley fever-related hospital expenses.

Climate change has been singled out as a possible cause for the outbreaks.

Credit: @NBCNews / Twitter

Coccidioidomycosis or cocci (pronounced “coxy”), the fungus that causes valley fever, thrives in dry, undisturbed soil. It becomes airborne when that soil is disturbed – whether it’s by dirt bikes, construction crews, or farmers putting in a new fruit or nut orchard. It can travel on the wind as far as 75 miles away. Years of climate change-fueled drought and a 240 percent increase in dust storms appear to have led to a swift rise in the number of people diagnosed with the illness across the Southwest.

Adding to the threat of valley fever is that 49% of farmworkers are undocumented and unlikely to seek medical care for fear of deportation.

Credit: @NBCNews / Twitter

Like 68 percent of the estimated 800,000 farmworkers in California, Gutierrez was born in Mexico. An estimated 49 percent of the state’s farmworkers lack work authorization and most live under the federal poverty line in unincorporated communities with few public services.

Undocumented residents are far less likely to visit a doctor or a hospital, even for urgent medical care. This puts an already at-risk group of people at greater risk of health complications.

Other’s are forced to make a choice between eating or medicine.

Like many farmworkers who contract the illness, Gutierrez found the cost of the antifungal medication needed to treat valley fever totally unaffordable. At the height of the illness, it cost $1,200 for two months of pills because he had to take two to three times as many as one would if they were treating a typical candida infection.

He didn’t have insurance at the time and said his family often had to choose between food and his medication. He still isn’t able to work regularly and his family mainly survives on the money his wife, Maria, makes in the fields.

People took to Twitter to worry about what this meant for the state and its farmworkers.

Credit: @NBCNews / Twitter

With more than 800,000 at-risk farmworkers, people who work in the fields to help deliver foods to plates across the country, this is an urgent problem.

Valley fever could leave large groups of the community unable to work.

While some offered up first-hand experience on their battle with valley fever.

Credit: @NBCNews / Twitter

Although valley fever is often mild with no symptoms, it has the potential to be deadly – especially in at-risk groups. Symptoms include fatigue, cough, fever, night sweats and can progress to painful skin lesions and fluid-filled lungs.

Thankfully, vaccines are in the works but they won’t be a silver bullet.

Credit: @NBCNews / Twitter

Two vaccines are in the works – at the University of Texas and the University of Arizona – but it’s not clear how close they are to being tested on humans.

Three members of Congress from the Southwest last month introduced a federal bill, the FORWARD Act, in an effort to increase public awareness of the disease while “promoting the development of novel treatments and a vaccine.”

While D.C. Debates Reparations, California Governor Issues The Long Overdue Apology Indigenous People Have Long Awaited

Things That Matter

While D.C. Debates Reparations, California Governor Issues The Long Overdue Apology Indigenous People Have Long Awaited

@ajplus | Twitter

Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued an appalling statement about reparations toward the African-American community. Reparations are “the making of amends for a wrong one has done, by paying money to or otherwise helping those who have been wronged.” He said that the U.S. should not be responsible for something the country did 150 years ago. While he was bashed on social media for having such an oppressive view about Black people and slavery in the country, we’d like for him to take into account the eloquent speech that was also delivered by a more compassionate politician.

On Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsome said he was sorry on behalf of California to the Native American people for how the state wronged them.

The governor spoke at a ceremony at the California Indian Heritage Center near Sacramento. He was alongside tribal leaders who were there for a new commission that will benefit their community.

“It’s called a genocide,” Newsom said, according to the Sacramento Bee. “No other way to describe it… I’m sorry on behalf of the state of California.” He added, “We can never undo the wrongs inflicted on the peoples who have lived on this land that we now call California since time immemorial, but we can work together to build bridges, tell the truth about our past and begin to heal deep wounds.”

Newsome has launched the Truth and Healing Council “to produce a report before the end of 2024 on the historical relationship between the state and Native Americans.”

Tribal leaders that attended the event said they were grateful to hear words of acknowledgment and also said they are ready to know how this council will produce action.

“It’s healing to hear your words, but actions will speak for themselves, and I do look forward to hearing more and seeing more of you,” Erica Pinto, chairwoman of Jamul Indian Village in San Diego County, said according to Reuters.

In 1851, California’s first governor, Peter Burnett said the chilling words in an address “That a war of extermination will continue to be waged between the races until the Indian race becomes extinct must be expected.”

Paid Promoted Stories