I had the opportunity to meet three latino/latina candidates for Congress at Netroots Nation. Each of them were impressive in their own way and communities in their respective districts should do all they can to learn how connected these individuals are to what's going on in the streets they're vying to serve.
Joe Garcia, Florida, District 25
Joe is one the Democratic candidates in Florida showing the GOP-dominated Cuban community that there is a different way of doing things than in the past. With respect to Latin America, his site mentions says "While the fate of Latin America ultimately lies in the hands of its leaders, the United States, and in particular South Florida, has a strategic interest in the well-being of the region. Joe Garcia fully supports the creation of partnerships between ethics reforms institutions in the United States and their counterparts in Central and South America." A good step in the right direction, in this humble blogger's opinion.
Joe understands that there is a deeper set of economic issues that affects the mass-migration we've seen to the U.S. He spoke eloquently about this at the Latino Caucus, as well as demonstrating that he understands latinos are being attacked culturally by the cries of the far-right.
A sampling of blogs covering Joe Garcia: Florida Speaks, Florida Progressive Coalition Blog, Draft Garcia
Ben Ray Lujan - New Mexico, District 3
This district is where Bill Richardson came from prior to the Governorship and stints as Ambassador in the Clinton Administration. The incumbent, Tom Udall-D, is vying for the Senate seat in New Mexico that's up for grabs in November.
On a personal note, it was great to interact with Ben Ray. He attended the Latino Caucus, Latino Bloggers Panel and the Immigration Panel at Netroots Nation. It's clear that he understands what the latino community is dealing with in the face of an organized far-right movement of hate that screams about immigration issues non-stop. Additionally, he will help New Mexico and the country develop a better energy policy that respects the environment.
A sampling of blogs covering Ben Ray Lujan: New Mexico FBIHOP, Democracy for New Mexico
Annette Taddeo - Florida, District 18
From the website section entitled Wife, Mother, Advocate: "Annette has dedicated her life here in the South Florida community, working to improve access to education, healthcare and jobs through committee leadership, volunteering, mentoring youth, and her work as a business community leader. She has been a strong advocate for equal rights, fiscal responsibility and bipartisan solutions to our community's and nation's problems."
Marisa Treviño of Latina Lista and I met Annette on Friday morning and learned about her work with LanguageSpeak that assists with translation services and education to grow a more informed populace. At one point, the conversation veered into Spanish with Annette (Columbiana), Markos Moulitsas of DailyKos (Salvadoreño), Marisa and I (Mexicanos) doing the whole "¿De donde eres?" plática. Good stuff.
A sampling of blogs covering Annette Taddeo: Eye on Ileana, Discourse.net, Florida Speaks