See which City is Doing the Most to Stop Discrimination Against the LGBTQ+ Community
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A hand holding a rainbrow striped heart in front of the LGBT pride flag

In Early May, the Village of Gambier, in Knox County, Ohio, made history when they passed their county’s first ever LGBTQ anti-discrimination legislation. The village’s council met the night of May 4 via a Zoom Call and passed the law unanimously.

The legislation was passed specifically with the LGBTQ+ community in mind, including people of differing sexual orientations and gender identities to be included in protections from workplace, housing, and public commodity discrimination. The law will be put into effect immediately, with the hopes of not only better protecting people in the LGBTQ+ community in the Village of Gambier but to also encourage the passing of the Ohio Fairness Act.

The Ohio Fairness Act is essentially a much wider spread version of what Gambier passed earlier this month. The Act is set to include the LGBTQ+ community in discrimination protection in the same areas. Though the Ohio Fairness Act has been widely supported by many local fronts, it has yet to pass through the House and the Senate.

In an effort to further push the bill into becoming a law, Gambier’s mayor, Leeman Kessler stated that he wished to join arms with other local communities working to protect LGBTQ+ communities. He believes that as more and more businesses stand together in protecting the LGBTQ+ community, the more it will encourage others to do the same, including those passing the Ohio Fairness Act.

“It puts these protections in place explicitly,” Kessler stated of the new local law, “so folks aren’t left in a legal gray area.”

Latino Inaugural 2021 celebrates the resilience and power of U.S. Latinos ahead of Biden’s inauguration
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Latino Inaugural 2021 poster Biden and Harris

By Brittany Valentine for Al Dia News

To commemorate the upcoming Inauguration of the Biden-Harris administration, the Hispanic Federation has brought together more than 50 Latino organizations to support the historic event.

“Latino Inaugural 2021: Inheritance, Resilience & Promise” is part of the official five-day slate of programming from the Biden-Harris Presidential Inauguration Committee.

Latino Inaugural 2021 is an hour-long special that will

(Image Credit – latinoinaugural.org)

feature musical performances and inspirational docu-shorts to uplift the Latino community and portray all the contributions they have made in this country.

Actress and activist, Eva Longoria Bastón is set to host the event, and many more big stars will make appearances, including Becky G, Ivy Queen, Rita Moreno, and Edward James Olmos.

There is also an impressive list of musical performances.

Lin-Manuel and Luis Miranda will perform a touching tribute to Puerto Rico, All-Star Tejanos United will perform “America The Beautiful,” and Gaby Moreno and David Garza will perform “Fronteras.”

Much like the “Momento Latino” televised event that aired on CBS in October, this special is focused on telling the stories of Latino excellence, resilience and strength. It will honor members of Latino communities who kept the country running smoothly during the pandemic as members of the frontline essential workforce.

In addition to the celebrity guests and musical performances, several political figures will be in attendance. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto, Robert Menendez and Ben Ray Luján, Senator designate Alex Padilla and Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Rep. Raul Ruiz will join the special to add to the messages of hope, unity and gratitude.

Henry R. Muñoz III, founder of Momento Latino and executive producer of the program, expressed his excitement at welcoming the new administration..

“Latino communities face existential threats every day – from the disproportionate spread of COVID-19 through our communities, to the requirement that we work essential jobs without essential benefits, to the fear of our democracy falling apart and the constant threat of deportation and family separation. We are gathering to celebrate Latinos’ contributions & our power in the country and to honor the next era of American leadership in President Biden and Vice President Harris,” he said.

The program is co-hosted by 52 of the country’s largest and most influential Latino organizations, including Voto Latino, She Se Puede, Justice for Migrant Women and the Dolores Huerta Foundation. Some of the sponsors include DoorDash, Telemundo, Comcast NBCUniversal, Microsoft and Primo TV.

Read the full article at Al Dia News.

Alex Padilla, California’s First Latino Senator, on Needing to ‘Walk and Chew Gum’ in Washington
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Alex Padilla wearing a black suit sitting down speaking into a microphone

By The New York Times

He was appointed to fill Kamala Harris’s seat and will take office as his state struggles with record Covid rates, especially in the neighborhood he grew up in.

As Kamala Harris steps into her role as vice president and out of her Senate office this week, the Democrat Alex Padilla will become the first Latino senator from California, a state where Latino residents make up 40 percent of the population, and will be one of six in the Senate. Mr. Padilla, who has been California’s secretary of state since 2015, is heading to Washington at a time when the country — and California — is deeply mired in the pandemic and a sluggish vaccine rollout. His own political career began with

(Image Credit -Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

immigration activism, and he believes that the country needs a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants. He said he was confident that the Senate would be able to focus on an impeachment trial and the pressing need to get the pandemic under control — “we will walk and chew gum at the same time.”

These are lightly edited excerpts from the conversation.

California is roughly 40 percent Latino, yet you’re the first Latino senator from the state. Why do you think that took so long? What does it say about California and the political influence of Latinos?

I don’t know if I have a 170-year answer to that question, but it’s a big moment for the Latino community in California. I’m sure there’s a lot of researchers and academics with various theories. I just know that it has just added to the sense of urgency with which I’m prepared to tackle the job.

A lot of big issues need attention — increasing access to health care, combating climate change, a comprehensive immigration reform, closing the education gap. But for the time being, it’s all through the lens of Covid, in recognition of the devastation the damage has caused for far too many families, far too many communities, especially Latino communities and other communities of color.

Let’s talk about the pandemic. Los Angeles is currently an epicenter of the pandemic, and Pacoima, the neighborhood you grew up in, is an epicenter of that epicenter. What can the Senate do about that?

Read the full article at The New York Times.

Congressional Hispanic Caucus urges Congress to vote on national Latino museum in spending bill
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“The lack of full Latino representation,” Latino lawmakers wrote, “has created real blind spots that neglect the role Latinos have played.”

Supporters of the National Museum of the American Latino are making another attempt to get Congress to pass a bill to establish its creation. Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah blocked voice votes to create a Latino museum and a women’s history museum last week, spoiling years of effort.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus sent a letter Monday to House and Senate leaders urging them to include the

                                                                       (Image credit – NBC News)

National Museum of the American Latino Act, HR 2420, in the $1.4 trillion spending bill that Congress is trying to agree on to prevent a government shutdown. The act only starts the process for the museum, which must include a feasibility study, private fundraising and site location studies.

“Latinos have contributed significantly to America’s success while overcoming systemic discrimination, and our stories have been largely erased from U.S. history,” said Rep. Joaquín Castro, D-Texas, who is completing his term as caucus chairman. “The fact that Mike Lee, a United States senator, has no knowledge of the Latino experience further demonstrates the need for a Latino museum.”

Read the full article at NBC News.

Gov. Baker Taps Dalila Argaez Wendlandt for Supreme Judicial Court
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Judge Dalia Argaez Wendlandt

Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday nominated Appeals Court Associate Justice Dalila Argaez Wendlandt to a seat on the Supreme Judicial Court, paving the way for her to become the first Latina to serve on the high court bench.

In a press conference, Baker highlighted Wendlandt’s thoughtfulness, collegiality and judiciousness in tapping her for the seat, one of two on the court Baker has been deliberating over.

“The judges and lawyers with whom we spoke uniformly support Judge Wendlandt,” Baker said. “She’s the total package. She’s patient, even-keeled and down-to-earth.

“Her fellow justices know they can depend on her and have said that her decisions are true to the law and the facts of each case and demonstrate her open-minded approach to the issues.”

The move comes days after Baker nominated Associate Justice Kimberly Budd as its next chief justice.

Along with the associate justice seat that Budd will vacate if she is confirmed, Baker also has to fill the seat that will open later this year with Judge Barbara Lenk’s retirement. Doing so will mean Baker has appointed all seven justices of the top court, if his nominees are confirmed.

Baker said the court has indicated that its members would like to Baker to fill the two seats by the end of the year, which the governor said he would try to do.

Baker appointed Wendlandt to the Appeals Court bench in 2017 to fill the seat that opened up with Elspeth Cypher’s elevation to the SJC. A New Orleans native and the daughter of Colombian immigrants, Wendlandt graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at MIT before attending Stanford University Law School.

Wendlandt thanked her parents for giving her the opportunities she has had, saying she hoped to make them proud with her role on the court.

The Governor’s Council, which will vet Wendlandt for the SJC post, unanimously confirmed her for the Appeals Court.

Before becoming a judge, Wendlandt was a partner in the intellectual property litigation group at Ropes & Gray LLP. She clerked for Judge John Walker Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit after graduating law school in 1996.

Last Thursday, Baker repeatedly highlighted Budd’s ability to listen to others and collaborate as he nominated her for for chief justice, paving the way for her to

“More than ever, we need her leadership,” Baker said, noting that her nomination comes amid a pandemic as well as ongoing calls for racial justice. “This court needs to led by someone who listens.”

Continue on to NBC Boston to read the full article

Photo Credit: Getty Images, Boston Globe

Latinos gain a Senate seat with Ben Ray Lujan’s win in New Mexico
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Representative Ben Ray Lujan

Democratic Rep. Ben Ray Lujan won the U.S. Senate race in New Mexico, bringing the total of Latino senators to five.

“Thank you, New Mexico! Tonight, our campaign showed that people power can elect the son of an ironworker and a public school employee to the Senate,” Lujan tweeted early Wednesday. “I’m grateful for every vote we earned — and no matter who you voted for, it will be my honor to work for you in the Senate.”

Lujan, who gave up his seat in the House to run for the Senate, led in the polls for much of his campaign against Republican Mark Ronchetti, a television meteorologist. Lujan succeeds Sen. Tom Udall, a Democrat who did not seek re-election.

According to NBC News’ exit poll, Lujan defeated Ronchetti by about 5 percentage points.

With his win, Lujan joins an elite group of Latinos in the Senate: Republicans Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas and Democrats Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, who made history in 2017 as the first Latina elected to the Senate.

Continue on to NBC News to read the full article

Record number of Native American women elected to Congress
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Sharice Davids giving a speech

The 117th Congress will have a record number of Native American women after voters elected three to the House of Representatives.

Democrats Deb Haaland, a Laguna Pueblo member representing New Mexico, and Sharice Davids, a Ho-Chunk Nation member representing Kansas, both retained their seats after becoming the first Native American women elected to Congress, in 2018.

They are joined by Yvette Herrell, who is Cherokee. Herrell, a Republican, beat the Democratic incumbent Xochitl Torres Small for her New Mexico congressional seat.

The wins for Herrell and Haaland mean that New Mexico will be the first state to have two indigenous women as congressional delegates. The state also became the first to elect women of color as all three of its delegates in the US House of Representatives.

According to a Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) report, 18 indigenous women were running for congressional seats this year – a record in a single year. Native American women made up 2.6% of all women running for Congress this year, the highest percentage since CAWP started collecting data in 2004.

There have been four Native Americans in the US Senate and a handful of indigenous US representatives. All were men until Haaland and Davids were elected in 2018.

Continue to The Guardian to read the full article. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Bill Clark

Young Hispanic and Latino Voters are Pushing for Increased Voter Turnout
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A latino man at a polling place

Community organizations across Western New York are making the push to get people to vote as Election Day, on November 3, gets closer. This includes the Hispanic Heritage Council of Western New York.

Esmeralda Sierra is the president of the organization. She told 2 On Your Side’s Karys Belger she’s been helping spread information about voting at the handful events the organization has hosted since the COVID-19 Pandemic started.

She says there’s also been a push to spread information digitally.

“We’re trying to promote to our Facebook, to our Twitter, and our LinkedIn the importance of voting,” she said.

A Pew Research Center report says Hispanic voters will make up the largest Non-White, eligible voting population in this election.

With this knowledge, Sierra says it’s important to make sure every one of those voices is accounted for. She also says she’s noticed increased eagerness among younger voters who are eligible to vote.

“You can see that the younger generations are excited. They’re not afraid to make themselves heard,” Sierra said.

Lilian Mancancela, a recent graduate of the University at Buffalo agrees. She tells 2 On Your Side she’s eager to see the number of Hispanic voters who will head to the polls.

“I’ve always been someone who pushed others to get politically engaged and I’ve also wondered why that wasn’t the case in previous years,” Mancancela said.

Mancancela’s parents immigrated to the United States from Ecuador and she says that experience helped shape her passion for politics. She’s also noticed the increased attention being given to Hispanic voters and she wants to make sure her peers know their votes will make a difference.

“I think it’s long overdue but I’m glad it’s happening at the moment and I think it’s a great opportunity for underrepresented groups to get out there.”

Mancancela is one of the thousands of young voters making up what Pew Research Center says is the most diverse electoral population to date.

Continue to WGRZ to read the full article. 

Sacramento Hispanic Chamber launches tech assistance program for minority-owned businesses
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Business buildings in Sacramento

The Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is launching a wide lineup of resources and technical assistance to help minority-owned businesses during the pandemic.

The chamber announced the launch of its “#JuntosSacramento” campaign, which translates to “together Sacramento,” on Monday. The campaign is aimed at bringing together all corners of Sacramento’s Latino community, which includes immigrants and people who draw their heritage from a mix of countries and languages, said Cathy Rodriguez Aguirre, CEO of the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber.

Minority-owned businesses have been among the hardest hit during the pandemic, as they may have lower cash reserves and less access to banking resources to buoy their businesses.

The effort includes one-on-one consulting, resources on digital marketing and financial planning during the pandemic and job training programs.

The Sacramento Hispanic Chamber received about $615,000 in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, dollars for the initiative. Those dollars arrived from a $3 million grant that the Sacramento Inclusive Economic Development Collaborative received from the city of Sacramento. The Sac IEDC was formed two years ago, and includes 15 groups within it like the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber and several property business improvement districts.

“Hispanic and minority owned businesses have been a historic pillar in the growth of Sacramento and our mission is to help the region recover from the impacts of Covid-19 by supporting the community through increased services and new, innovative programs,” Rodriguez Aguirre said, in a prepared statement. “Through our partnership with SAC IEDC we will be able to help foster more business development and spur economic growth.”

The program includes a free, six-part webinar series on topics like digital marketing, financial planning and disaster preparedness. The series starts on Oct. 23 and runs every other Friday, and will be conducted in Spanish and English.

Continue to the Sacramento Business Journal to read the full article.

How Columbus Day became Indigenous Peoples’ Day in over 130 US cities
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Indigenous Peoples' Day art

It took Christopher Columbus about nine weeks to reach the New World from Spain — and his critics more than half a century to start convincing US cities to ditch the holiday honoring the moment.

In 1992, Berkeley, Calif., became the first city to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day — and now, nearly 30 years later, there are more than 130 cities and 15 states that have either followed suit or chosen to mark both.

“It’s become a trend,” said Baley Champagne, a tribal citizen of the United Houma Nation, to NPR last year, after successfully lobbying Louisiana’s governor to make the switch to Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

We’re bringing awareness that we’re not going to allow someone like that to be glorified into a hero because of the hurt that he caused to indigenous people of America,’’ she said of Columbus. “I think it’s long overdue.’’

Shannon Speed, a Chickasaw Nation citizen and director of UCLA’s American Indian Studies Center, was more blunt to the outlet.

“Today we understand that while [Columbus] was an explorer and credited with being one of the first Europeans to arrive in the Americas, we now know a great deal about the history and the way that he and his people behaved when they came to this continent — which included pillaging, raping and generally setting in motion a genocide of the people who were already here.

“That’s not something we want to celebrate,” she said. “That’s not something anyone wants to celebrate.”

When President Franklin D. Roosevelt made Columbus Day a federal holiday in 1934, it’s likely he had no idea the controversy he would create.

The annual holiday was set for the second Monday in October, traditionally feted with parades largely organized by Italian American groups.

But indigenous people — furious at seeing the Italian explorer elevated to hero status while representing the brutal European conquering of their ancestors — fought back against the holiday.

Continue to the New York Post to red the full article. 

Embracing Change, Raising Awareness
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Letter from the Editor

As we are still amid the pandemic, inevitable changes are taking place, which range from social causes to the future of the workforce. We recognize these constantly evolving times, which is why this issue of HISPANIC Network Magazine delves into the current occurrences in the Latino community and the impact COVID-19 has had on businesses.

With the Black Lives Matter movement underway, Latinos are standing in solidarity with the Black community, as they have faced their own racial injustice.

Eric Rodriguez of UnidosUS states, “The movement has given many Latinos, who have also been harmed, aggrieved or offended by police practices, a voice and a means of expressing their frustration in a way that advances social change.”

To read more about how the Black Lives Matter movement and Latino community connect, visit page 82, and learn how YOU can make a difference.

Adam Rodriguez, our cover story, is no stranger to advocating for social change. When it comes to serving Latinos, the actor and family man gives 100 percent.

His new series, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, tackles this very thing: “This show takes place in 1938, and we’re dealing with all the same challenges without having made very much progress in almost 100 years,” he says. Read more about the Magic Mike star’s views, current projects, and how he and his family are seeing the pandemic in a positive light on page 42.

Lastly, as we are still trying to navigate running a business and working from home, we have some good news amid the uncertainty: Business owners are beating the odds (page 66), and you can, too! To follow in their footsteps, learn how to be even more productive while working at home, and cope with unsettling feelings during this time, flip through the issue for some tips.

Samar KhouryAdvocate for change. Discover the future of the workforce. And remember that your business can still thrive.

Samar Khoury
Managing Editor
HISPANIC Network Magazine

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