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Archive for November, 2008

Transition Updates!

Texan Enters Talks for Possible Position in Obama Administration

Texas State Representative Rick Noriega (D), met with President-elect Barack Obama yesterday in Chicago. According to confidential sources, the meeting appeared to be a potential first step toward consideration of Noriega for appointment to an administration position. According to people close to the process who spoke on the condition of not being identified, no specific job was mentioned.

Noriega, the Democrat who lost his Senate bid on November 4th to Republican incumbent John Cornyn, declined to discuss the meeting in Chicago. Obama’s transition team also declined to comment. Federico Peña, a former Clinton administration official, served as a go-between Obama and Noriega.

Former Senate candidates often have been considered for presidential appointments. After George H.W. Bush lost two Senate races in Texas, he served as ambassador to the United Nations, chief liaison to China and CIA director. Those jobs preceded his election as vice president and president.

Noriega earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Houston and got a master’s degree in public administration from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.

After U.S. Army service, he became a lieutenant colonel in the National Guard, through which he served in Afghanistan in 2004 and 2005. His wife, Melissa, became his temporary replacement in the state House during the deployment. She is now a Houston councilwoman.

Noriega also has emergency management experience from serving as incident commander for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Latina Selected to Serve as Member of the White House Staff

President-elect Barack Obama today announced two new members of the White House staff. Jonathan Favreau will serve as Director of Speechwriting, and Cecilia Muñoz will serve as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. We are proud to report that a Latina has been selected to play a key role in the  Obama administration.

“We’re continuing to build a White House team that can rise to the challenges facing this country – and I couldn’t be more excited to announce Jon and Cecilia. I’m confident that at a critical time in our history, this White House will restore openness and accountability to our Executive Branch and help to put government back in the hands of the people it serves.”

Cecilia Muñoz, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs

Cecilia Muñoz currently serves as Senior Vice President for the Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), where she supervises all legislative and advocacy activities conducted by NCLR policy staff. Muñoz is the Chair of the Board of Center for Community Change, and serves on the U.S. Programs Board of the Open Society Institute and the Board of Directors of the Atlantic Philanthropies.  She is the daughter of immigrants from Bolivia and was born in Detroit, Michigan. In June 2000, she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation fellowship in recognition of her work on immigration and civil rights.

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Transition Updates

Latino Senator Chosen to Serve as Chairman of the DSCC

Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) was selected to serve as Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) for the 2010 election cycle. Menendez will succeed Senator Chuck Schumer and will now lead the Democrats’ campaign efforts for the Senate. Menendez currently serves as the DSCC’s Vice-Chairman and has taken a key leadership role in the Senate Democratic Caucus just two years after winning his Senate seat.

“I am humbled by this opportunity, and I fully recognize the responsibility that comes with it. In 2006 and again this year, under the masterful stewardship of Senator Schumer, we have made major gains toward bringing change to our country,” Menendez said in a statement.

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UPDATE- It’s Official?

brichardonsPresident-elect Barack Obama has chosen New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to be Secretary of Commerce adding a prominent Hispanic and one-time Democratic rival to his expanding Cabinet. President-elect Obama plans to announce the nomination after Thanksgiving, according to a Democratic official familiar with the discussions.

Richardson had a distinguished career in Washington before returning to New Mexico where he was elected governor in 2002. Richardson served as U.N. Ambassador under President Bill Clinton and later as Secretary of Energy. He was also a member of the House of Representatives from 1983 to 1997.

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Over the weekend, several news sources reported that Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) is the top name on Obama’s list to head the Interior Department, a job that would put him in charge of federal lands, national parks and endangered species.

As reported by Politico.com, Grijalva recently lambasted the administration for poor treatment of national parks. He also opposed President George W. Bush’s recent decision to allow coal mining in Arizona. The Congressman also has introduced several pieces of legislation to restore and protect federal lands. He has also supported global warming legislation and funding for renewable energy.

Congressman Grijalva is chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands and was just tapped as the new co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Congressman Grijalva also sponsored the Borderlands Conservation and Security Act in 2007, which he introduced as a response to the Secure Fence Act of 2006. The Secure Fence Act granted the federal government permission to build a border fence between the U.S. and Mexico without consideration to the environmental impacts the wall would have on borderlands. Congressman Grijalva’s act called for allowing experts at the Department of Homeland Security to decide the best form of border security for a particular region, and for those officials to comply with laws protecting air, water, wildlife, culture, and health and safety. In addition, it called for the creation of a Borderlands Conservation Fund to help initiatives that mitigate damage to borderland habitat and wildlife

This announcement could not come at a better time; Last week it was reported that the Latino community had expressed discontent over the lack of Latinos being mentioned as possible candidates to serve in the Obama administration. However, this has changed now that Congressman Grijalva is being mentioned as a possible Secretary of the Interior. As well as with the announcement on Friday, that President-Elect Obama has asked Bill Richardson to serve as Secretary of Commerce. We look forward to hearing of more qualified Latinos being considered to serve in President Obama’s cabinet.

Politico.com

Grist

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Poder PAC is joining with other Latina organizations and the National Hispana Leadership Institute to host a teleconference call on Monday, November 24, 3:00 pm EST to discuss the application process and expectations for those who are interested in being considered for a position with the Obama Administration.

Dial-in Number:  (U.S. Toll Free) 877-366-0713

Verbal Passcode (to be given to the operator): VH33072

Participants’ Name, Organization/Company, Email Address will be requested for the Participant List.

The principal goal is to help to position Latinas as key players on the national stage and ensure that Latinas in leadership positions have access and power to influence policy.

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By:Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA)


Citizenship Oaths

The idea of the American dream is a simple one–work hard, sacrifice for your family, and provide your children with more opportunities than your parents were able to leave you. As a third generation, or “sansei,” Japanese American, who went from toiling the strawberry fields of California to walking the Halls of Congress, I have experienced the American dream in a very deep and personal way.

This presidential election reminded America of the power of our diversity and the value of every person, whether he spent his childhood in Mexico, or she came from the suburbs of Illinois, or he was the son of a Kenyan goat herder. The Democratic Presidential Primaries and the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States will be forever remembered as a time when our diverse nation came together to bring about the change our country needs.

Initial findings show that “New American” voters—naturalized American citizens or children of immigrants born in the US since 1965—overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama and the Democratic Party in the 2008 Presidential Election. The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) found in its preliminary analysis that Latino New American voters
were essential to President-Elect Obama’s victories in such swing states as Indiana and North Carolina. According IPC’s findings, Obama’s roughly 26,000 vote victory over Sen. McCain in Indiana was largely made possible by Obama receiving 24,000 more Latino New American votes than McCain.

Furthermore, Asian New American voters became a focus of the Obama campaign, with the campaign releasing its “Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Blueprint for Change,” the most comprehensive position paper a presidential candidate has ever assembled for the AAPI community. The efforts paid off, as CNN exit polls show 63% of Asian Americans supported Obama nationally.

The support of New American voters for Barack Obama and the Democratic Party makes sense. Obama is the son of an immigrant father, spent part of his childhood overseas, and was raised by a hardworking mother and middle-class grandparents who constantly promoted sacrifice and the value of education. New American voters from all races connected with our party’s first African-American presidential nominee and ultimately connected with the Democratic Party itself.

The Democratic Party showed itself to have the priorities of New American voters–a strong economy at home, a restored image abroad, an education system that allows every child to realize his or her potential, and a healthcare system that works for all Americans, particularly for our seniors. Above all, this year President-Elect Barack Obama and the Democratic Party proved that the American dream endures in the 21st century.

Congressman Mike Honda has represented California’s 15th Congressional District since 2000. Honda is a Senior Democratic Whip, Chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), and Vice-Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Honda currently serves on the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

We would like to thank Congressman Honda for sharing with our readers his perspective on this historical election.

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Transition UPDATE!

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez has been Elected Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus

Congresswoman Nydia M. Velazquez (D-N.Y.) was elected by her peers in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) to lead the group for the 111th Congress. As Chair of the CHC, the Congresswoman is committed to increase opportunities for the nation’s 47 million Hispanics.

“It is an honor to have been selected by my colleagues as Chair the Congressional Hispanic Caucus,” Congresswoman Velazquez said. “With their rapid growth, increasing purchasing power and political influence, this is both an exciting and critical time for Latinos.”

Since being elected to Congress in 1992, Congresswoman Velazquez has been an active member of the Caucus, chairing the Economic Development Task Force as well as holding the position of Vice Chair. Her leadership and advocacy stretches outside the CHC to include serving as Chair of the House Small Business Committee.

PR Web

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eventocca-nhli

Poder PAC is joining with other Latina organizations and the National Hispana Leadership Institute to host a teleconference call on Monday, November 24, 3:00 pm EST to discuss the application process and expectations for those who are interested in being considered for a position with the Obama Administration.

Dial-in Number: (U.S. Toll Free) 877-366-0713

Verbal Passcode (to be given to the operator): VH33072

Participants’ Name, Organization/Company, Email Address will be requested for the Participant List.

The principal goal is to help to position Latinas as key players on the national stage and ensure that Latinas in leadership positions have access and power to influence policy.

Read Full Post »

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