Guest Voz: Florida’s Democratic contender, Annette Taddeo, finds herself the only Latina congressional challenger in the nation

LatinaLista — Annette Taddeo is not only Latina or a successful business owner, who was listed as one of the “Top 50 Latina Entrepreneurs in the U.S.” by Hispanic magazine, or embarking on a new journey that may take her to Capitol Hill — she is also the only Latina congressional challenger in the nation.

Annette Taddeo, Florida Democrat congressional challenger
At a time when the United Nations has released a report documenting how women are entering politics in greater numbers than ever in the past decade, it seems disheartening that only one Latina in the nation has decided that the battle for political office is worth the effort.
In a special guest post for Latina Lista, Ms. Taddeo shares her reasons for running as the Democratic nominee for Congress in Florida’s 18th District and reveals that aside from her background as a small business owner she brings another unique quality to Washington that would make her the first in the nation’s history if she’s elected.

Latinas now represent the fastest-growing population of business owners, and I am proud to be a part of this movement. Fifteen years ago, I started a language translation firm, pursued it with passion, and I have been blessed to watch it grow successfully since.
Now I am running for Congress because I want to bring my experience as a successful small businesswoman and community leader to Washington to help strengthen our economy and get America back on the right track.
As a businesswoman, I know how important it is to work with people and bring people together to get things done. My opponent, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is out of touch with our South Florida district and consistently votes with her party instead of in the interests of our district.
This district – Florida’s 18th – is 65% Hispanic, with a 35% non-Cuban Hispanic plurality. We have the polling, the resources, and the message to win this November.
Latinas have come so far both as businesswoman and community leaders, but we have much more work to do. As we progress successfully through the business and finance worlds, we must make similar progress in the political world.

Our voices and our experiences must be represented in Congress.
Only a Latina entrepreneur knows the struggles and barriers that another Latina entrepreneur must overcome to succeed, and in our House of Representatives, we need more representatives who can speak on our behalf.
It is also well past time that we have a South American presence in Congress. In all of U.S. history, there has never been a member of Congress of South American descent. I was born in Colombia, to an American father and Colombian mother, and I lived in Colombia until I was 17 years old. I know the issues that affect Latinos and Latinas from all across the Americas face, and while I will represent Florida’s 18th district, I will also speak for Latinas across the county and across the political spectrum.
We have an election in 46 days that will decide the future direction of our country. Wherever you live, I urge you to take your responsibilities seriously – research the candidates in your state and your district, and see who speaks for you. But also, know that we have a real opportunity this cycle, to support Latinas who speak for Latinas, and who can bring about the new beginning that our country needs.

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16 Comments

  1. Grandma said:

    I thought being a senator or congressman was about representing Americans, not just one group. Obviously, I was wrong:
    It is also well past time that we have a South American presence in Congress. In all of U.S. history, there has never been a member of Congress of South American descent. I was born in Colombia, to an American father and Colombian mother, and I lived in Colombia until I was 17 years old. I know the issues that affect Latinos and Latinas from all across the Americas face, and while I will represent Florida’s 18th district, I will also speak for Latinas across the county and across the political spectrum.

  2. laura said:

    I am happy to see the beautiful face of Annette Taddeo running for Congress. I hope she can bring a fresh voice, from her knowledge of the concerns of many Latina/os, to Congress, and I hope she can help bring in votes for Obama/Biden in her district.
    We need Florida Latina/os for the effort to prevent a looming McCain/Palin four more years.

  3. Alex said:

    I have south american roots too. My mother is Irish and my dad is from Argentina. But, as it would be nice to have a representative with South American roots in congress, due to their enthusiasm and energy, I would not vote for Grandma. I would not support a xenophobe at all. That is why the Republiklans lost my vote.

  4. Sandra said:

    I really find it offensive to call Republicans, “Republiklans”that is insinuating that the whole Republican party and all Americans affiliated with that party are members of the KKK or believe in what they stand for. That is a terrible thing to say.
    Xenophobia is a fear of strangers. Who in this country has a fear of strangers? We have been a diversified nation since its founding.

  5. Challis said:

    really, Grandma?
    did you really believe that?
    because it has been quite some time now that they have pretty much represented the rich white male American.
    where have you been?

  6. Evelyn said:

    You nailed it when you called the RepubliKLAN by it’s rightful name.
    Nativism in the House:
    A Report on the House Immigration Reform Caucus
    By the Building Democracy Initiative, Center for New Community
    In the ebb and flow of nativist politics, the House Immigration Reform Caucus has been one of the most powerful and significant forces on Capitol Hill. With 110 congressmen and women as of this report, its members constitute fully one quarter of the House of Representatives.
    Members have introduced some of the most punitive legislation proposed during the last two House sessions. Their past chairman, Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), is now running for president and participating in national debates.
    Their current chairman, Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.), is a former lobbyist for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Some of its members have helped legitimize vigilante organizations such as the Minutemen.
    While voters tend to view their representatives as individuals or by party affiliation, the members of the House Caucus have acted as a bloc. Collectively, they have stood athwart the legislative process, preventing the emergence of meaningful and humane policy choices. And they have gone all the while virtually unnoticed.
    The overwhelming majority of Caucus members are from the furthest, hardest edge of the Republican Party’s rightwing; only eight are Democrats. Although they often invoke the supposed interests of native-born wage earners, these representatives generally have stiff anti-labor voting records. Many also oppose a woman’s right to choose, and vote regularly against civil rights and civil liberties concerns.
    The report finds that the Caucus is ideologically-driven, and might more accurately fit an “ultra-nationalist” model typically associated with far-right European parties such as Jean-Marie Le Pen’s National Front in France, the Vlaams Belang in Belgium, or the Swiss Peoples Party. Although it is often assumed that nativist politics are the result of economic resentment, these congressmen and women are not elected from districts with a common economic or demographic character. They come from suburban, middle class California districts with a significant minority of Hispanic residents. In the South, Mid-South, and West they are elected from districts with a measurable percentage of rural, blue collar white voters, and very small numbers of Hispanics.
    Notwithstanding the Caucus’ political character, its members have received campaign contributions from a surprisingly wide range of sources, including AT&T, the American Medical Association, and Home Depot. All told, 2600 PACs, most of whom are not considered anti-immigrant, have contributed to the HIRC’s campaign coffers. In addition, Caucus members receive funding from nativist sources such as the Minuteman PAC as well as from ultra-conservative sources such as the Eagle Forum and the Club for Growth.
    The election of Rep. Brian Bilbray as the Caucus’ chairman is likely to cement the already symbiotic relationship between fringe anti-immigrant advocacy groups and Caucus members. Rep. Bilbray is himself a former lobbyist for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a controversial anti-immigrant organization that holds questionable ties to white nationalist and nativist groups. At the same time, the former HIRC director has gone to work at FAIR as a Government Relations Associate.
    Most recently, Caucus members have begun to actively promote legislation aimed at gutting the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. As of the time of this report’s printing, 90 members of the House of Representatives signed on as co-sponsors to legislation aimed at nullifying the Fourteenth Amendment’s “birthright” provision. If passed, this type of legislation would certainly provoke a constitutional crisis.
    http://buildingdemocracy.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1094&Itemid=9999
    http://buildingdemocracy.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1083&Itemid=10009

  7. Alex said:

    Republiklans are afraid, or have some kind of dislike towards strangers. They are the ones who support and encourage antagonism towards working families whose only mistake is not bein able to afford the papers that would allow them to work in our country without being persecuted and antagonized. There is more offense in separating families and have a whole community live in fear because of their ethnocentric and facist agenda. Just listen to their dragosn , imperial wizards, or whatever name they are called, like lou Dobbs, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O Reilly and almost all working in FIX NEWS, Glen Beck. Pure hatred and racism.

  8. Michaela said:

    Alex
    There is more offense in separating families and have a whole community live in fear because of their ethnocentric and facist agenda. Just listen to their dragosn , imperial wizards, or whatever name they are called, like lou Dobbs, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O Reilly and almost all working in FIX NEWS, Glen Beck. Pure hatred and racism.
    Oh, you mean like the ethnocentric, racist, facist groups like NCLR, Mexica Movement, MalDef and MecHA who seek to annihilate the white people of our country??? You mean like Janet Murguia, Isabel Garcia and Antonio Villaraigosa? What about them Alex? Or is it ok for them to exhibit vile hatred and racism against white Americans because their groups are brown, perfect and above the law?

  9. Evelyn said:

    Michaela said
    Janet Murguia, Isabel Garcia and Antonio Villaraigosa? is it ok for them to exhibit vile hatred and racism against white Americans
    Please provide proof of these accusations.

  10. Sandra said:

    Republicans are afraid and dislike strangers? Care to provide proof of that insane remark?

  11. Evelyn said:

    Sandra :
    Republicans are afraid and dislike strangers? Care to provide proof of that insane remark?
    E
    Here are three.
    DNC Documents Republican “Fear-Mongering” on Immigration
    by: Lowell
    Thu Dec 06, 2007 at 7:20:02 PM EST
    See here for a slideshow by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) of “Republican Fear-Mongering” on immigration.
    According to the DNC:
    In 2007, with nothing to run on, Republicans defaulted to running on ‘illegal immigration’.
    This slideshow is a collection of some of the most egregious mail pieces used in those elections. The strategy failed.
    Note that many of the slides come from right here in Virginia. Also, see here for the DNC’s report, “Hate on College Campuses” and here for “The Failed Republican Legacy on Immigration.” It’s not a pretty picture.
    Meanwhile, there’s a new LA Times/Bloomberg poll out that shows “a strong bipartisan majority — 60% — favors allowing illegal immigrants who have not committed crimes to become citizens if they pay fines, learn English and meet other requirements.” According to the LA Times, “One-third of Americans want to deny social services, including public schooling and emergency room healthcare, to illegal immigrants.”
    What do Americans think would be the most effective measures to deal with illegal immmigration? “More border security” is the choice of 31%, just ahead of the 27% who say “pathway to citizenship” and another 27% who say “sanctions against employers.” Only 16% favor “more arrests/deportations.”
    Lowell :: DNC Documents Republican “Fear-Mongering” on Immigration
    http://www.raisingkaine.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=11699
    ~~~~~~~~
    Voters Again Reject Republican Fear Tactics on Immigration
    The American people once again rejected the Republican Party’s divisive fear mongering on immigration yesterday at the polls, just as they did a year ago. In Virginia and New York Republicans lost ground despite using fear over immigration to try to distract from their Party’s failures on border security and immigration reform, and after failing to offer voters real leadership.
    “No fixation on immigration,” was the headline in the Washington Post looking at the races in Virginia. As the Post noted, voters “chose candidates…not out of anger over illegal immigration but based on party affiliation, a preference for moderation and strong views on such key issues as residential growth and traffic congestion.” [Washington Post, 11/07/07] Similarly the New York Times reported that the focus on immigration “had not proved to be the electoral boon Republicans had hoped for in local elections, despite the Republicans’ aggressive efforts to exploit” the issue of drivers’ licenses for undocumented immigrants in the state of New York. [New York Times, 11/07/07]
    A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll of Americans nationwide released just this morning echoed those results, showing the top five issues on voters’ minds heading toward the presidential election are the economy, Iraq, health care, terrorism, and Iran. According to the poll, immigration also came in below other economic issues including gas prices, poverty, and taxes. [CNN Political Ticker, 11/07/07]
    “The Republican Party should be ashamed of its ongoing reliance on fear and the scapegoating of groups of people to try to win elections,” said DNC Hispanic Caucus acting Chair Ramona Martinez. “As yesterday’s elections showed, the American people’s values and priorities don’t match up with the Republican Party’s Ann Coulter-brand of hate and divisiveness.
    Yesterday’s elections confirmed that when Democrats show up, talk about our values, and offer real leadership on the issues that matter most to the American people, we can win anywhere in the country.”
    http://www.democraticwarrior.com/forum/showthread.php?t=30940
    ~~~~~~~
    Another Example of Republican Fear Mongering? Uh huh.
    http://civicalert.org/2007/11/13/another-example-of-
    republican-fear-mongering-uh-huh/

  12. Sandra said:

    It doesn’t make sense to attribute any Republican’s or anyone elses views on illegal immigration as a “fear of strangers” when we allow in over one million legal immigrants per year in this country of all ethnic backgrounds. We have always been a diverse nation, so how can we “fear strangers”?
    Some Americans think we should cut back on immigration for various sensible reasons and some do oppose amnesty and giving benefits to illegals and most of us are for more secure borders but it has nothing to do with a “fear of strangers”. Well perhaps, “strangers” that are terrorist would be feared but that only makes sense.

  13. Sandra said:

    One of the links provided by Evelyn as proof that Republicans adhere to the KKK ideals and yet I couldn’t find anything remotely related to some sort of proof of that in it. Nothing about race was brought out and nothing about white supremism. All I read was sort of a guidebook for pro-illegal sympathizers to live by to demonize the other side. It isn’t KKK to use correct terminology about those in our country without papers. Illegals didn’t stick to working in the Ag industry as was suggested that was the reason that the Republicans imported them for.
    And I quote, Stop saying Illegals (4.00 / 1)
    After looking at the slide show I am convinced that Democrats, and moderates everywhere for that matter, should stop accepting the Republican framing of the issue which Republicans term over and over “illegal immigration.” This is another of the clever Republican uses of pejorative words to frame an idea they wish to use to inflame voters.
    You lose the argument before you start when you accept the term Illegals or illegal immigration. Therefore, always, yes always, call it “undocumented aliens” or simply “undocumented” or “undocumented workers,” and so on. And never mention undocumented workers without adding a jab at the Republican businesses which employ the undocumented, and, if there is an opportunity, remind listeners that the whole problem (if that is what it is) is a result of Republican policies since the 1980′s which opened our borders in order to bring in cheap labor for California agribusiness… it is Republican megabusiness interests which continue to frustrate any efforts by the federal government really to change things.
    Yup! I will accept THIS site as “proof” that Republicans are Klan, lol!

  14. Evelyn said:

    Sandra :
    Republicans are afraid and dislike strangers? Care to provide proof of that insane remark?
    E
    I gave you three articles explaining how Repuks have used fear of strangers “Immigrants,” however I dont expect you to understand. The proof was not so much for your benefit as it was for Americans who are willing to understand.

  15. Sandra said:

    Please point out the specifics of the articles you posted that proves that the Republican party has a fear of strangers and therefore oppose legal immigration. I couldn’t find any. I am intelligent enough to be able to understand it if I read it. Evidently you must be reading between the lines and putting your own twist on it.

  16. Arnold96 said:

    Youth participation becomes even more difficult if the organization and its people have a certain culture or work within a system that is prejudiced against participation. ,

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