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.