LatinaLista — Before Congresswoman Hilda Solis accepted the nomination to be Labor Secretary, she was known to those of us who aren’t her California constituents for being a champion of women. Women who suffered as victims of domestic violence and women who were suffering across the border in Juarez, Mexico as victims of faceless assailants who kidnapped and murdered the women’s daughters.
Congresswoman Hilda Solis
Solis didn’t just sponsor bills as a congresswoman; she got involved and championed issues. If her nomination passes the Senate, then the Latino community has lost one congressperson who went beyond the call of duty to actively support those bills that most directly resonate with the greater Latino constituency.
To some this may sound like a love letter to Rep. Hilda Solis, but it’s a sad realization that too few Latino congressional representatives take advantage of their positions to champion causes that touch the heart of the collective Latino community.
Given the small number of Latino representation on the Hill, Latino politicians’ jobs in Congress are a little harder than that of their colleagues because while they represent the immediate interests of those whose votes put them in Washington, they also must answer to the collective Latino pride that continually sees them and uses them as role models.
Latino representation in Congress has not done enough to reach out to the collective Latino constituency, nor champion those issues that plague the Latino community which create the dismal statistics that never seem to improve.
Washington’s Latino politicians need to actively reach out and get to know the Hispanic blogger community and communicate what they’re doing, what issues they are working on, why they’re doing it and what impact it will have on the national Latino constituency. So, in turn, we can relay the message that dry press releases never quite accomplish.
Washington’s Latino politicians need to aggressively work with organizations to bring more young Latinos into the political process.
And finally, in this new age in Washington, it’s time for Latino politicians to answer the call to service to the larger community and create real change in championing those national issues that are holding the collective Latino community back from reaching their full potential.
It’s about time we had some Latino heroes in Washington.