about 6 million adults Recognized in the United States as Afro-Latino or Afro-Caribbean, they make up 2% of the total US population and 12% of the country’s Latino population. But blacks with Latin American roots are still underrepresented in mainstream media, pop culture, and politics.
Despite racial and socioeconomic barriers, there are Afro-Latino people who are fighting for political representation, making positive change in their communities and making history in the process.National Hispanic Heritage the month ends, midterm elections Coming soon, here are eight Afro-Latinx politicians and political candidates you should know about.
Grace Diaz is the first black Dominican-American woman elected to state office. She has been in the Rhode Island House of Representatives since her November 2004. Diaz is a member of several committees, including the House Action Committee, the House Finance Committee, and the House Small Business Committee. She was named Democratic caucus speaker in January 2015 and serves as the House Special Legislative Committee and the first Vice Speaker of the Rhode Island Democratic Party. Over the past few years, she has introduced programs and laws that directly assist low-income families, college students, and seniors in Rhode Island, including the Student Success Act and the Rhode Island Parenting Assistance Program. Diaz is also a member of the National Association of Latino Electoral Officials (NALEO), Women in Government, Hispanic National Legislature, and the Rhode Island Black and Latino Caucus.
In November 2020, Ritchie Torres became the first openly gay Afro-Latino elected to Congress. He represents New York’s 15th congressional district, which covers most of the South Bronx and is one of the poorest congressional districts in the country. Prior to being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, Torres served on the New York City Council for seven years, becoming the youngest elected official in New York City and the first publically queer official in the Bronx. rice field. Also serving as Deputy Speaker during his seven-year tenure on the City Council, Torres passed more than 40 of his bills. Many of them focused on issues related to public housing. Torres is a member of the Financial Services Commission and currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Homeland Security Commission and of Congress where he co-chairs the LGBTQ+ Equality Commission.
Candice Valenzuela began her political career in 2017 when she became the first Afro-Latina to join the Board of Directors of the Independent School District of the Carrollton Farmers Chapter. On behalf of the whole, Valenzuela worked to expand his STEM education and vocational training, drive funding for school renovations, and focus on making school districts more inclusive to students of all backgrounds. . In 2019, she resigned to focus on campaigning for Congress and was the Democratic candidate for Texas’s 24th congressional district in the 2020 general election. She was later appointed regional administrator for the Department of Housing and Urban Development by President Biden and currently oversees Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.
Adriano Espaillat is the first Dominican American in history and the first to serve in Congress as a former illegal immigrant. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2016 and represents New York’s 13th congressional district. Before he was elected to Congress, he served as a New York State Senator and a New York State Legislator. During his time in the Senate, Espeyer served as a member of Environmental Conservation and as a ranking member of the Senate’s Committee on Housing, Construction, and Community Development. While in the New York State Legislature, he chaired the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian delegations. Now in his third term in Congress, Espia has helped pass more than 900 bills and has been a vocal advocate for immigrants, tenants and small businesses.
In 2016, Kristin Reeves made history as the first black woman elected to the Washington House of Representatives in nearly 20 years. She served as Vice Chair of the Business and Financial Services Commission and was a member of Capital Budget and Community Development, Housing and Tribal Affairs. Reeves previously focused on economic development of the military and defense sectors as Executive Director of the Washington Military Alliance, South as Regional Director of Sound and Patty as Statewide Veterans Representative for Senator Murray (D-WA). I was working. Reeves is currently running for the Washington House of Representatives election. She won her August primary and is on the ballot in her November midterm elections.
Antonio Delgado is the first African-American or Latino elected to Congress from upstate New York. Earlier this year, Governor Kathy Hochul appointed Delgado as Lieutenant Governor of New York after Brian Benjamin stepped down. He is the first Latino and Afro-Latino to ever hold the position. Delgado previously served in the United States House of Representatives, where he represented New York’s 19th congressional district. During his time in Congress, he successfully passed the Family Farmer Relief Act and the Financial Assistance Enhancement for Students Act, among many others. He has also chaired the House Small Business Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Delgado appeared on the ballot for the 2022 lieutenant governor primary. He won his 58% of the vote and plans to vote alongside Gov. Ho Chul in his upcoming November midterm elections.
After winning the 2019 election by one vote, Julia Mejia became the first Afro-Latina and immigrant on the Boston City Council. Born in the Dominican Republic, she previously worked as an organizer for the Massachusetts Association of Charter Public Schools. She is the founder of her Collaborative Parent Leadership Action Network (CPLAN), an organization that provides innovative resources for students and families. In addition to her role as a city councilor, Mejia currently chairs several committees, including the School Board and the Government Accountability, Transparency and Accessibility Commission. She is also a member of the Civil Rights and Immigration Advancement Commission, Strong Women, Families and Communities Commission, among others. As an “advocate for positive change,” Mejia has been named “Best Local Hero” by Boston Magazine in 2020.
Maxwell Alejandro Frost
Maxwell Frost is a 25-year-old Afro-Cuban activist and gun violence survivor. He is currently running as the Democratic candidate for Florida’s 10th congressional district in the 2022 midterm elections. He hopes to “stop Republican Cuban-American power in Florida and win a central Florida seat to represent Orlando.” If Frost wins November’s general election, he will go down in history as the first Gen Z member of parliament, the first African Cuban member of parliament, and the youngest member of parliament. He previously worked as the National Organization Director for the March for Our Lives and as an organizer for the American Civil Liberties Union. He was also actively involved in Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign. Frost supports the Green He supports the New Deal, gun violence prevention, environmental justice, the abolition of prisons, and the decriminalization of sex work and marijuana use.
https://www.essence.com/news/afro-latine-political-figures/ 8 African Latinos who are breaking down barriers in US politics