A self-taught percussionist, Valentino began his professional career at 14 years old with the Pete Robles Orchestra. His longstanding friendship with Tito Puente began in at the Casino Ballroom in Tucson, Arizona, when he was invited to perform with Tito Puente's band. Over the years, Valentino continued to be a guest with Tito Puente's band, the final time being at Centennial Hall at the University of Arizona in
After a year of teaching, she earned a public policy fellowship from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute CHCIwhich is dedicated to helping obtain government jobs for young Latinos. She worked as a lobbyist on issues ranging from higher education and early childhood education to technical education and immigration.
She also served as a Legislative Assistant for Congressman Ciro Rodriguez Texascovering education, health and labor on the local and federal level and serving as the Congressman's liaison for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Gomez worked for three years as the senior education policy adviser to Rep. She also spent five years at the American Federation of Teachers, where she lobbied Congress on education policy. Gomez played a key role in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, which decreased interest rates for student loans.
Latinos filling more high-level government jobs By Richard S. Supreme Court has focused national attention on her Latino heritage and the history-making nature of her selection. But the bright spotlight on Sotomayor has obscured a highly significant shift in the ways of Washington: President Obama has selected far more Hispanics for his administration than any previous president in American history.
Latinos Salvador lopez i demand my share 11 percent of the new president's first nominees for senior administration positions requiring Senate confirmation, according to the White House.
That shatters the 5. Bush during the first 18 months of his presidency, according to Office of Management and Budget statistics. Bush had broken the previous record held by his predecessor, Bill Clinton, who filled 4.
In addition to 33 positions requiring Senate confirmation, Obama has chosen 26 Latinos for White House staff jobs -more than any of his predecessors. Obama's Latino wave is a stark reminder of the increasing clout of the nation's fast-growing and largest minority group. But it also reflects a Hispanic power shift from Texas to California.
Of the top Latinos in the Obama administration, 21 have connections to the Golden State, while 14 boast Texas ties - a reversal from Bush and Clinton days.
Civil rights advocates hail the rapid increase in Latino employment in the West Wing and beyond. The Obama administration is simply reflecting the emerging reality of America in the early 21st century.
It also reflects the complexity of a president who proudly calls himself an American "mutt" - a biracial president, the son of an immigrant, a person who has experienced racism and benefited from affirmative action.
And it demonstrates the growing political clout of a coveted and pivotal voting bloc that has trended strongly Democratic in the past two national elections. But the administration remains sensitive to charges from some conservative commentators that it has elevated diversity over competence.
Clinton's Latino network included a group of Mexican Americans who worked with him in Texas during the George McGovern presidential campaign and others who assisted him in his rise to national prominence in neighboring Arkansas. California shift But Obama did not have a similar relationship with Texas.
As a result, California - a state with The president's personnel picks were the survivors of an arduous staffing process that began in the early days of the transition.
Former Clinton Cabinet member Federico Pena, a Texas native who later became Denver mayor, and Frank Sanchez, who landed a top job at the Commerce Department, reached out to Latino groups and elected officials to seek candidates for administration positions.
But Obama made clear at a meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that he wasn't looking for political hacks.
He wanted people who had distinguished themselves. We want our federal agencies to be 15 percent Hispanic. I had the privilege of knowing Cesar Chavez and speaking truth to power on the same platform with him several times during his lifetime.
We had organized a nonviolent protest against segregation and racism in the barrio high schools of East Los Angeles. Over 10, students marched in that historic protest. I was later indicted and imprisoned for "conspiracy to disturb the peace and quite of the neighborhoods" along with 12 other student and community civil rights activists.
We each faced 66 years in prison if convicted.
After two years, the California Appellate Court found us innocent, thanks to the 1st Amendment of the U. Cesar was extremely busy dealing with his union's historic Delano Grape Strike at the time of our imprisonment, but he took time out to publicly defend us and send us a telegram expressing solidarity for our cause.
Martin Luther King, Jr. We called it the Chicano Movement. Cesar rose from humble beginnings to become one of the world's best-known labor organizers and spokesman for the poor. At age 10, Cesar and his family moved to California to look for migrant work after the family lost their small farm.Get the latest international news and world events from Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and more.
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