DemDaily: Latino Leaders Wield their Weight

January 29, 2018

The Mayors of Puerto Rico were honored Thursday night before a packed room of national dignitaries at theLatino Leaders Network Tribute to Mayors in Washington, DC.

Through six annual events the Latino Leaders Network brings together some of our country's most prominent public, civic and corporate leaders to establish relationships, build unity, and share their personal stories of obstacles overcome to achieve success.

LLN Founder & Chair Mickey Ibarra

The event highlighted Puerto Rico's ongoing struggle for recovery and resources since its near-destruction by Hurricanes Maria and Irma in September.

Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz of San Juan and Mayor María "Mayita" Meléndez of Ponce accepted the Antonio Villaraigosa Leadership Award on behalf of their colleagues - presented for their outstanding leadership in the face of the disaster.

".. some 40 percent of the people are still without electricity. There are many reasons for the slow recovery and the continued suffering ... We stand with Puerto Rico and urge the federal government to continue providing the resources needed to help the island rebuild." 
-- LLN Founder & Chair Mickey Ibarra

Over 350 powerhouse guests filled the ballroom of the Mayflower Hotel, including representatives from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, UnidosUS, MALDEF, Voto Latino, Victory Institute, and NALEO and other organizations that advocate on behalf the 52 million hispanics and latinos living in the United States.


Voto Latino President & CEO Maria Teresa Kumar and Mayor María "Mayita" Meléndez

The second-largest ethnic group in the United States, the latino community compromises approximately 17% of the US population and over 10% of the voting electorate. The powerful voting block includes 5+ million Puerto Ricans living on the US mainland.

The LLN event followed a tumultuous week of politics around immigration reform that included a government shutdown over the status of "Dreamers" or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and a subsequent public attack on "Sanctuary Cities" by the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

The nation's Capitol was also host this week to the bipartisan US Conference of Mayors (USCM), several of whom have been past LLN honorees, including Mayors Jorge Elorza (Providence), Ken Miyagishima (Las Cruces), Eric Garcetti (Los Angeles), and former Mayors Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (Baltimore), Wellington Webb (Denver) and Marty Chavez (Albuquerque).

Mayor Eric Garcetti (Los Angeles), who chairs the new Latino Alliance of USCM, received the Latino Leader's Network Chairman's Award Thursday night.

" We have this moment of time when all of us are called. When mayors are threatened with arrest by petulant children who are leading this country, who are weak, who are cruel. We are all told to stand together, latino's and non-latinos, immigrants and non-immigrants .. We will not leave you behind."   -- Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Mayor, who represents the country's largest latino constituency, was forceful in his message to the Trump Administration.

Mayor Garcetti: "These are tough times, these are moments when we are tested"

Other speakers included former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Voto Latino President & CEO, and LLN Board Member, Maria Teresa Kumar.

Top Sponsors include Bank of America, Southwest Airlines, Walmart, GEICO and Verizon, who have also contributed millions of dollars in support for families in Puerto Rico.

Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz Video Acceptance Speech
LLN Tribute to Mayors Event Livestream
Latino Leader's Network

Connecting you to The Party
Connecting you to Each Other

Kimberly Scott

RecommendedLatino Leaders Speak: Personal Stories of Struggle and Triumph
A collection of 33 keynote addresses by some of our country's most prominent Latino voices -- elected officials, labor, administration, business and faith leaders, an astronaut, journalist, athlete, artist, author and other activists -- who have paved the way for future generations.

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