Empathy in a Book: “Echando Raices”


The book is called “Echando Raices” (Growing Roots). A book by Carlos Arturo Rivera, a man who has dedicated more than 3,000 hours of community service while living in the United States. River says it is something that we must all try to do to contribute to this country.

Carlos Arturo Rivera is only one of many examples of the amazing immigrants who contribute to this country.   As if his dedication to helping others were not enough, he decided to write this book that shares stories of those who come here for better life. He talks about attorneys cleaning houses and doctors working in factories.  This book is a mix between the realities he had seen others experience and his own twist to the stories that can bring a tear or two.  Most importantly, it reminds us of the millions  of immigrants who come to the United States for a better life and who contribute to this nation.  It makes their struggles come alive.  It recognizes those who had a story before they arrived and weaves them into our society.

You can find “Echando Raices” on Amazon, or call Carlos Arturo and have a coffee with him, buy his book and know that you are sure to have a new friend.  His teléfono:  (954) 696-8395

Finally Out Of My Writer’s Block, And I Have 10 Tips


By Evelyn Perez-Verdia

It has been a while since I have written in Political Pasión, and I apologize. Like many of my colleagues, I went through a period of writer’s block. Possibly because I had so much to say, I had so much feeling based on the political atmosphere, that I had no words.  
Now I do. And I have a message for you. We need to wake up. As someone who has been in government and politics for the last fifteen years, I must admit that I have never seen what I am seeing today. I am not naive to what exists in the political world. However, I believe that technology has made us aware of how things really are. Either for personal interests or for the fact that many are tired of levels of corruption that politics has blanketed itself with, we are seeing the real face of politics. This face can not have makeover as it will continue to be ugly underneath. However, with the rights nutrients and care, it can improve.  

Here are some tips that I would like to give you, in order to change what is currently happening in the current world and to give the political world some nutrients to its ugly face:

1. Don’t believe everything you read. A journalism professor at the University of South Florida taught me something important. In order to know the truth, look at all sides of the story given and come to your own conclusions. Do not stick to one media source, but hear all sides.

2. Many politicians are looking for the interest of their parties. Look at what they say, and see what they do. We need to hold our representatives accountable. They are our voice, and we have the power to keep them in, or have them step down.

3. Strategists and political consultants have become more about the money vs. the principle. If you hire a strategist, look at their values. See if they believe in you. And in turn, remember, if you run for office…this is not about you. It is about making a difference in the lives of the people who elected you.

4. We live in beautiful nations where most have different societies and cultures. Learn from these cultures versus fearing them. Most fear is based on what you don’t know. To understand, you must engage and learn.

5. You can not win an election without listening. I find it amusing how most shots of candidates are based on them talking. It says a lot. In order to understand and represent others, we must learn to listen to all sides. There is a story, a pain, a reason for everything.

6. Never, ever assume you are going to win.  

7. Do not sell your soul. When someone asks you to write a story about them, don’t. We need to place ethics before recognition, money and power.

8. Campaigns have come to a low point. When people go low, expose them. Do not go to their level.

9. Do not swear. It seems that after the 2016 presidential elections, we have opened the door to speak without filters. You represent your organization, and if you swear, it makes the entire organization lose respect. This goes directly to Tom Perez and Donald Trump. I am not sure if a new poll came out that says people like this. In my view, it only makes me think we are in a close proximity to the movie “Idiocracy”

10. Remember that the ultimate goal in politics is to work for the common good. Reach out to your fellow colleagues, because at the end, they were elected by us, the people.

May this be the beginning of more insights.  I hope this moves something in you, as it did in me.  Are you ready for a real makeover?

As the world is watching a close election, Hillary Clinton should say: “Gracias, Sr. Trump”

clinton

By Evelyn Perez-Verdia

Strategists on both sides of their political machines are going crazy—some of them secretly kicking their behind for the many years that they have said that Hispanics do not vote.  The years I heard: “Do not pay attention to them, do not do anything to attract them.  It is useless, they do not vote.” Some of those “politico aficionados” will pay the price for this.   According to Florida Election Voter Stats Guru, Dan Smith, Hispanic turnout in Florida is exceeding their voter turnout at this same time in 2012.

Latinos will be a key factor

The final voter registration numbers in Florida found on the Florida Division of Elections website show that there are 501,344 Hispanic Republicans, 737,589 Hispanic Democrats and 634,236 Hispanics with No Party Affiliation (Independents), which I like to call: the persuadables.  One candidate who will be affected is Florida U.S. Senate Candidate, Patrick Murphy who just started his Spanish ads a month ago.  It was suggested to him a year ago on how important the Latino vote was in this election.

Democrats may plan to make the  Puerto Rican “Coqui” Frog their national mascot

Going back to Clinton, According to stats found by Politico’s Marc Caputo, the Democratic presidential nominee has a 60 percent to 30 percent advantage over Trump with Florida Hispanics.  Thankful to the Boricua’s she must be!  Without Florida’s 29 Electoral College votes the presidential candidates can say good-bye to the “Casa Blanca” (White House).  Also, due to the Cuban-American conservative vote, her favorability numbers with Hispanics are lower here Than in other states.  The increase of Latino voters who are casting votes, is the moment where Hillary Clinton must thank the man that made this happen for her and say: “Gracias, Sr. Trump.”  An increase in Hispanics voting is based on the fear many Hispanics have that Trump be the next president.  It is a daily conversation and it is seen in the polls.

Democrats must be saying “Gracias a Dios” (Thank God) it was not Bilingual Marco Rubio as the many emails that WikiLeaks unveiled showed Democrats feared him as a presidential candidate, which was clear when Clinton named Rubio, and not the other 16 candidates in the beginning of the race.  Or possibly a candidate like Jeb Bush, with the right intentions, and his mother Barbara Bush who is loved by America and who says that she cannot understand how any woman could vote for Donald Trump.  At the end of the day, the election may be so close, I believe it will be decided by women and Independents.

TV Reality o Telenovelas?

However, we must analyze that when the average American watches 6-8 hours of television a day, didn’t we get what we wanted?  It was the charismatic man who has spent the entire election making us laugh, to then become concerned as others felt they were finally part of something.  Then we felt that we entered the Twilight Zone.  Then came the acceptance that our country would possibly be lead by a TV Reality Star and a man that in France they would see as “Le Americaine” who talks to them in English and asks them where there is a McDonalds, or a KFC in Paris.  Then all your friends in other countries who are constantly watching say to you that America is finally like the movie Idiocracy.  

trump-kfc

Lloro Por Ti, Republicano (I cry for you Republican)

My heart goes out to all of my Republican friends who cry themselves at night, as they see this beautiful dream of what a small government America would be with support for small businesses, as it gets trampled by talks about female parts and small hands. For those who wore the Reagan shirts with pride.  For those who have Abraham Lincon mugs that say: “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”  I suggest that it is time to change those mugs this year to when Lincoln said: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”  A lesson that our demographics will not change, and different cultural communities must be included and feel invited within the GOP.  According to the pollsters of Latino Decisions, 44% of Hispanics feel that the GOP is more hostile to them than the 22% that felt the same in 2012.  I believe all hope is not lost as we see a younger generations of Republicans being more lenient on LGBT issues or becoming more moderate.  If they can convince enough Republicans and Independents, they will be ok.

Some still have hope, as some intelligent fervent Hispanic Republicans will still vote for Trump, because for them there are higher points at stake like the security of this country, the Supreme Court Justice choices, their fear of “pay for play” in the White House, or they just really, REALLY dislike Hillary Clinton.  But there are other Republicans who are in the limelight, with mothers, wives, and daughters who must step aside or they will also be secretly punished in the ballot box by the women who vote more than men since 1980.

The Positives

As we look at the positives, we have been working for years for the 27 million Latinos who are eligible to vote to wake up.  This is the first year that those Latinos who told me that they did not care about politics, are in line to vote, to make a statement.  They send their pictures and they take their friends who did not want to vote.  It has opened the eyes of Muslim American communities who are targeted and hated as they pay the price for the work of the extremists in their religion.  Or the Asian-Americans who have suffered by the lack of educations of culture.  They have decided to come out.  To the Black vote that finally saw victory in 2008 with an African-American President becoming the leader of the United States of America, and know that racism is alive and must vote against it.  To the many White Anglo Saxons like my 70 year old father from Kentucky who has never asked me about politics, and questions the current rhetoric as he says to me: “But we are country of immigrants, we all come from everywhere.” For the women who have had to accept to be called a “minority” when females are 51% of the U.S. population and vote in higher numbers?  To the Republicans who are ashamed of what their party has become.  For all these different minority groups, vengeance is sweet, and it comes in the form of a secret ballot, which I believe will be the “adios” factor for Donald Trump.

Processed, not digested

Senior writer for Politico Magazine, Michael Grunwald recently quoted a millennial in South Florida who said he was undecided about who to vote for. His quote could describe something key felt by undecided eligible voters in America, but still not digested: “Adrian described the general election as choice between a woman who embodies everything wrong with politics and a man who embodies everything wrong with humanity.” This mass sentiment and voter turnout is showing the way.  Sorry, Mr.Trump, but these factors show you  will have to concede as you give a bow and end your performance.

As the world watches, the current momentum shows that Hillary Clinton will become the 45th and first female president of the most influential country in the world. It will not be easy.  It will be very tough after the damage this election has caused on America.   But key votes in key states point to her, no matter if we like it or not, and she has Donald Trump to thank.  Unless something completely unexpected happens in the next days that makes the white vote go vote in masses on Election Day, many minorities will wish they had voted as America elects Donald Trump.

Check out what JJ Rendon, a recognized political strategist in Latin America said in 2014 about Donald Trump:

Can it still happen?  In this election, we have learned that anything is possible.  Go out and vote, if not, someone will vote for you.  Do not take it for granted.

In Unity There Is Strength

image

By Evelyn Perez-Verdia

when I started http://www.politicalpasion.com in 2014, it was a place where I could contribute to help people understand the misconceptions that many had about Hispanics/Latinos.

Recently the Pew Hispanic Center released information stating that six-in-ten Republicans and two-in-ten Democrats view Latin American immigrants’ impact on the U.S. negatively.   The issue is that the anger that is felt for Latinos and other immigrants is based on a culture that many can not understand.   They feel angry, and they say that anger is based out of fear, and fear is based on what we do not understand.

I recently was reading a book my mentor who passed away in December had in her library collection.  The book was published in 1971 and was called “The Ethnic Factor”. I found it amusing that chapter three was called: “Chicanos and Puerto Ricans: If They Vote, They Count”.  Not a very different statement from the presidential election of 2016, and how many strategists are counting on their turnout.  The difference is that in 1971, Latinos or how the book calls them “Spanish-Americans” were only 4.5 percent (9.2 million) of the total population.  In addition to the Cuban-Americans lightly mentioned in the book.

The book also made me realize how time has shown what happens when a Latin American community such as Cuban-Americans become involved in politics, contribute to campaigns and prepare their own to run for office.  If only every Latino community did the same.  Yet, the reason why we as Hispanics/Latinos do not count, is because many of us do not care to.  Reading this book made me realize that nothing has changed in almost 50 years.  We are just more, still asleep and not realizing the power we have through our vote, through taking peaceful action, through creating a movement that allows people to understand who we are as individuals of Latino/Hispanic descent.Most importantly, I believe it is time that we show our love for the country that has taken us in.

It has been such an honor to see what writing and uniting has created.  This blog has opened the door to meet so many valuable people.  It has opened the eyes to people in government.  It has also made some show their true colors.  It has been a good step forward, and the step was only based on my writings.

There have been times I have been asked by various candidates to write something about them on this blog  favoring them, and that I would get paid for it.  I never accepted it.  Because I feel that this blog should be a channel for sincerity.  The moment, we change this channel, the energy changes.

I have come to the conclusion that there are many people like me, who have something to say.  This blog should also be a channel for people to see our differences and our similarities. Most importantly, it should be a place for those who can give a piece of who are, and give it as an offering to the Statue of Liberty, as we remind others that we are all immigrants.

I have always considered myself a Probono blogger and never want this to be a site where anyone who writes gets paid to say what they think.  With that condition in mind, I would like to open http://www.politicalpasion.com to anyone who wants to share a piece of them with the following in mind: an article, poem, a video, an animation, a drawing, a song, etc…  Anything that will help people understand our Latino/Hispanic culture more or elections, politics or engagement more. If you are interested in taking part, please send your “contribution to society” to politicalpasion@outlook.com

I hope that as we open this door, we may create more understanding and more consciousness in our world.

image.jpeg

May we remember the poem “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus  that is graven on the tablet, on the pedestal where the Statue of Liberty stands:

“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

As one of my teachers said, the current political movie is now playing.  We now should prepare for its outcome.

Only in unity there is strength.

-Evelyn

 

Political Fanatics

Fanatic

By Evelyn Perez-Verdia

“Extremes to the right and to the left of any political dispute are always wrong.”

― Dwight D. Eisenhower

I believe one of the topics most Latin Americans relate to is soccer. They may not take time off to go and vote, but when the World Cup happens, rest assured that you will see an increase of sick and paid leave in the Hispanic population.

It is so embedded in us that in 2007, my friend Angelette and I did a commercial to teach Hispanics about the new voting machines that would start being used at election offices around Florida.  We used soccer to make our point:

Futbol: New Form of Voting

Yet, as I think about it more, I realize how much the two major political parties have become like soccer.  I think of the blow in the last World Cup that “my soccer team” Colombia gave to Neymar, the best player of the Brazil team, who suffered from a broken vertebra when he was hit by someone from my team. Colombia had never been so close to winning the World Cup.  I remember being in a place with so many Colombians and all of them shouting in joy as Neymar was on the floor filled with pain.  Neymar was not a human from planet earth like all of us–Neymar was the enemy.  Brazil was wrong, Colombia was right.  Neymar “deserved” to be hurt.  In soccer, when it comes to your team, you become so blind because you want to win, that you become a fanatic.  The penalties against your team are always incorrect.  You stick by their side till the end.  You celebrate with them when they win, and cry with them when you lose.

Democrats and Republicans have gotten to the point where many have become “soccer fanatics”.  The majority are not willing to listen to the other point of view.  Parties come first before the principle, where all that matters is winning the election, and special interests overtrumps the wishes of the people they represent.

I have been an Independent since 2010.  I used to be a Democrat.  I never had the courage to sign a form that said that no matter what, I always had to support and vote for a Democrat in the elections.  The man or woman could be incompetent, yet I needed to support them because they were Democrats?  No, thank you.  I have been offered to become a Republican and even become appointed to a Governor’s board if I decided to do so.  No, thank you.  No one can buy me.  Because I am not a fanatic, and I also do not want to become one in the near future.  I believe there a many Republicans and Democrats that are also not fanatics, overshadowed by the extremists of their party.  Possible extremists because it is no longer about us, it is about power, it is about ego, and it is about winning.  When this changes, our nation will improve.  When we have more members of Congress trying to work with both sides, our nation will change.  Yet, as Americans we tend to forget history.  A history where 20 years ago, we may not have been in agreement with everything of the opposing party, but we came to a consensus for the betterment of the people.  For the sake of the “American Team”.

Maybe that is why I am independent, too cynical to believe that either party has all the answers, and too optimistic to not get involved in the political process.  Maybe that is the reason why 45% percent of all Americans currently self identify as independents.  The last time this happened was 70 years ago.  70 years ago, we were in World War II.  Should I say more?

Former U.S. Treasurer and Florida Members of Congress to Participate in Immigration and Economy Panel

By Evelyn Perez-Verdia

In a time in which immigration is on America’s mind, former U.S. Treasurer, Rosario Marin, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Congressman Carlos Curbelo will be coming together in Miami for a panel discussion on the importance of immigration to the economic growth of the United States.  The panel will be moderated by former Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart.  The welcome will be given by Colombian-American Community Leader, Fabio Andrade.  

The event is sponsored by: AC Alliance, The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute, and Americas Community Center.

To attend, please view the information below.

 

Florida Democratic Party Searching for a Bilingual Media Director

flademsBy Evelyn Perez-Verdia

Viva the FDP!  The day has come.  After a strong initiative from various leaders in Florida, The Florida Democratic Party has agreed on the importance of hiring  a communcations professional to serve as Press Secretary and Director of Hispanic Media for the 2016 campaign cycle.  Speaking further to Chairwoman Allison Tant about this position,  Political Pasion asked her if the position would continue past 2016.  Chairwoman Tant stated: “It will be ongoing after ’16 as long as we have the budget to fund it.  I am committed to see this happen.  So now put the word out so we have good applicants!”  In addition, the party has hired Sheyla Asencios as their Hispanic Outreach Coordinator and she will start working with the FDP starting September.  Samantha Pedrosa, has also joined the FDP team and started in their finance department yesterday.  Allison Tant ended by saying: “We are building a great team!”  Here are the details for those who wish to apply to the position:

The Florida Democratic Party is seeking communications professional to serve as Press Secretary and Director of Hispanic Media for the 2016 campaign cycle. 

This position will assist the communications director in the day-to-day responsibilities of the communications department and will oversee Spanish-language communication for the Party. This will include on-the-record conversations with local, state, and national media, and the drafting and translating of press releases, op-eds, and social media content.

The job will be based in South Florida with frequent travel to Tallahassee and statewide.

Responsibilities: 

  • Assist the communications director in day-to-day press responsibilities and rapid response
  • Develop relationship with Hispanic press outlets and reporters
  • Manage Spanish-speaking surrogates throughout Florida
  • Organize, pitch, and execute earned media events targeted at Hispanic media outlets
  • Write or translate press releases, op-eds, and social media posts
Qualifications: 
  • Fluency in Spanish (speaking, reading, and writing)
  • Experience with media, public relations, or journalism
  • Demonstrated exceptional

Please email resumes to Max Steele at msteele@fladems.com