Having a task list as long as the Potomac River, I landed in our nation’s capital to attend the LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) convention.Little did I know of how the events to come would change not only my agenda but my perspective in politics, and life overall.
With an estimated 5,000 Latinos attending and a range of Speakers like Barack Obama and John McCain, this event is considered a top priority for leaders of all denominations, colors and flavors.It was amazing! Just walking into the hotel lobby and hearing political arguments in the different dialects of Spanish, Portuguese and even what we Latinos call “Spanglish,” made me feel right at home.
The next few days were exhilarating; this was the NASCAR of politics. Representatives from all across the nation discussing community affairs, labor rights, immigration, and education. So much information, so little time.
But the best was still to come.I was still focused on my meetings and attending media seminars, when I glanced over the event program and saw the key speaker for dinner.It was Hillary Rodham Clinton, and I had to be there.Not because of a party affiliation, but for simply being a woman.A woman that decided to be a participant not a mere spectator (even if I don’t agree with everything she says!).
Growing up with a “single-working mom” made me aware at a very early age the struggles that women face when trying to get ahead. That made this dinner so attractive to me, to see her face to face, to see the survivor in her, and to be inspired.Then, I came, I saw, and I conquered one of the most emotional events in my life.
When Hillary came out, it was not the presidential candidate, it was not the strong, determined women I expected, I suddenly realized I was in front of a flesh and blood woman.A 5 foot, 3 inch(?) middle-sized, blonde who talked about giving thanks and returning to the people what they give.I saw somebody who was tired of fighting but was still there, I saw my mom.
With a new conscience about sacrifice and action, I salute each Latino Leader that decided to become part of the solution. I’m grateful to Southwest Airlines for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this historic moment; and I am forever in debt with mom; who knew there was a world out there and she prepared us for it, even if it meant been there fighting when she was tired.