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Latinos in Obama’s Cabinet Not About Numbers

Victoria Defrancsco Sotobyline‚ Jan. 28‚ 2013

Obama Lacking Latino Cabinet Members

The proximate departure of Secretaries Solis and Salazar will represent a 0.0 level of Latino representation in President Obama’s top Cabinet posts. For Latinos to not be at the table when it comes to the highest levels of leadership is wrong. Latinos are a large and growing national voice and we have a wealth of talented and experienced leaders to step up. So the easy answer is we need Latino voices at the table; the hard part is how many and in what positions. But first, a little background.

As he was handed the phone, San Antonio county commissioner Albert Peña heard Bobby Kennedy on the other end asking for his help in getting the Latino vote. It was the summer of 1960, and the Kennedy presidential campaign was seeking the support of the Latino electorate in what later took the form of the first ever national Latino outreach, Viva Kennedy. Peña did not commit right away, but only after Bobby Kennedy accepted several conditions, one of which was considering Mexican Americans to high-level appointments in the new administration.