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The U.S. Hispanic Caucus is pushing President-elect Joe Biden to put a Latina in his cabinet. Photo: Ryan Collerd / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

Hispanic Caucus Latinas: A cabinet that truly represents America needs Latinas

After historic Latino nominations, Hispanic Caucus members seek Latina representation in Biden’s cabinet.

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With cabinet positions dwindling, President-elect Biden has yet to select a Latina for one of the top positions in the White House.

In response, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) has been ramping up efforts to increase Latinx representation in his cabinet, but after the historic nominations of Alejandro Mayorkas for Department of Homeland Security Secretary and Xavier Becerra for Health and Human Services — the first Latinos in both agencies’ histories — the CHC has turned its focus to Latina representation.  

Most recently, the CHC has lobbied Biden to nominate Lily Eskelsen García for Education secretary.

Rep. Nanette Barragán (CA-44), Rep. Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Rep. Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), Rep. Debbie Mucarsel Powell (FL-26), Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Rep. Xochitl Torrez-Small (NM-02), Grace Nepolitano (CA-32), Rep. Nydia Velazquez (NY-07), Rep. Lori Trahan (MA-03), and Representative-elect Teresa Leger Fernandez (NM-03) also sent a letter to Biden, imploring him to consider a Latina for at least one of the remaining cabinet positions. 

“A Cabinet that truly represents America needs Latina representation,” wrote Rep. Barragán on Twitter. 

Rep. Linda Sánchez added that Latina appointees will help bring insight and perspective to deliver results for working families.

In the letter, signers credit Biden’s wins in Arizona and Nevada to Latinas, mobilizing forces that proved their influence in the election. It also hearkens back to Biden’s longtime promise of delivering a cabinet that reflects the diversity of the U.S.

Signers also brought the decision into the context of COVID-19. 

“The global pandemic has exposed the disproportionate economic and health burden on certain communities. These effects have been seen on the deadly impact of the virus in Latino and African American communities, as well as the devastating economic impact on working Latinos and women,” it reads. 

The letter emphasizes that in order to fully recover from the long-lasting health and economic consequences, the cabinet must include perspectives from all communities so that the best methods of response are implemented, even in hard-to-reach communities. 

Yesterday CHC Chair Rep. Joaquin Castro, also sent letters to the 18 Senate committees responsible for considering presidential appointees, urging them to weigh the needs of underrepresented communities and to  ensure Biden nominees are “representative of the country.”

Only a few spots are left, and CHC members are looking for their demands to be met.

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