Alejandro Mayorkas to Become First Latino to Helm the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Alejandro Mayorkas is making political history…

U.S. president-elect Joe Biden has nominated the 61-year-old Cuban lawyer and former deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security as the first Latino to helm department.

Alejandro Mayorkas

Mayorkas will be tasked with rebuilding an agency that carried out some of the most draconian measures associated with President Donald Trump‘s hardline immigration policy, including family separations at the US-Mexico border.

The choice reflects Biden’s desire to construct a diverse Cabinet with experts versed in public policy and deep experience in government.

In taking over the DHS, Mayorkas faces the greatest domestic challenge.

The department became the enforcement arm of some of Trump’s most controversial programs.

His selection received an early endorsement from former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, who ran in the Democratic presidential primary and has emerged as a leading immigrants’ rights advocate.

“Alejandro Mayorkas is a historic and experienced choice to lead an agency in desperate need of reform,” Castro tweeted. “As an immigrant and a creator of the DACA program, he’s well suited to undo Trump’s damage and build a more compassionate and common sense immigration agenda.”

Julian Castro to Take Part in 2020 Presidential Candidate Forum on LGBTQ Issues

Julian Castro will be discussing LGBTQ Issues later this week…

The 45-year-old Mexican American politician and Democratic US presidential candidate will take part in the national 2020 Presidential Candidate Forum on LGBTQ Issues.

Julian Castro

Hosted by Pose actress Angelica Ross, the forum is presented by GLAADOne IowaThe Gazette and The Advocate and will be livestreamed from Coe College’s Sinclair Auditorium in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on September 20 at 7:00 pm CT.

In addition to Castro, whowas the youngest member of President Barack Obama‘s Cabinet, serving as the 16th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2014 to 2017, participants include Joe BidenCory BookerPete Buttigieg, Tulsi GabbardKamala HarrisAmy Klobuchar, Joe SestakElizabeth Warren and Marianne Williamson. Country artist and contestant on season 11 of The Voice Billy Gilman is set to perform the National Anthem at the event.

A transgender activist, Ross will join GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellison stage tol bring LGBTQ specific-issues to the forefront of discussion in the 2020 presidential election. 

During the Forum, each candidate will discuss their plan and vision for improving LGBTQ acceptance in a divisive time for marginalized communities.

“This LGBTQ Presidential Forum is a pivotal moment in the 2020 election cycle,” said Ellis. “It’s the first time that LGBTQ issues will be exclusively discussed by 2020 presidential candidates on a national stage.”

She adds, “We look forward to hearing how the 2020 candidates plan to reverse the attacks and rollbacks of the Trump Administration and put LGBTQ Americans on a course to 100% acceptance.”

This comes at a time when members of the American LGBTQ community have faced more than 124 anti-LGBTQ attacks in policy and rhetoric from the Trump Administration. This includes the ban on transgender Americans from serving in the military and the administration’s opposition to the Equality Act.

Julian Castro Among Democratic Presidential Candidates to Qualify for Next Debate

Julian Castro has made the cut…

The 44-year-old Mexican American politician and presidential hopeful is one of 10 Democratic candidates who’ve qualified for the next debate.

Julian Castro

ABC News and Univision will give each of the candidates slightly extra time to respond to questions than they were given at the last event, and they’ll be able to make opening statements but not closing remarks.

Since no more than 10 candidates made the cut to qualify, there will be just a single debate, on September 12. 

It’ll air from 8:00-11:00 pm ET on ABC and Univision from Texas Southern University’s Health & PE Center in Houston.

ABC News has also announced where the candidates will be standing on the stage. The order, from left to right, will be: Amy KlobucharCorey Booker,Pete ButtigiegBernie SandersJoe Biden,Elizabeth WarrenKamala HarrisAndrew YangBeto O’Rourkeand Castro. 

Candidates leading in the polls — Biden and Warren — were placed at the center, with the other candidates fanning out from that point based on their ranking.

ABC Newschief anchor George StephanopoulosWorld News Tonight anchor David Muir, correspondent Linsey Davisand Univision anchor Jorge Ramoswill moderate.

Candidates will be given one minute and 15 seconds to respond to direct questions, and 45 seconds for other responses and rebuttals, ABC News said. That is a bit more time than CNNallocated for its debate coverage on July 30-31, when candidates were given a minute to respond and 30 seconds for rebuttals. Some critics complained that candidates weren’t given enough time or had to abruptly finish when their time expired.

Longoria to Executive Produce Politically Themed Latino Family Drama “Pair of Aces”

Eva Longoria is bringing Texas politics to the small screen…

The 39-year-old Mexican American actress, who hails from the Lone Star State, is set to executive produce the Latino family drama Pair of Aces.

Eva Longoria

Longoria’s UnbeliEVAble Entertainment and Conde Nast Entertainment will bring to life the project, which has landed at ABC with penalty.

The project is loosely inspired by a 2003 Vogue article that profiled Democratic rising-star twins Julián Castro, mayor of San Antonio, and Joaquin, then-newly elected U.S. congressman.

Created and written by Meredith Lavender and Marcie Ulin (ABC’s Nashville), Pair Of Aces, described as an operatic family drama, revolves around brothers Chris and Alex Reyes, Latino golden boys who are both best friends and rivals. They are rising stars in Texas politics whose destiny is engineered by their manipulative mother Maria. She is determined to turn the Reyes family into the most powerful dynasty modern politics has ever seen.

The drama explores the American dream and the lies, blackmail and manipulation it takes to rise to the top of power in Texas — and perhaps someday D.C.

Universal Television, where UnbeliEVAable Entertainment has a first-look deal, is producing, with UnveliEVAble’s Longoria and Ben Spector executive producing alongside Conde Nast’s Dawn Ostroff and Gina Marcheschi.

Castro Elected to Lead the Freshman Class of U.S. Congress Democrats

U.S. Representative Joaquín Castro could be considered Congress’ freshman class president…

The 38-year-old Mexican-American Congressman, D-San Antonio, the twin brother of San Antonio Mayor and Democratic National Convention keynote speaker Julián Castro, was elected by his to serve as president of the freshman class of Democrats in the 113th Congress.

Joaquín Castro

The honor was bestowed upon Castro as freshmen received their committee assignments for the upcoming legislative session.

Both Castro and Representative Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, will serve on the House Armed Services Committee.

Meanwhile, Representative Ruben Hinojosa, D-Mercedes, is the new chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Newly elected Representative Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville, will serve on Agriculture and Homeland Security committees.

Castro Headed to Congress

Mr. Castro goes to Washington…

Joaquín Castro, the twin brother of San Antonio Mayor and Democratic National Convention keynote speaker Julián Castro, soundly defeated Republican David Rosa and two third-party candidates on Tuesday night, garnering some 64-percent of the vote.

Joaquin Castro

The 38-year-old Mexican American Harvard-trained attorney and five-term state representative will now represent Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives.

He’ll replace the retiring U.S. Rep. Charlie Gonzalez, D-San Antonio, in District 20. Gonzalez has served since 1999, replacing his father, Henry B. Gonzalez, who held the seat from 1961 to 1999.

“We won this race not only with the support of Democrats but also Republicans and independents,” said Castro.

Castro, considered a rising star of the Democratic Party, is being hailed by political insiders as “the most anticipated Democratic newcomer in Congress come swearing-in time in January.”

The 20th district is about 64 percent Latino and has a majority of Democrat registered voters. (55 percent)

Longoria to Speak at Democratic National Convention

It should come as no surprise that Eva Longoria will be making a big appearance at the Democratic National Convention… After all, she’s one of the co-chairs of President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign.

The 37-year-old Mexican American actress, who has been one of the president’s most enthusiastic surrogates during this election cycle and has emerged as a leading advocate of his reelection among Latinos, will be one of nine women scheduled to address DNC delegates from the podium. There aren’t any consistent records to cite, but most political observers believe that’s a record number of female speakers at a national convention.

Eva Longoria

“Ever since I was a little kid, my parents made sure I knew I could do anything if I worked hard. My sister Lisa, who faced obstacles growing up with special needs, taught me to be courageous and compassionate,” said Longoria In a pre-convention campaign video. “This is how I try to live my life day to day and this is what I see in everything President Obama does. Whether he’s fighting for affordable healthcare and access to education, or supporting small businesses in the Hispanic community, over the last three years he’s worked to reform our immigration system, to give everyone a fair shot at the American Dream.”

But the Desperate Housewives star and previously announced keynote speaker Julian Castro won’t be the only popular Hispanic leaders/celebrities participating in the Democratic National Convention.

Half-Mexican American actress Jessica Alba and her husband, producer Cash Warren, will serve as co-hosts of the week’s most important fundraising event, a joint open-your-checkbook party for all the pro-Democratic super PAC’s, including Priorities USA. The event, which is set for the convention’s closing night, is being called “Super-O-Rama” and hopes are high that it’ll help rescue the Democrats’ efforts in the independent expenditure sector, where they’ve badly lagged those of the Republicans.

Meanwhile, Cuban American journalist and television host Christina Saralequi will also be among the women addressing the convention during the three-day event, which takes place in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 4th through 6th.

Earlier this summer, Saralegui publicly endorsed Obama, saying “You’ve had our back, and now, with utmost respect and admiration, I have yours.”

Saralegui added that ”President Obama is a principled man who has worked hard to put healthcare and a good education in the reach of millions of Americans, and believes that everyone who works hard and plays by the rules, should have a fair shot at the American dream.”

Castro to Serve as the Democratic National Convention Keynote Speaker

He’s a rising star in the Democratic Party… And now Julián Castro will be making political history.

The 37-year-old Mexican-American politician, the two-term mayor of San Antonio, will be the first Latino keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention, an event chaired by another famous Latino politician: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Julian Castro

“Not only was the administration and Democratic National Committee recognizing the importance of Hispanics in America, but also I think it tells you that they’re seriously looking at Texas, at the demographic changes that have occurred in Texas [that] are making this state a state that quickly will turn purple and then blue after that,” said Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa, the first Latino to hold that post. “This honor … is a recognition of that.”

To many, Castro—the son of famous activist Rosie Castro—represents the future of the party, which is making every effort to solidify its role as the party of choice for Latinos.

In 2010, he attended President Barack Obama‘s national jobs-and-growth economic forum at the White House, an event where the president actually joked that he thought Castro was an intern.

Many believe Castro could be considered the future face of the party, and someone who could win the presidency one day.

In a video announcing the address, Castro praised Obama’s 2004 speech, as well as his health reform act and foreign policy.

“Julián really stands out,” Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda, an associate professor of Chicano and global studies at the University of California Los Angeles, told the New York Times in what has become a widely cited profile. “There are other talented young Hispanic politicians around, but few have his stature or national potential. He’s from San Antonio, but he’s very much admired in California. He’s like Obama — one of us, but someone who also comes out of a broader American experience.”