Julián Castro Launches “People First Future” Political Action Committee

Julián Castro is helping the progressives…

The 45-year-old Mexican American politician and former member of President Barack Obama‘s cabinet, has launched a new political action committee aimed at supporting progressive down-ballot candidates who he believes are “prioritizing people, rather than special interests.”

Julian Castro

Castro, the former secretary of Housing and Urban Development and presidential candidate in 2020, plans to use the group — called “People First Future” — to “identify and support candidates up and down the ballot,” according to a press release from the newly formed organization.

The group also made their first endorsement on Thursday, backing 12 candidates running for U.S. Congress, including seven running in Castro’s native Texas and others in races Democrats hope to be competitive in come November.

“It’s never been more important to elect leaders in our statehouses, governor’s offices, school boards, and halls of Congress who will stand up for the most vulnerable Americans,” said Castro said in a statement. “While hardworking families struggle to pay rent, get good health care, or send their kids to decent schools, well-connected and deep-pocketed special interests get their way.”

The group plans to not only provide financial support to candidates to help beef up the bench of progressive Democrats, but also mobilize progressives across the country to support those candidates.

Castro’s list of endorsements includes his brother, Joaquin Castro, who is running for reelection in Texas’s 20th Congressional District, and Gina Ortiz Jones, who is running for the second straight cycle in Texas’s 23rd Congressional District. 

Castro’s Texas endorsements also include Wendy Davis in Texas’s 21st Congressional District; Candace Valenzuela in Texas’s 24th Congressional District; Julie Oliver in Texas’s 25th Congressional District; Sima Ladjevardian in Texas’s 2nd Congressional District; and Sri Preston Kulkarni in Texas’s 22nd Congressional District.

The former presidential candidate has also endorsed Lucy McBath, a congresswoman who first won Georgia’s 6th Congressional District in 2018; J.D. Scholten, an Iowa Democrat challenging controversial Rep. Steve King in the state’s 4th Congressional District for the second straight cycle and Mondaire Jones, a Democrat running in New York’s 17th Congressional District. Castro has also endorsed Marie Newman, the Illinois Democrat who unseated an incumbent in the state’s congressional district earlier this year, and Lauren Underwood, another Illinois Democrat who won her suburban Chicago seat for the first time in 2018.

The former cabinet secretary has begun to layout his post-campaign plans in recent weeks and just announced he was joining Voto Latino, a large political organization focused on registering and mobilizing Latino voters, as an adviser with the goal of registering one million Latino voters before November’s general election.

Castro ran for president for nearly a year, announcing his bid in January 2019 and dropping out in January 2020 after failing to garner needed support in either early states or nationally. The former cabinet secretary, though, did win goodwill from progressive operatives and voters during the campaign.

The new political organization will be run by many of the same people who staffed his presidential campaign. Natalie Montelongo, Castro’s campaign political director, will work as the group’s executive director, and Sawyer Hackett, Castro’s campaign spokesman, will work as a senior adviser to the organization.

Wilmer Valderrama Signs First-Look Deal with CBS Television Studios

Wilmer Valderrama has a new deal…

The 38-year-old Colombian and Venezuelan American actor’s production company, WV Entertainment, has signed a two-year first-look deal with CBS Television Studios.

Wilmer Valderrama  

WV Entertainment’s first-look agreement is for scripted and unscripted projects, with a strong emphasis on diversity.

“As someone who immigrated to the United States at 14 years old, I am immensely passionate about this opportunity to create engaging and culturally relevant projects with CBS Television Studios,” says Valderrama.

Valderrama’s production company has produced several projects, including The Hollywood Puppet Show, Handy Manny for Playhouse Disney, and Douglas Family Gold for Oxygen.

On the feature side he produced and is voicing the upcoming animated film Charming alongside John H. Williams, producer of the Shrek franchise.

Valderrama’s philanthropic endeavors include Harness, a group he launched recently with America Ferrera and Ryan Piers Williams, which is dedicated to connecting communities through conversation to inspire action and power change. Valderrama also serves on the board of Voto Latino and is co-chair of their artist coalition. He is also the spokesperson for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, and is the founder of their Ready 2 Lead program, which educates and empowers Latino youth.

In 2013, Valderrama was honored with an ALMA Award for Outstanding Social Activism.

Snow Tha Product’s “Despierta (Wake Up)” Featured in Voto Latino’s “27 million” Campaign

Snow Tha Product is getting out the Latino vote… 

The 29-year-old Mexican-American hip hop recording artist’s politically driven track “Despierta (Wake Up)” has been named the official theme song for Voto Latino‘s new campaign “27 million,” which is aimed at Latino voters.

Snow Tha Product

Along with influencers and activists including Dolores Huerta, Snow, whose real name is Claudia Feliciano, appears in the organization’s new video, which premiered on Friday (September 23), urging the 27 million eligible Latino voters in the U.S. to get registered and make their vote count in the upcoming November elections.

“For me, it’s important to be part of this campaign because young people need to wake up and worry about the future of our country,” Snow told Billboard exclusively. “People have been messing it up for years and it’s time for young people to fix it. Vote now, don’t complain later.”

Dawson Launches Online Platform Dedicated to Promote and Foster African Culture

Rosario Dawson’s latest philanthropic project is all about Africa…

The 35-year-old Puerto Rican and Afro-Cuban American actress has partnered with her longtime friend and business partner, Abrima Erwiah, to launch Studio One Eighty Nine, an online platform dedicated to promote and foster African culture and African-inspired content through creative projects.

rosario_dawson_abrima_erwiah

Dawson, who has advocated positive social change through various organizations like Voto Latino, the ONE campaign and the Vagina Monolugues-inspired movement V-Day, came up with the idea to launch the platform after a trip in June 2011 to the City of Joy, a V-Day supported community dedicated to empowering women survivors of violence.

“We were loving the empowerment that was there. It wasn’t just a different philosophy of life. It was saying ‘you’re powerful, you’re strong.'” Dawson tells Pret-a-Reporter. “The whole thing was turning pain into power.”

rosario_dawson_abrima_erwiah_embed

After meeting with members of the community, Dawson and Erwiah recognized what the women had to offer (“We just felt their kindred spirits,” says Dawson) and what they could give in return. Hence, it was the start of a beautiful relationship with the local creatives and the launch of their project.

The website is currently divided into three sections: an online magazine for showcasing African-inspired creative content; a supporting agency to help organizations with marketing and communications services; and a private fashion collection called Fashion Rising Collection, an artisan-produced label launched in support of V-Day’s One Billion Rising campaign to end violence against women.

“Let’s not just make [the movement] a one-day event, let’s create something that’s going to be impactful and yearlong, so that’s why we decided to call the line Fashion Rising because we’re employing women. We’re not going ‘hey we’re going to keep raising funds to keep your kid in school,’ we’re going to give you help and support for what you’re already doing,” explains Dawson. “That was the whole premise — we’re going to rise together. We’re going to collaborate and you’re going to be able to put your own kids through school.”

Dawson and Abrima, who both travel often to Ghana as well as other African countries, work directly with resident artisans, designers, artists, photographers and bloggers.

“We’re trying to tell long-term sustainable stories that are coming out of Africa to the outside market, as well as the inside market. It’s hard to find brands that are really working through the whole value chain,” says Erwiah, who previously worked at luxury label Bottega Veneta for 10 years, of the economic opportunities that have been created in Ghana, as well as other African countries, with the launch of Fashion Rising Collection. “We do our own textile to sewing and cutting to like every element of craft through the value chain.”

Erwiah adds: “By creating this platform that creates a demand for it, we’re then able to benefit the community by creating jobs because that’s an order, not just for sewing or cutting, it’s an order for every step on that chain.”

Currently selling on their website, the second Fashion Rising Collection (the first was sold at a pop-up shop with Urban Outfitters in L.A. and New York this past May) features pieces such as a green Aggie-print hand-Batik cotton military jacket and lime green ODLR-print hand-Batik terry cloth kimono, as well as Bottletop pink recycled pull can leather tassle purse and vegan leather carry-alls and coin purses.

Designers featured on the e-commerce include Geren Ford, Menzer Hajiyeva and Lulu, to name a few.

Longoria Among This Year’s Hispanic Heritage Awards Honorees

She’s one of the Latino community’s biggest advocates… And, now Eva Longoria is being recognized for her efforts.

The 38-year-old Mexican American actress, who recently received a special award from the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), has been named a Hispanic Heritage Awards honoree.

Eva Longoria II

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) recently announced this year’s eight honorees, with the former Desperate Housewives star at the top of the list.

The Hispanic Heritage Awards celebrate Hispanic cultural pride, contributions, and accomplishments,

Longoria will receive the Community Service Award, for her endless list of charitable and political efforts within the Latino community.

Here’s a look at the 2013 Hispanic Heritage Awards honorees:

  • Actress Eva LongoriaCommunity Service Award
  • Musical Group Los Tigres Del NorteLegend Award
  • Chef Jose Andres, Design Award
  • Superintendant Alberto CarvalhoEducation Award
  • Voto Latino President Maria Teresa KumarLeadership Award
  • Actress and Singer LuceroVision Award
  • Actor/Director/Producer Diego LunaInspira Award
  • Race Car Driver Juan Pablo MontoyaSports Award
  • Nonprofit National Math and Science Initiative, STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Award

“The Hispanic Heritage Awards are proud to honor yet another inspiring group of Latino leaders,” said Jose Antonio Tijerino, president and CEO of the HHF. “The Hispanic community has made significant contributions throughout history on America and the world and it’s an honor to be an organization established by the White House to recognize that impact.”

Longoria and her fellow honorees will be celebrated during the prestigious Hispanic Heritage Awards on September 5 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

The awards presentation will be broadcast on MundoFox on Sunday, September 15, at 6:00 pm EST.

Dawson & Alba Named to Fast Company’s Top 100 Creatives List

Rosario Dawson and Maria Teresa Kumar could be called a dynamic duo for their efforts to get out the Latino vote… And, now they’re being recognized for their creative vision…

Dawson and Kumar, who launched Voto Latino in 2004, have been named to Fast Company’s list of “The 100 Most Creative People in Business 2012,” an annual celebration of business innovators who dare to think differently. If you need any Business articles then visit to cofe winchester website. You can click here for the best blog related to business.

Rosario Dawson & Maria Teresa Kumar

Dawson and Kumar, who rank as the top Latino/as on the list at No. 12, were singled out for their mobile tech and grassroots savvy in encouraging voter participation from a growing constituency.

“Whenever we do voter registration, we ask, ‘Why haven’t you voted before?’ The response is often, ‘No one’s asked us,’” the 33-year-old Puerto Rican/Cuban actress and activist tells the magazine. “It’s not about telling people what to do–it’s about sharing what they can do.”

Voto Latino’s civic engagement campaigns have reached an estimated 55 million Latino households nationwide. The non-partisan organization has creatively and effectively used celebrity voices and the latest technology to register more than 120,000 young Latino voters, galvanize Latino youth and their families to be counted in the 2010 Census and mobilize them to speak out and take action on policies impacting their lives.

“By simply sending young Latinos texts on Election Day, participation increased close to 8%,” Kumar told the magazine. “We have to spend a lot of our time getting people to register to vote, which we do with technology, but what should be happening is secretaries of state should allow everyone to register online.”

But Dawson and Kumar weren’t the only Hispanic “creatives” to make the list…

Jessica Alba

Hollywood-starlet-turned-entrepreneur Jessica Alba, who came in at No. 17, was touted for “wooing the eco-conscious crowd.” The 31-year-old half-Mexican American actress co-founded The Honest Company, an e-commerce site for eco-friendly household products like baby products, cleaning supplies and body care items for a monthly subscription fee.

“I read a book called Healthy Child Healthy World when I was seven-and-a-half months pregnant, and my eyes were opened to all of the toxic chemicals that are in everyday household and baby products,” Alba tells the magazine. “So I went to the author of that book, Christopher Gavigan, and I hounded him for a year. I said, ‘I appreciate you’ve given me a handbook, but you haven’t given me a solution. Let’s make the solution.'”

Here’s a look at other Latinas making this year’s list:

No. 21: Claire Diaz-Ortiz, Manager of Social Innovation, Twitter
No. 48: Lourenço Bustani, Founder, CEO, Mandalah
No. 54: Flavio Pripas & Renato Steinberg, Cofounders, Fashion.me

Click here for Fast Company’s complete list of The 100 Most Creative People in Business 2012.