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10 Latino Role Models in Politics … Making History!

From elected and appointed officials to activists and journalists, these Latinos and Latinas are exceptional role models -- for all kids.

We like to tell kids they can be anything they want, even president of the United States. As more Latinos succeed in the higher echelons of politics and other fields, they offer kids of all backgrounds -- especially those who are often underrepresented -- achievements worthy of admiration and emulation. The Latino government officials, activists, and journalists on our list make history as they represent diverse political views from all over the country.

Sonia Sotomayor. Growing up in the Bronx, New York, young Sotomayor overcame adversity, including juvenile diabetes, through determination and dedication to her studies. Her hard work paid off: Nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2009, she is the first Latina and third woman to become a Supreme Court Justice.

Marco Rubio. As a U.S. senator from Florida, Rubio gave the Republican Response to the 2013 State of the Union Address, delivered in English and Spanish for the first time. A presidential candidate for the 2016 election, he could be the first Latino in the Oval Office.

DREAMers. DREAMers are student activists who have proven that young people can make a difference. Motivated by resistance to the DREAM Act, undocumented students transformed the debate through political activism. As a result, some states passed their own versions of the bill. 

Julián and Joaquín Castro. These twin brothers from Texas are a notable force on the political scene. Julián, the former mayor of San Antonio, became Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2015. Meanwhile, Joaquín was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013 after serving in the state legislature.

Susana Martinez. Winning the Republican nomination for governor of New Mexico, Martinez was elected to the position in 2010, making her the first Latina governor in the U.S. and the first woman to be elected governor in New Mexico.

Patti Solis Doyle. Raised on the South Side of Chicago, Solis Doyle was an aide and campaign manager for Hillary Clinton and a chief of staff for the 2008 Barack Obama presidential campaign. She recently was named a CNN commentator for the 2016 election cycle. 

Hilda Solis. Making history more than once, Solis became the first Latina to serve in the California Senate upon her election in 1994. From there she became a U.S. representative and was confirmed as the first Latina U.S. cabinet member in the position of secretary of labor in 2009. Solis currently holds a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Rocky Chávez. California Assemblymember Rocky Chávez has a long career of public service as a former Marine, the state's former acting secretary of the Department of Veteran Affairs, and a current member of the state Assembly. He is a viable Republican candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in 2016. Could he be California's next U.S. senator?

Jorge Ramos. Recipient of eight Emmy Awards, journalist Jorge Ramos is a respected news media figure. He graced the cover of Time's "100 Most Influential People" issue in 2015 for his influence within the Latino community and throughout the country. Many look to Ramos to ask presidential hopefuls the hard questions.

Dolores Huerta. Widely celebrated Mexican-American activist Dolores Huerta, along with Cesar Chavez, coordinated historically successful acts of nonviolent civil disobedience on behalf of fair working conditions for farmworkers. In 2013, President Obama granted Huerta the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award.

Briana Calleros
Briana Calleros is Common Sense Kids Action's Policy Associate for California. She joined Kids Action in 2015 from the California Institute for Federal Policy Research in Washington D.C., where she served as legislative director. Prior to that, she staffed legislation that was signed into law as a California capitol fellow in Senator Marty Block's office. Briana began her career in policy as an intern with National Council of La Raza and a summer associate at the White House Office of Presidential Correspondence. She graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College in 2012.