IS JOAQUIN CASTRO THE NEW LATINO POWER?

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

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It struck two months before, more than 1,000 miles from his home district of San Antonio, Texas. But Hurricane Sandy, which caused death and destruction in so much of the Northeast, was weighing heavily on Joaquin Castro on a blustery day in mid-January. That is when he cast his vote in favor of a $50.7 billion emergency bill to provide help to Sandy victims – his very first vote as a U.S. congressman.
“It was an awful tragedy,” Castro, 38, said in an interview with Fox News Latino. “It was my first real vote in Congress. It reminds you of how connected we all are despite the fact that we all represent a different geographic area.”
The former Texas state legislator may be in a bigger pond, but he’s no small fish. Joaquin Castro is already one of the most watched new members of Congress. Shortly after being sworn in, Castro was elected by his Democratic peers in the House to head their freshman class.

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“It’s quite an accomplishment that your colleagues have that kind of faith in you that they elect you to be president of their class,” said former Texas Congressman Charles Gonzalez, whose decision not to seek an eighth term in the U.S. House of Representatives opened the door for Castro to make his move. “It’s pretty hard to get elected. There are no slackers in there. Everyone who got elected rose above other people in what generally were very contested races.”

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“Many have admirable records either in the public or private sector,” Gonzalez, a Democrat, said. “He’ll be trying to keep that class of Democrats united not just for this Congress but for the next.”

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Those who have watched Joaquin Castro and his twin brother, Julian, for some time say they are not surprised that they are – at a relatively young age – causing a sensation at the national political stage. Julian, the mayor of San Antonio, was the bigger star of the two last summer when he was picked to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. He made history, becoming the first Latino chosen for that role.

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But in November, Joaquin – who until then was described more often than not as “Julian’s brother” – commanded the brighter spotlight when he was elected to Congress.
“The possibilities are endless for Joaquin,” said Mickey Ibarra, a former Clinton administration official who is founder and chairman of the Latino Leaders Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing together Latino movers and shakers. “Now he and Julian have a national platform. It’s potentially the start of something that lasts a very significant amount of time.”

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In Texas, Joaquin Castro was known for pushing for improvements to education, and raising high school graduation levels among Latinos. Critics find him personally affable though they take issue with his liberal-leaning politics and Democratic views on government spending. Castro said he started entertaining the thought of political office beyond Texas just a few years ago, when he realized there were some things he could not fix as a state lawmaker.

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“I remember when the No Child Left Behind blueprint came out,” he said, “I read the whole blueprint. I attended meetings with folks in education. I noticed that not once did the blueprint mention the word ‘counselors.’”
High school counseling long had been a pet concern of Castro, who saw it as lacking because, he said, the student-to-counselor ratio in much of Texas was 420-to-1. It was something he pushed to address in the state legislature. But improving counseling – which, he said, often is hampered because advisors’ workloads are spread too thin – was critical at the national level, he said.

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“I realized the way I wanted to approach some issues, I would have to deal with them at the federal level,” he said. “There were gaps in my ability to do things at the state level.”

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Joaquin Castro, arguably, is the face of manifold trends involving Latinos and politics.
“If Republicans do not do better in the Hispanic community, in a few short years Republicans will no longer be the majority part in our state,” Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican and also a first-timer in Congress, was quoted as saying in The New Yorker.

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Some media reports are already spinning visions of a contested Senate race in six years between Cruz, a Tea Party favorite who was just elected in November, and Joaquin Castro. In the race for Gonzalez’s seat, Castro defeated Republican David Rosa.

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MAYOR JULIAN CASTRO WILL GIVE KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT AHAA CONFERENCE

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

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San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro will give the keynote address at the AHAA (Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies) 2013 conference April 30 in McLean, Va. The mayor gained national attention in 2012 when he delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. Castro will discuss the newfound clout of Hispanic voters and how they influence government policy and the marketplace, according to a news release from AHAA: The Voice of Hispanic Marketing. Representatives from the Democratic and Republican parties will then engage in a point-counterpoint session regarding strategies for winning over Hispanic voters. The youngest mayor of a major American City, Castro, 37, was first elected mayor in 2009, and made Time magazine’s 40 Under 40 list the next year. His efforts at making San Antonio a leader in the new energy economy helped spur the Milken Institute to rank San Antonio as the nation’s top-performing local economy. Among his accomplishments as mayor are Café College, offering guidance for test preparation, financial aid and college admissions to any student in the San Antonio region, and revitalizing the city’s underserved East Side with the Decade of Downtown initiative, according to his website. Castro is known to be quick on his feet. When House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., referred to a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants as “extreme,” Castro quipped, “I don’t see that as an extreme option. The extreme would be open borders.”

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HOW ACCULTURATION AFFECTS TWO GENERATIONS OF HISPANICS

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

According to the study, developed by Yahoo, Mindshare, and Added Value, marketers must understand the nuances between the two generations of Hispanics, and how acculturation affects their preferences. The findings stress the notion of how the majority of the Latino population is second generationAmerican born, and bilingual/English speaking.

ac·cul·tur·a·tion

noun \ə-ˌkəl-chə-ˈrā-shən, a-\

1: cultural modification of an individual, group, or people by adapting to or borrowing traits from another culture; also : a merging of cultures as a result of prolonged contact
2: the process by which a human being acquires the culture of a particular society from infancy

Latinos do nurture ethnicity more than other segments. This is manifested through a series of behaviors like exposing their children to their Latino background, trying to get in touch with their Hispanic identity, feeling very comfortable as it relates to their ethnicity, and being part of activities/traditions that celebrate their heritage.

The Generational Latino Gap

When it comes to generation breakdown, there are some differences that marketers need to consider. Let’s take identity and values, for example.

First-generation Latino behavior is much more influenced by ethnicity. Their Latino background plays a major role when it comes to feelings about their individuality, religion, and values. It also affects how they socialize (neighborhoods, close circle of friends, etc.) and other behaviors (eating habits, celebrations, vacations, etc.). For second-generation Latinos, ethnicity is more about outward expression and bicultural in nature.

Content plays an important yet different role. First-generation Hispanics seek content that is in Spanish language and speaks to their ethnicity for topics like news, entertainment, and food. Second-generation Hispanics are more sensitive to how their ethnicity is portrayed in the media.

Second-generation Latinos have a stronger civic commitment. They care about the role Latinos are playing in today’s American society. They are very involved in discussions about Latinos’ role in the elections, immigration debates, etc. They want to play a major (influential) role and want to make sure that they are taken into consideration.

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The Common Thread: Authenticity

For both first- and second-generations, ethnicity is an important part of the past and the present. Both segments agreed: it influences “who I am” and both feel very proud of “how I grew up” as well as “my ethnic identity.”

Ethnicity plays a significant part of the Latino identity. As David Iudica, a bicultural Latino himself, said to me: “I have my feet firmly planted in both worlds, it’s an important part of my identity.”

Overall, it seems that marketers have a long way to go in order to better impact Latino audiences. For different reasons, both first- and second-generations feel they aren’t being represented or spoken to in the right way.

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This reminds me of a controversy that happened a couple of weeks ago around a proposal to recreate a mural on the walls of the Mission Drive-In Theater in San Antonio, Texas. The images, one of a Mexican sitting asleep against the wall with his sombrero covering his face and another with a stereotypical Mexican posing with a burro, backfired. Sometimes marketers, in trying to connect with Latinos, get hooked with their own stereotypes and generate negative reactions rather than relevance.

The (Right) Approach When Marketing to Latinos

A successful Latino marketing strategy should be built on a common thread: what are the attitudes and behaviors – related to your product category – that bring Latinos together?

A sense of pride, identity, and authenticity (the world I live in) are important for all Latinos.

Authenticity is key. Choosing an authentic Hispanic spokesperson, rather than a well-known spokesperson, is relevant to all Latinos.

Latinos crave ethnic-specific marketing messages, yet portraying an appropriate level of diversity in advertising is critical.

If done right, Hispanics will talk about advertising positively, but they will also be quick to call out negative portrayals.

Messaging should be customized to speak to the individual needs of each generation:

  • For first-generation Hispanics: speak in their language and make sure to authentically represent their ethnicity.
  • For second-generation Hispanics, you need to portray them as part of a bigger whole: represent diversity in general messaging and show how Latinos are influencing the mainstream. Don’t address them simply as Latinos: talk to their whole bicultural identity.

First-generations want Latino content, second-generations want mainstream content but with a Latino flavor.

Authentic Bobbleheads

Will Ferrell’s “Casa de mi Padre” seemed to connect with the Latino audience and is set to be a box office success. But, when it comes to how brands “talk” to Latinos, not all are successful stories. Think of Jaime Jarrin, a Hall of Fame broadcaster, who has not been included in the Dodger’s 50th-anniversary bobbleheads. Jaime is Latino and broadcasts in Spanish and, according to The Los Angeles Times, that’s why he was left out. As the article says, “Jaime Jarrin’s primary language has always been Dodger. It’s a shame that, in this case, the Dodgers seem to be the only ones who don’t understand.”

Ask second-generation Latinos. See if they find this kind of behavior to be authentic.

READ MORE: CLICK Z

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NALEO WILL ENLIST LATINAS TO BOOST VOTER TURNOUT

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

NALEO researchers are redirecting their aim to improve Hispanic voter turnout, pointing efforts at the most influential target inside Latino households: the women.

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials is using new findings from recently gathered focus groups to retool its campaign for the Hispanic vote, after participants in Houston revealed that a nudge from wives and mothers could be the key.

“We will develop a strategy where we speak to Latinas,” said Arturo Vargas, longtime executive director for NALEO. “There’s something there that we need to tap into to get our Hispanic mother and wife and sister to get their husbands and brothers and sons to vote.”

The groups — eligible-but-nonregistered and registered-but-not-voting Hispanics — were assembled in December to determine if they were tuned in to the political issues and candidates of the day, Vargas explained.

Participants showed that they closely follow platform issues, and demonstrated awareness but no engagement.

Asked who among them planned to vote in the 2012 elections, none raised a hand. Who might influence them to vote? Participants said they would listen to their wives and mothers.

“What do we have to do to get this great unengaged segment of our community to care?” Vargas said. He chuckled, “If it’s nagging, so be it.”

NALEO’s plan for a Latina-centric strategy is a change from when longtime community organizer Rosie Castro began voter registration efforts in San Antonio in the late 1960s.

Fifty years later, the mission — to empower Latino voters — remains difficult but has made major advances, Castro said.

“When I was young and doing voter registration we often would go to a house in the Latino community and the wife would say: ‘I really can’t register to vote right now. I have to ask my husband.’ It’s incredible to me how much that has changed,” said Castro, mother of Mayor Julián Castro and state Rep. Joaquin Castro.

Joaquin Castro said his mom has emphasized the importance of voting since he was a child. “People in government won’t listen to you if you don’t vote,” she would tell the twins.

“She taught us to believe that through public service you can help create opportunities in people’s lives,” he said.

He said his mother “had all the influence in the world, not only on why I vote, but also why I entered public service.”

NALEO’s new strategy is a smart one, he said. Women “are often the glue” in growing families.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/To-boost-Latino-turnout-group-will-enlist-Latinas-3415281.php#ixzz1pXnkOO42

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DOES A LATINA RUN THE GIRL SCOUTS: CELEBRATING 100 YEARS WITH CEO ANA MARIA CHAVEZ

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Latina leader to her Girl Scouts: Prepare to lead

When 10-year-old Anna Maria Chavez joined Girl Scout Troop 304 in the small town of Eloy, Arizona, she never thought the experience would eventually lead her to occupy a colorful office just off Fifth Avenue in the heart of Manhattan.

While about half of all women in the United States were Girl Scouts at some point in their lives,  today, one in 10 of those girls are Latina. One of them is Chavez, who last year became the first Hispanic CEO of the organization.

At the headquarters of Girls Scouts Inc., Chavez is celebrating the organization’s 100th anniversary surrounded by apple-green walls and shelves of memorabilia. Instead of magazines in the small waiting area, there are cookie jars.

“I never ever imagined that I would become the national CEO of Girl Scouts,” she said. “You need to understand where I came from.”

In This Photo: Anna Maria Chavez Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images North America)

Chavez was the only daughter in a Mexican immigrant family that came to the U.S. to work on farms. Hers was the first generation in the family to attend college.

Chavez said when she was a girl her own family had no knowledge about Girl Scouts and what they do. “I went home to my abuelita, my nana, and I said, ‘Nana I’m gonna be a Girl Scout,’ and she said ‘Y eso? Que hacen?’ you know, ‘What do they do?’” Chavez recalled.

For a young Chavez, camping and meeting girls from different backgrounds helped her to become more confident and independent. That helped in her teen years, when she moved from Eloy to Phoenix, and entered a large school where she was one of about a dozen Mexican students.

Her undergraduate education was at Yale, where a high SAT score helped her get accepted and earn a scholarship.

“When I got in, people were shocked and dismayed because nobody in our high school had gotten into this school. ‘You’re Latina, don’t you think you should stay in state?’” she said. “And I was like ‘Wait a minute, I have no boundaries!’”  She credits her Girl Scouts experience with helping her to make that decision.

Gallery: The first Girl Scout: Daisy Gordon Lawrence

Her tenure in the Girl Scouts also helped her make her career choice. Chavez remembered a family picnic during childhood, when she discovered a cave with Native American drawings that had been scribbled over with graffiti. Her outrage, she recalled, turned into a desire to become an attorney and “make laws” to stop things like this from happening.

“Only the Girl Scouts could charge me in a way to understand that even as a small girl, I could make a difference…” she said.

So after Yale, she returned to Phoenix to get a law degree and went on to become a successful attorney, eventually working for former Arizona Governor – and Girl Scouts alumna – Janet Napolitano. Later, she took up regional direction of Girl Scouts in San Antonio, Texas.

The position paved the way for her current job at the helm of the organization in New York.  “Girl Scouts and my family taught me to dream big,” she said. “Nothing was impossible.”

Now, she’s on a mission: To help the Girl Scouts of today become the leaders of tomorrow, like she did.

“If you look across the country, the top 10 job sectors, only 18 percent of leadership positions in those sectors are held by women,” she said, citing a survey conducted by Girl Scouts. “What were saying is, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could increase women in these leadership roles?’”

That message of leadership especially resonates with Latina mothers, who “want their daughters to succeed; they want their daughters to explore other options in their lives,” Chavez said.

According to the Girl Scouts, there are three million girls and women volunteers in the United States alone. The organization is present in 90 countries and claims to have made an impact in the lives of more than 59 million members in the course of its history.

As the scouts turn a century old, Chavez is intent on revamping the organization’s image. “People love Girl Scouts… they see our brand and they smile and think cookies, camp and crafts, but we want them to see premier leadership organization for girls in this country, if not this world,” she said.

Her vision for the future was already working in Queens Village, New York, where several troops met to commemorate World Thinking Day, a celebration of Girl Scouts around the world and a chance for scouts to pin new badges to their vests.

READ MORE: CNN IN AMERICA

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