HLA Members Named LATINO “Power Players”

By - 4/05/13

The Hispanic Lobbyists Association (HLA) is proud to share that several HLA Members were featured prominently in LATINO Magazine's "Power Players" article.  Congratulations to HLA President Omar Franco, Vice President Susan Santana, Immediate Past-President and Board Member Cristina Antelo, and HLA Member Jessica Montoya for being listed as "top Latino lobbyists working in our nation’s capital."  Other key figures in the article include Board Member Maritza Kelley, HLA Member Mickey Ibarra, and HLA Co-Founder Robert Raben.

HLA is tremendously grateful to count these and other top leaders among its roster.  We hope you will consider membership and join this group of "poltical samarai"  today.  We look forward serving you.

Power Players by Patricia Guadalupe

While lobbying has become a multi-billion dollar industry, Latinos have historically not been part of it. Of the approximately 30,000 to 40,000 lobbyists in Washington, D.C. (registered and unregistered), just about 100 have Latino surnames, and only a handful of lobbying firms is Hispanic-owned.  Read More:


The Most Influential Latino Staffers on Capitol Hill

By - 3/19/13

By Pablo Manriquez

Congressional staffers on Capitol Hill have to put up with long hours and low wages.  Theirs are among the most-thankless but essential jobs in Washington politics.  While Members of Congress are not required to report demographic details on staffers, independent studies have consistently shown that among Capitol Hill staffers, Latinos remain sparse -- especially in leadership positions. Just last month, Roll Call released its "Fabulous 50" list of Capitol Hill's leading staffers. There were again no Latinos on the list.

But the demographics of Capitol Hill are changing with the times. Thanks to hiring initiatives by groups like Congressional Hispanic Staff Association (CHSA), the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), and Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI), Latinos are arriving and advancing in significant congressional staffer positions.  Here are eleven Latinos staffers on Capitol Hill (listed alphabetically by first name) who are leading the way --

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Analysis: Hispanics fail to win Hispanic Congressional districts

By - 3/19/13

by Nathan L. Gonzales @nathanlgonzales

9:37 pm on 02/13/2013

One year ago, Democratic state Sen. Ruben Kihuen declared himself the best candidate to represent a newly-drawn, Hispanic-heavy congressional district in North Las Vegas. Thirteen days later, he dropped out of the race.

Even though a record number of Latinos are serving in the 113th Congress, Hispanic candidates are significantly underperforming in heavily Hispanic districts, particularly compared to other minority groups.

Nationwide, just 41 percent of congressional districts (24 of 58) with a Hispanic voting age population (VAP) of at least 30 percent are represented by a Hispanic member of Congress. In comparison, 72 percent of districts (32 of 44) with a black VAP of at least 30 percent are represented by a black member.

Why can’t Latinos get elected to Latino congressional districts?

Read full article at NBC Latino

DOJ Targets ‘Chronic Offenders’ of LDA For Possible Enforcement, Official Says

By - 1/15/13

(BNA) -- COLUMBUS, Ohio—The Justice Department has targeted for possible enforcement action an unknown number of “chronic offenders” violating the federal Lobbying Disclosure Act, according to the DOJ official in charge of enforcing the lobbying law.

The official, Keith Morgan of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, said in an email that he could not yet specify what type action might be taken, though it could include filing a lawsuit or entering into settlements that include fines.

Read more:  DOJ Targets ‘Chronic Offenders’ of LDA For Possible Enforcement, Official Says

Capitol Hill Offices Lagging in Staff Diversity

By Julia Edwards - 10/11/12

by Julia Edwards

Gearing up for the debate over extending federal transportation programs last spring, Jose Parra, deputy communications director for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, listened to his boss run through a list of the consequences of the proposed cuts. He couldn’t help but chime in.

“Hispanic communities are overrepresented in the construction industry,” Parra said he told those gathered, pointing out that the cuts would be disproportionately borne by Hispanic-Americans. “Thirty percent of Hispanic firms are construction firms.”

“That point would have gone unnoticed during our discussions if there hadn’t been minority staffers present,” Parra recently told National Journal Daily.

But despite the benefits of bringing a variety of voices to the table, racial diversity in Capitol Hill offices continues to lag behind corporate America, and most minority staffers are left only dreaming of the day they earn a position as senior as Parra’s.

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Obama’s sin is not hypocrisy but naivete

By Ruth Marcus - 3/08/12

By Ruth Marcus

Steve Ricchetti is a once and, no doubt, future lobbyist. So it was inevitable that Vice President Biden’s decision to hire Ricchetti as a senior adviser would prompt howls about Obama administration hypocrisy.

After all, it had pledged to keep lobbyists out of its White House, and now it was bringing in one of the city’s top you-know-whats.

Make that former you-know-whats: Ricchetti, cleansing himself of the supposed sin of lobbying, had dropped his lobbyist registration shortly before the start of the Obama administration — though he remained head of the, yes, lobbying firm he founded with his lobbyist brother.

As my colleague Dana Milbank tartly noted, “Only in today’s Washington could a president circumvent his own ban on hiring lobbyists by hiring the head of a lobbying firm.”

Nice line.

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USHLI Presents Inaugural Medallion For Excellence in Government Relations and Public Affairs to Mickey Ibarra

By - 2/22/12

Ibarra Honored During USHLI’s 30th National Conference, 

            CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – The United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI) presented its inaugural Medallion For Excellence in Government Relations and Public Affairs award to The Honorable Mickey Ibarra on Saturday, February 18th at the organization’s Latino Officials Recognition Luncheon in Chicago, Illinois.  The award will be named in honor of Mickey Ibarra and presented annually to an individual who has excelled in government relations and public affairs on behalf of the Latino community.

“Mickey Ibarra is the consummate professional who combines experience, savvy, interpersonal skills, leadership, vision, passion, class, knowledge and compassion,” noted USHLI President Dr. Juan Andrade, who presented the award.  “Whether serving clients, advising friends, or lending a helping hand to those in need, Mickey sets the highest standards in the field of government relations.”

After serving as Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House from 1997-2001, Mickey Ibarra established the Ibarra Strategy Group, a government and public affairs firm based in Washington, DC. He represents a range of clients, including Fortune 200 corporations, associations and non-profit organizations.  In 2006, Ibarra founded the Latino Leaders Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing leaders together.  He serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the Board of Directors for the Ibarra Foundation and the Board of Directors of eLeaderTech, Inc.  He is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Utah and was named among the "25 Most Powerful Hispanics in Washington, DC" by Hispanic Magazine.

“Mickey has excelled in government relations by establishing and maintaining relationships that help both policymakers and clients better serve the public,” said Dr. Andrade.  “He has helped create a climate more responsive to the needs of the Hispanic community by giving Hispanic-serving non-profit organizations a stronger voice in the policy arena.  Through his Latino Leaders Network, Mickey has facilitated closer interaction between Latino leaders and policymakers and corporate leaders, and enabled Latino leaders to better collaborate with each other.  A great humanitarian and philanthropist, Mickey gives back to the community by supporting worthy causes and inspiring all Latinos who have achieved success to pay it forward.”

The Honorable Henry Cisneros provided keynote remarks for the lunch, which was held during USHLI’s 30th National Conference in Chicago.

CONTACT:  Jennifer Devlin, 703-876-1714; Dr. Juan Andrade, 312-427-8683


USHLI is a Chicago-based national nonpartisan, non-profit organization that promotes education, civic participation, and leadership development for Latinos and other similarly disenfranchised groups. USHLI is a member of the Board of Directors of HACR, the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility, and the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda.



Hispanics poised for big gains on Hill

By - 2/17/12

By Alex Isenstadt

Hispanics are poised for major gains in Congress this fall, ensuring a boost to their clout on Capitol Hill.

Latinos are positioned to seize at least a handful of new House seats, thanks to redistricting. California has three new Hispanic-majority districts, and Texas, depending on the final outcome of legal wrangling over congressional maps, is expected to have one or two.

Democrats also are fielding at least six strong Hispanic recruits in other districts currently represented by white members. And the GOP has a high-profile candidate of its own in former California Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, who’s trying to unseat Rep. Lois Capps, a white Democrat.

Taken together, the Hispanic delegation could see its ranks swell. Hispanic lawmakers currently hold 25 House seats, according to The Almanac of American Politics, and after the election, that number could reach well over 30.

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