Arena-Trained Staff Spotlight: Hispanic/Latine Heritage Month

October 19, 2023

Throughout Hispanic/Latine Heritage Month, we connected with Arena-trained staff to learn about their experiences working in progressive politics. Here, we are spotlighting just some of the impactful members of our community as they share how they’ve stayed in the work and what they would tell new Hispanic/Latine staffers.

Samantha RamirezCommunity Outreach Coordinator @ Texas Climate Jobs Project(She/Her)“Keep investing in training and make sure you are actively trying to create a diverse team. When things get rough you want to have a network that understands you and who can lift you up and encourage you.”Genesis IbarraCommunity Engagement Manager@ Habitat for Humanity Las Vegas(She/Her)Never dim your light to assimilate: your Hispanic experience is valuable and deserves to be seen. Secondly, speak your Spanish/Spanglish even if your voice shakes! Mariah Martinez RabideauDirector of Communication & Information Strategy@  Veterans for Responsible Leadership(She/Her)Don't be afraid, speak up and share your individual experiences. We know we are diverse, in skin color and culture and opportunity and political ideologies, even within our own families. Push campaigns or candidates to speak to their local Hispanic communities, rather than to stereotypes or white-washed polling. Héctor PortilloDeputy Director of Targeting@  Equis(He/Him)The main reason to stay in the work is how important it is: our democracy, our rights, and our communities are under attack and we need to defend them. Besides that, feeling valued at my work, feeling like I am making a positive impact in our country and in the world, and having the space to grow professionally and learning new things are all things that have kept me engaged with my work.Karina ProvostAssociate Director, Vendor Experience@  The Movement Cooperative(She/Her)Anywhere I work, I'm usually one of the people in the office always croaking about multi-language print and media including direct mail or press releases. People just forget that there are other languages other than English and the nuances of how we send something with a specific accent is really important, especially geographically. Jayleen AlvaradoAssociate Director of Campaigns and Partnerships@  Groundwork Collaborative(She/Her)To Hispanic staffers just starting out, I would recommend making contact with local and community-based organizations early on. These organizations are wonderful for fostering a sense of community, getting a foot in the door, and building real political power amongst frontline communities- and they can almost always use the additional capacity. Galilea MartinezSenior Democracy Program Manager@  Run for Something (She/Her)My advice to Latino staffers starting out is to be proud of their heritage and culture. Don't be afraid to speak out on your experiences, it's a privilege to be who you are and hold space in the political world. Let your heritage guide the work you do and always be sure to lend a helping hand to other Latinos hoping to do the same. Anthony R. CarrascoExploratory Committee Co-Chair@  Delano Mayor Bryan Osorio, 2021(He/him)Electing Hispanic leaders to local offices is one of the most important ways to bring Hispanic staffers into the work of running political campaigns. What kept me in the work was having an intimate personal relationship with the candidateDarren X. NevaresHuman Rights Fundraiser@  Amnesty International USA(He/him)One piece of advice I would offer to all Hispanic staffers just starting out is to embrace your unique perspective and cultural background as strengths. Don't hesitate to share your ideas, advocate for issues that matter to you, and connect with your colleagues to learn from their experiences as well. Rebecca GarciaCivic Engagement Manager@  Miami Workers Center(She/Her)I love being Latina and Colombian, and organizing in a multicultural city such as Miami. Because I am bilingually fluent in Spanish, I believe that I have been able to contribute a unique perspective to the campaigns I've worked on. I've also been able to communicate with Latino voters better.Jay FranzoneLatinx Engagement Manager@ Everytown for Gun Safety (He/Him)To the Latinx staffers just starting my advice is to say hi, and build community -- there are a lot of us out here doing the work to move the nation forward and get progressive candidates elected and when we stop for a moment, connect and chat, this work gets so much easier!