October 16, 2020

Dear Neighbor,

I’m very proud to represent so many diverse communities across the 8th District and to serve with the largest-ever Hispanic Caucus in Congress. I join my colleagues, friends, neighbors and constituents in recognizing the history, culture, and achievements of these communities.

As Hispanic Heritage month concludes, I wanted to share the ways I’ve recognized Hispanic Heritage Month virtually this year. Although we could not celebrate in-person, I hosted virtual programs and events – check those out below!

As always, I encourage people across the 8th District to continue to share their concerns and insights with me and my staff by contacting my office or connecting with me on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram

Stay Healthy and All Best Wishes,


Recognizing Local Heroes


Since April 2020, I have been hosting a weekly video series that features Local Heroes in the 8th District who are acting creatively and bravely to help our community through the coronavirus crisis. Across America, the Latinx community has been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus. This month, I am proud to highlight the courageous Local Heroes who have been fighting against the devastating effects of this virus and for the Latinx community every day.

Week 1: Oneyda Hernandez and Camila Lavadenz, Audelia Community Response Team

On September 18, I featured the Audelia Community Response Team (ACRT) Founder, Oneyda Hernandez, and Outreach and Marketing Coordinator, Camila Lavadenz. ACRT is a mutual aid network serving people and families in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. Founded at the start of this pandemic, ACRT has grown into an essential resource in Maryland, delivering food, baby supplies, clothing, and more. Watch our interview here.

Week 2: Araceli Lara, Jalapeno Mexican Grill

On September 25, during National Small Business Week, I featured Araceli Lara, Co-Founder of Jalapeno Mexican Grill in Laurel, Maryland. I was also joined by Lauren Goldberg and Jennifer Underwood with Crossroads Community Food Network. Through Crossroads’ new Takoma Park Silver Spring Community Kitchen, Lauren and Jennifer provide Latino/a/x small business owners, like Araceli, with kitchen space, classes, and more. Watch our interview here

Week 3: Reemberto Rodriguez

On October 2, I featured Reemberto Rodriguez, the Montgomery County Regional Director for the Silver Spring area. Whether ensuring we get an accurate Census count or helping Montgomery County reopen safely, Reemberto is an unstoppable public servant and critical leader in Silver Spring and beyond. Watch our interview here.

Week 4: Jacob Newman, Latin American Youth Center

On October 8, I featured Jacob Newman, the Managing Director for the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) in Montgomery County. LAYC serves young people and families in Washington D.C., Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County and provides essential services to thousands of community members every year. Watch our interview here

Week 5: Maria Herrera, Spanish Speaking Community of Maryland, Inc.

Lastly, on October 16, I featured Maria Herrera, the Executive Director of Spanish Speaking Community of Maryland, Inc. With offices in Montgomery and Frederick Counties, Maria and her outstanding team provide a range of services, from housing assistance to immigration services, to the Latinx community and low-income families. Watch our interview here.

Recognizing Latino/a/x Students in the District      

I recently hosted my third annual Award Ceremony for Latino/a/x high school students from across the District. I virtually recognized 25 outstanding students who were nominated by their school principals for their exemplary commitment to community service, leadership, and academic excellence. Thanks to my District Caseworker Erica Fuentes for her excellent work in organizing this event.


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