Saturday afternoon, September 26, 2015, I attended another fundraising event for Ana Sol Gutierrez running in Maryland's 8th Congressional District to become the first woman ever from that tiny 'pulgarcito' (little thumb) of a country, El Salvador, to serve in the Congress of the United States. We at the DC Metro Hispanic Contractor's Association, a group of small business owners in the construction and contracting fields made our first donation to the campaign and made a commitment to much more.
Well known and beloved in our community, Ana Sol is working extremely hard to raise money and make sure that the Hispanic community is fully and completely behind her. Known as a tough, hard fighter and loving grandmother, not only to her family but to the entire community, Ana Sol has now become the epitome of the classic campaigner. She fiercely defends her positions and defines the reasons she deserves support. She never goes off message and she bangs home her points to resounding applause and bravos from her supporters. She has been raising money now for many months and is persistent and indefatigable not only fundraising, but appearing everywhere there is an Hispanic crowd.
She explains that this work with her community so far in advance (her primary election is April 26th, 2016) is necessary both because the Latino community needs to be aware of who is running and must register to vote since many do not exercise their franchise. She also wants to raise a significant amount of money early to make sure she's considered a serious candidate with real possibilities of winning this race.
The fundraiser, held at Jaleo in Bethesda, had special significance seeing as how the owner, Jose Andres, who graciously offered the space and laid out a delicious spread washed down with the house Sangria, was indicating his support for a Latina candidate to office. Jose Andres is having his own issues with Donald Trump over his proposed restaurant project which he cancelled after Mr. Trump's disturbing comments about Mexicans and Latinos in general.
It is refreshing and exciting to see this little fireball of energy that we all know and love so aggressively attacking the issues before her and the obstacles in her path. She reminded me of Barbara Mikulski. She faces heavy competition and remains undaunted. She has a real possibility of winning having represented many of the same constituents in the 8th District during her 14 years as state senator. Her progressive views and advocacy for the rights of immigrants has placed her squarely in the progressive wing of her party and endeared her to a large portion of her constituents who share her views. The 8th District is home to Chris Van Hollen who is running for the Senate and must give up his seat. It is a District with many of the same progressive values as the Congressman and Ana Sol. Her message resonates and her passion and drive make her a formidable candidate.
Please look her up on her campaign website and support her with whatever you can. It is not only an historic campaign, but Ms. Sol Gutierrez will make a superb Congresswoman and enrich the august body with her competence, dynamism and a perspective sorely needed.