March 29, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C.—This evening in the nation’s capital, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) President and CEO Janet Murguía honored elected leaders and community advocates during the 30th Annual Capital Awards Gala, a ceremony that recognizes elected officials who promote policies and legislation that positively impact the Latino community. The 2017 Capital Awards were presented to Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston and Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles for their efforts to promote the safety and unity of all families in the face of anti-immigrant threats. Both Mayor Walsh and Mayor Garcetti demonstrated the power of true leadership when they immediately opposed an executive order aimed at ramping up deportations and cultivating an atmosphere of fear and division in their communities.
“This past January, the Department of Homeland Security sent shockwaves through our community when they issued a memo that would allow for the indiscriminate targeting of many in our community,” said Murguía. “Mayor Walsh and Mayor Garcetti were among the bold leaders who took a stand against this cruel and unnecessary policy—choosing to fight politics of division with understanding and common sense. Their actions served as an example of courageous leadership and a much-needed reminder that our country’s values should be the driving force behind governing.”
Republican strategist and political commentator Ana Navarro was the recipient of this year’s NCLR Capital Award for Public Service. Throughout the 2016 election season, Navarro proved to be an influential force on the major news networks, using her platform and political savvy to champion the Latino voice in an environment where it is often excluded. As a frequent political commentator, Navarro was outspoken on issues of importance to our community and often called out her own party for endorsing an agenda of intolerance and broad-brush attempts to criminalize immigrants.
“Whether on the air, on social media or marching on the streets, Ana has been a force to be reckoned with and a valued voice for millions of Latinos who saw this election season try to normalize hate and bigotry,” said Murguía. “We are grateful for champions like Ana who use their platform to speak out against these attacks and advocate for an inclusive, unified America.”
This year, NCLR also welcomed Senator Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, the first Latina to ever be elected to the U.S. Senate, to give opening remarks. A former attorney general, Senator Cortez Masto has decades of experience advocating for Nevada’s working families. In her role as Nevada’s chief law enforcement officer, Cortez Masto pushed for stronger sex trafficking laws, launched a protection unit to combat the abuse and exploitation of senior citizens, and defended Nevada homeowners from fraudulent foreclosure practices. Just months into her tenure as U.S. Senator, she is already leading efforts to empower young Latinas through a mentorship initiative called “Cafecito con Catherine.”
Erika Gonzalez, anchor at NBC4 Washington, served as mistress of ceremonies at the gala, which took place at the National Building Museum. AARP and Wells Fargo served as event Co-Chairs. Vice Chairs for Capital Awards included BP America Inc., Charter Communications, Univision Communications, Inc. and UPS.
NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to build a stronger America by creating opportunities for Latinos. For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.