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The initial year of Latino Leaders was simultaneously anxious and exciting. The formula of interviewing the most important Latinos in the country and publishing those to a mass audience immediately had supporters, none more important than those featured in that first year. They took a chance with Latino Leaders. It's no surprise that those who were leading 10 years ago are still leading today.
STILL MAKING AN IMPACT
THEN: CONGRESSWOMAN, 47TH DISTRICT CALIFORNIA
NOW: CONGRESSWOMAN, 47TH DISTRICT CALIFORNIA
For someone who does not suffer fools lightly, Loretta Sanchez has managed to work quite successfully as a member of the United States House of Representatives. When we first met her, she was in her second term in Congress, a career move she made because her congressman refused to meet her.
"I wanted to address an issue with my congressman (Republican Bob Dornan) and he refused to meet with me, so I got mad and decided to run against him," she admits.
Her first foray into politics, she beat him twice, then, and two years later, when he decided to run against her in 2000.
Now in her seventh term, she's certainly learned a few things about politics, beginning with running a successful campaign.
"Tip O'Neil said it best: 'All politics is local,' and what he meant was, you can't be an effective representative if you lose touch with your constituency. People are hurting right now, you have to show empathy. You have to show that you understand. I make it a point to come home every weekend," she says.
When Latino Leaders first featured Sanchez, she had entered her second term and enjoyed a effective working relationship with President Bill Clinton. Committed to human rights advocacy, she would travel with the President to regions of the world still struggling with democracies, poverty, and providing basic human rights to their people.
She traveled with Clinton to Vietnam to help negotiate a bilateral trade agreement and worked with the administration to push for human rights in countries like Iran, Burma, and Cuba. Still committed to the cause, she recently returned from a trip to Afghanistan.
On the homefront, she has led efforts to expose unchecked and unprosecuted cases of sexual assault in the military. Of her accomplishments to date, she's proud of her efforts to successfully rewrite the Uniform Code of Military Justice that now provides a process for the …