Eva Longoria has proved she can put Latina power in politics. Actress, activist and philanthropist, Longoria was doing her thing at the Newsweek and The Daily Beast’s 2013 Women in the World Summit in New York City. On the heels of a fantastic year for the Mexican-American powerhouse—as one of President Barack Obama’s re-election co-chairs and helping Obama deliver the Latino vote—Longoria is not afraid to speak her mind.
The Desperate Housewives star spoke on the Latina Power panel speaking of xenophonia, Taco Bell and Hillary Clinton. Longoria was joined on the panel by political adwoman Lorena Chambers, CEO of Chambers Lopez Strategies LLC, and chocolatier Maribel Lieberman, founder of MarieBelle New York. Campbell Brown, writer and former NBC and CNN anchor served as the moderator.
The immigration reform debate coupled with the demographic shift in this country has heightened xenophobia—a dislike or fear of people from other countries or of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange.
Longoria addressed this issue. “There’s so much xenophobia out there. They are scared we’re going to have a Taco Bell on every corner,” she said at the Women in the World Summit. Longoria pointed out that by 2050, the fast-growing Latino population will double. “If you look at the numbers, that’s our future workforce. If we don’t educate them, we are in trouble.”
LET’S BE WORLDLY!
We know the benefits of bilingualism. That’s why Longoria studied Spanish in later life. She is currently getting a Master’s degree in Mexican-American history so she can be more ‘literate’ on immigration. The actress told Brown how important messaging was for the fast-growing bilingual and bicultural Hispanic population which, like her, is very assimilated in the general market. Yet Longoria also pointed out that the United States is the only country that “promotes monolingualism.” She encouraged teaching children more than one language. “Why not speak Spanish. French…Russian…Chinese—Let’s be worldly!”
After a year of being on the forefront of the political landscape, will Longoria run for office? Will she volunteer for another campaign? At the Women in the World Summit, Longoria said that she was exhausted in 2012 after traveling around the country campaigning for President Obama and had sworn off another campaign. Except…
“I was thinking I would never volunteer for another campaign, and then someone said, ‘How about Hillary?’ And right away I was like, ‘Unless Hillary runs.’”
Clinton is extremely popular with Latinos and if she does run, Longoria will be a busy woman.
LONGORIA THE PRODUCER
Longoria has already established herself as an entrepreneur, activist, and actress, and now, she is taking on a new role as executive producer of the new reality dating series Ready for Love debuting on NBC in April. Giuliana and Bill Rancic will host the series.
Last year, she received major criticism for her support and production of Devious Maids, a television series that focuses on lives of four maids that work in Beverly Hills. Latinas as maids? What a novel idea! Of course she was going to get backlash for it.
I’m rooting for Longoria and hoping her new show is a success, and that she can translate some of that political power to her role as television producer.