PALITICUS is the official podcast of PALCUS, the Portuguese-American Leadership Council of the United States. PALITICUS seeks to drive discussion amongst the Portuguese community in the US around public service, the issues affecting the community and what each individual can do about it.The bi-weekly podcast – hosted by Diniz Borges and Angela Simões – brings together industry experts, lawmakers and political analysts to raise awareness about important issues and encourage more civic involvement and engagement by Portuguese-Americans.

If you would like to suggest someone to be interviewed for PALITICUS please send an email to

PALITICUS is made possible through the support of FLAD and the Government of the Azores 

Addressing Addiction in the Portuguese Community

The Portuguese Bom Samaritano Organization was created to help address the problem of addiction in our community. It's a topic that many do not like to speak about, and yet it affects so many of us. Join us during this webinar to learn about the work Bom Samaritano is doing, how you can get involved and how you can get help if you need it. Our guest is the Founder of Bom Samaritano, Alcides Machado.

Discussing Law Enforcement Reform with AG Neronha

Join us for a discussion about law enforcement reform with Rhode Island Attorney General, Peter Neronha.
On November 6, 2018, Peter F. Neronha was elected as Rhode Island’s 74th Attorney General. As the top legal official in Rhode Island, Attorney General Neronha leads an office that prosecutes criminal cases; represents state agencies, departments and commissions in litigation; initiates legal action when necessary to protect the interests of Rhode Islanders; and oversees the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.


Genevieve Azevedo, California

Today's guest, Genevieve Azevedo worked as Extra Help Election Specialist I at Merced County Office of Voter Registrar in Merced, California. Listen in as she tells us about her work.

Theresa Agonia, Rhode Island

Theresa Agonia is our latest guest on PALITICUS. She was born and raised in Central Falls, Rhode Island. She grew up involved in opportunities to support Portuguese traditions and was the first member of her family to graduate from college in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Media Communications from Roger Williams University. Theresa was Miss Rhode Island USA 2016.
She considers her passions to be in public service, supporting women’s rights and being a voice for marginalized communities.
Theresa currently serves as Senior Deputy Chief of Staff for Mayor Jorge Elorza in the Capital City of Providence, Rhode Island, where she manages community engagement strategies and the City’s annual events calendar.

Honorary Consul of Portugal Tyler Dos Sanots-Tam, Hawaii

Today's guest is Honorary Consul of Portugal in Hawaii Tyler Dos Santos-Tam. Tyler is also Chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i. Learn about and be inspired by his journey to both positions.

Representative Alan Silvia, Massachusetts

Our guest today is Massachusetts State Representative Alan Silvia. A life-long resident of Fall River, he talks about his vast career in law enforcement, including twenty one years of service as a detective with the Fall River Police Department and his involvement with the Portuguese community.


The Geraldo Family - Growing up Biracial

PALCUS has been tackling important social issues. In this episode of our podcast, PALITICUS, we are excited to talk to the Geraldo Family about their experiences as a biracial Portuguese-American family.

Being Gay In The Portuguese Community

Join us for an honest discussion about being gay in the Portuguese community. Our guests David Garcia, Chelsie Santos and Nuno Guerreiro will talk about their experiences and provide some advice for how we can be more accepting as a community.

Deputy Mayor Paul Pereira, Mineola, NY

Deputy Mayor Paul Pereira has been involved in several school, community, and charitable organizations for many years. He first ran for and was elected to the position of Village Trustee in 2008 and in 2011 Trustee Pereira was designated Deputy Mayor by Mayor Scott Strauss. Pereira’s contributions to the Mineola Portuguese community have earned him the Order of Merit, which was awarded to him for his selfless acts by the Portuguese government.
Pereira, who immigrated to the United States from Portugal in 1977, strived to stay close to his roots while also adapting to life in the United States.

Jordan Thomas, New Jersey

Today's guest is Jordan Thomas, recipient of the 2018 PALCUS Young Portuguese-American "Promessa" Award and the PALCUS' new Board Member representing the youth in our community. Jordan is a 2018 graduate of Princeton University, where a successful academic career culminated in such distinctions as Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, the Myron T. Herrick Thesis Prize, and a 2018 Spirit of Princeton Award.
Watch our webinar with Jordan to learn more about his background and what he's doing today.

Lt Col Eduardo Pires, Washington, DC

We are excited to talk to our first military guest, Lieutenant Colonel Eduardo Pires. He was born in Terceira and works at the Pentagon in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security. He assists in exercising the Secretary of Defense’s authority, direction, and control over Defense intelligence, counterintelligence, and security components.


Mayor Rui Pereira, Wickenburg, AZ

Mayor Rui Pereira was born in Portugal and is a long-time resident of Wickenburg and has previously served on the council from 2008 – 2012 and again from June 2016 through December 2018. He was elected Mayor in June 2019.
He talks about his path to public service and the current pandemic.


Adam Medeiros, Trustee in the Kings County Board of Education

Our guest is Adam Medeiros, Trustee in the Kings County Board of Education. He talks about moving to the US with his family when he was 2 and his path to public service.
Adam T. Medeiros has been an active member, volunteer, and business owner in Hanford for nearly 40 years and is currently serving his first term on the Kings County Board of Education. Prior to his election in 2018, Adam held a board position at Kings River-Hardwick Union School District. During his ten years with Kings River-Hardwick, the school has been a California Honor Roll School every year since 2014 and recently received the California Gold Ribbon Award.

Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, California

Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry grew up in western Yolo County and has long served her community. After going to school and working in the Bay Area for several years, she moved back to her hometown of Winters where she almost immediately became active in the local community and a regional leader on several issues. She first served as planning commissioner and then was elected to the city council eventually serving as the first female mayor of Winters and becoming the longest standing mayor. She is now a member of the California State Assembly, representing District 4.

Supervisor Buddy Mendes, Fresno County, CA

Listen in as we talk to Buddy Mendes, Supervisor representing District 4 in Fresno County, CA. Supervisor Mendes has been very active in the local community, serving 20+ years on a variety of Boards and Committees including the Riverdale Unified School District Board of Trustees, Southwest Transportation Agency which provides student transportation for 13 school districts and the Riverdale Public Utility District.

Timothy Perry, Chief of Staff & Deputy Homeland Security Adviser

Today's guest is Timothy Perry, who is Chief of Staff & Deputy Homeland Security Adviser in the Government's Office of Emergency Service in the state of California. Listen in as he talks about how he got started as the first volunteer for David Cicilline's campaign when he ran for Mayor of Providence, RI. and his interesting journey to where he is now.

Senator Jessica de la Cruz, Rhode Island

Senator Jessica de la Cruz is the State Senator for District 23. De la Cruz is a lifelong Rhode Island native and first-generation American born to Portuguese immigrants. She tells us what motivated her to run for State Senate and her hopes for the future.

Representative Thomas E. Noret, Rhode Island

Today’s guest is Representative Thomas E. Noret (D) who was elected in November 2018 to the seat in House District 25 in Coventry and West Warwick, Rhode Island. He talks about taking a DNA test in 2016 and discovering his Portuguese Ancestry and about the great Portuguese population in his district. He discusses the need for greater participation from the community and tells us his impressions on participating in the FLAD Legislators' Dialogue in Lisbon.

Representative Christopher Hendricks, Massachusetts

Christopher Hendricks is a State Representative currently serving in the Massachusetts House of Representatives representing Acushnet and New Bedford as the 11th Bristol District. He is an attorney who was born and raised in New Bedford, MA which has a very high Portuguese-American population. His great-grandparents emigrated from the island of Flores, Azores around the 1900s. He talks about how he has always been interested in law and politics and how the trend of where politics are heading encouraged him to run for office. He also talks about the importance of the 2020 Census and the Make Portuguese Count Campaign and his participation in FLAD’s Luso-American Legislators' Dialogue.

Vice mayor Dennis Mederos, Tulare, CA

Today our conversation is with Dennis Mederos, a 3rd generation Portuguese-American, who is the Vice mayor of the city of Tulare, CA. Dennis is an attorney at Mederos, Soares & Ormonde, which has 3 other Portuguese-American partners. He is also past President of the Tulare County Cabrillo Club. Listen in as he tells us a little about his story and path to becoming an elected official. He advises that getting involved in the community is something that everyone should try.


Sofia Pereira, Councilwoman

Councilwoman Sofia Pereira from the city of Arcada, CA is today's guest. She talks about how wanting to make a difference got her involved in local politics. She also talks about her vision for Arcata to become the 1st Zero Waste City in Humboldt County and how she thinks it's important to increase the city’s use of technology to improve resident engagement and to make vital information easily accessible.

Senator, Marc Pacheco, Massachusetts

Join us as Massachusetts State Senator Marc R. Pacheco, the body’s longest continuously-serving member, talks about his start in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1988 and from there the Massachusetts Senate in 1992. He talks about the biggest changes he has seen throughout these years and the importance of the relationships developed between Portuguese-American elected leaders and the Portuguese Government.


Hon. Richard Pombo, partner at Gavel Resources

Today we talk to former Congressman Richard Pombo, who is a partner at Gavel Resources, a consulting and lobbying firm in Washington, D.C.
He tells the story of going from a farming family in the Central Valley in California to City Council of Tracey and from there running for Congress. He was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992 and represented California’s 11th district until January of 2007. While in Congress he became the Co-Founder of the Portuguese-American Caucus and helped implement the Visa Waiver Program and the Tax Treaty.
He also talks about the importance of running for elected positions at the local level and how these are the positions that have the most direct impact on people’s daily lives. He encourages people to engage in local campaigns and learn the election process. And he also tells us a little about his current work at Gavel Resources.

Nancy Andrade, CDC Atlanta, Georgia

Join us as we speak to Nancy Andrade who is a health scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA. She is serving in the role of special assistant to the Director of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Nancy is also very involved with Toastmasters International, which is a world-wide non-profit organization that helps develop members' communication, public speaking, and leadership skills. Her parents immigrated to New England in the 70s. She majored in Global Studies and became more interested in social issues and doing good. She talks about how she got involved in public service to try to impact people’s lives as much as possible and about how knowing Portuguese opened up opportunities and her interest in other cultures.

Jack DeOliveira, Naugatuck, Connecticut

Our guest today is Jack DeOliveira, a 24-year-old first-generation Portuguese-American. He studied Political Science and became involved in politics by reaching out to fellow Portuguese-American Rep. Rosa Rebimbas. He is a Burgess in Naugatuck and works as a legislative aid at the Connecticut House of Republicans. He talks about the political world in the state of Connecticut and how to get younger generations of Portuguese-Americans involved.

Ana Martins Cavanaugh, Canton Public Schools, Connecticut

Today we are speaking with Ana Martins Cavanaugh, the first elected official from Connecticut to be interviewed for PALITICUS. Ana is a Board of Education Member for the Canton Public Schools and has three children in this school district. She is now serving her second four year term on the Board of Education. She talks about how she got involved, the issues dealt by the Board and also about how important it is to keep her Portuguese culture alive.


Joseph Lopes, New Bedford, Massachusetts

Today we have the pleasure of speaking to Joseph Lopes, a council member from the city of New Bedford, Massachusetts, which has a strong Portuguese presence. His love of politics can be traced back to his father and grandfather. He was eight when he worked on his first campaign by accompanying his father while he campaigned for a friend who was running for mayor. His grandparents worked on president Kennedy's campaign, so it all runs in the family. He tells us a little about the role of Council President, which he has been elected for twice in the past, he is currently the vice-president. And he says that even if you don't want to run for office, there are other ways of being involved, like by joining a committee or board.

Dennis Brazil, Former Mayor of Gustine, CA

Today’s podcast is with Dennis Brazil, former mayor of Gustine, California and open candidate for state senate, district 12. Born and raised in Los Banos, in 2005 he relocated to Gustine, CA and ran for mayor in 2009, winning with 78% of the votes. In 2014 the current senator asked him to consider running for senate in 2018, after 6 months of consideration he started working on the senate campaign. He believes in the three C’s: Communication, Compromise and Common Sense, being that the middle C is what gets things accomplished. District 12 is one of the largest districts in CA and encompasses 6 counties. Water and immigration are the main issues in his district. He’s a fourth generation Portuguese whose family came from the Azores. The Portuguese population in his district is mainly involved in agriculture and depend on the Hispanic community for labor, so immigration is an important issue. He talks about the importance of creating a network of Portuguese Americans independent of political affiliations. And his call to action is to start by going to the council meeting and the board of supervisor meetings and engage at the level where your voice is heard, write to your representatives, make sure your opinion counts.


Rep. Dylan Fernandes, Massachusetts

Today we are talking to our youngest ever podcast guest, Representative Dylan Fernandes from the state of Massachusetts. He talks about how there is a misconception about the district he represents and how his family grew up in poverty and he was the first in his large Portuguese family to graduate from college. He got involved in politics right out of college and said his drive was always to give back to the community and help those less fortunate. He talks about the large Portuguese community in his district and how he believes that they are looking for new Portuguese leadership. His advice is to get involved and not let anyone tell you that you can’t do it, there’s a need for Portuguese leadership in our communities and he is always available to talk to anyone interested in getting involved.

Rep. Tony Cabral, Massachusetts

Today's Guest is Representative Tony Cabral, from the 13th Bristol District of Massachusetts, who is originally from the Azores and immigrated at the age of 14 with his parents. He was already politically involved in college, and from there he got involved in Michael Dukakis' campaign fro Governor of MA in 82, and then decided to get involved himself and run for office. His district in New Bedford has a large Portuguese American community. He talks about the importance of dialogues with the Azores and how it is beneficial for both sides. He also talks about how much more involved the Portuguese American community has become in his districts. His call for action is for people to get involved at a local level in their community, and how we need to get young people involved and interested in being participants. 

Lee Neves, Partner at CrossCurrents LLC

Our guest today is Lee Neves, a Campaign Manager, or as in his own words: The guy behind the guy. Lee got his start in the political world in the office of Assembly member Keith Olberg of San Bernardino County.

In this podcast he tells us a little about his job and how involved the Portuguese Community is in local politics. He talks about the importance of getting involved and not being afraid of asking a lot of questions, and to always remember that the other side is not the enemy. It’s time for a civil conversation.

Senator Daniel da Ponte, Rhode Island

Today we have the pleasure of speaking with Senator Daniel da Ponte, who was born and raised in Rhode Island by parents who immigrated from the Azores. He grew up around politics and was elected for the Senate at the young age of 20 while still a student at the University of Rhode Island. He is proud to say his senate seat has been continuously represented by a Luso-American since 1959. In his community of East Providence Portuguese Americans are very well integrated in the community and he hopes more and more Portuguese Americans become involved in Politics and Public Service.

Paul Pereira, Director of Community, Neighborhoods, Quality of Life and Public Safety - San Jose, CA

Today we talked to Paul Pereira from San Jose, California. He is the Director of Community, Neighborhoods, Quality of Life and Public Safety and works directly with the mayor Sam Liccardo and is the first non-elected guest on PALITICUS. He talks about Little Portugal and the importance of the Portuguese-American community being involved and how Little Portugal has changed throughout time, but there are still pockets of Portuguese-American around the city. He advises people to get involved in the school or neighborhood level and how you can make a difference even without running for office.

Rep. Joseph Solomon, Rhode Island

Rep. Joseph Solomon from RI’s 22 district is today’s guest. He talks about how he worked at the RI General Assembly for 6 years before running for office in 2014 and that the economy was one of the main issues that drove him to run for office, because he wanted to bring new ideas to the table. He believes we need to get involved to change things and make a difference, and that everyone can get involved at some level, specially the Portuguese-American community. He also believes that exchanging information with Portugal can be beneficial to the state of Rhode Island.

Craig Pedersen, Kings County Supervisor - California

Today we’re talking to County Supervisor Craig Pedersen from Kings County, CA. As a third generation farmer who couldn’t get the answers he needed on issues that were important to him from the County Supervisor, he then decided to run for that same position. He’s very proud to serve his community and comments on the importance of his Portuguese heritage and the immensurable work ethic of the Portuguese people.

Senator Michael Rodrigues, Massachusetts Legislature

Our guest is Senator Michael Rodrigues from Massachusetts and he shares how his family has always been involved in the community and public service. He talks about his Portuguese heritage and how he is involved in promoting it, as well as how involved his community is in what’s happening in Portugal. He believes that Portugal could be the next entry portal for the European Union because, in his opinion, Lisbon has all the infrastructure needed to serve in that capacity.

Carol Dutra-Vernaci, Mayor of Union City, CA

Carol Dutra-Vernaci, Mayor of Union City, CA shares how she got involved with the student government in high school and the path she took from there on, including 13 years in the city council and 5 years as mayor. She became involved because of an issue that was important to her, and following that issue has guided her career in public service. She also talks about how the Portuguese community has changed throughout the years in her area

Scott Silveira, City of Los Banos, California

Today’s guest is Councilman Scott Silveira from Los Banos, CA. He talks about how at the age of 8 he fell in love with community service after shaking hands with the city mayor at a fair. He recommends starting at the local level and getting involved, He is in his 6th year as councilman and will soon be running for county supervisor.

Vasco Rato, FLAD

Today’s guest is professor Vasco Rato, President of FLAD (Luso-American Development Foundation), a private organization whose goal is to develop a good relationship between Portugal and the United States, working very closely with governments from both countries. Professor Rato encourages the involvement in the political process and being proud of your Portuguese Heritage.

Steve Nascimento, CPAC

The first guest in the PALITICUS series is Steven Nascimento, Executive Director of CPAC - California Portuguese American Coalition, who talks about the importance of bringing individuals together and all the different ways to become involved and exercise your voice as a community.

Introducing PALITICUS

PALITICUS is a new bi-weekly podcast series, produced by PALCUS and hosted by Angela Simoes and Diniz Borges, which focuses on politics and public service from the Portuguese-American perspective. Each week we will bring together industry experts, lawmakers and political analysts to raise awareness about important issues and encourage more civic involvement and engagement by Portuguese-Americans.

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