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 email@example.com.
PALITICUS is made possible through the support of FLAD and the Government of the Azores
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.