State Rep. Angel Cruz of the State Chamber for District 180 swore into his position for the ninth term and also as president of the National Hispanic Caucus of the State Legislature.
“It has not been easy. Since the beginning, I have practically always been alone as the only Latino representing my district and all the Latinos who live in the state of Pennsylvania,” says this Puerto-Rican native. “Our Hispanic population is growing at a very fast pace. We contribute in taxes, in businesses, we are workers and we are professionals. Even today, we see more Latino leaders in elective positions, as it is right now that Governor Tom Wolf’s cabinet has the Latino affairs office, which is directed by Lourdes Colon. In addition, we have several Hispanic leaders, and I understand that with this group of people, we can send the message to the governor so he can understand what our needs are. But I realize that this is not enough, and we have to keep working hard. Now, we have to recognize that it is very sad to say that we are not united. Our differences in patriotism are killing us. For example, I’m a proud Puerto Rican, but here we are Latinos. So it does not matter if you are Dominican, Colombian, Cuban, etc. We all are Hispanics/Latinos.”
On the topic of leadership, he says, “We also have to voice that there is a small group of people who take advantage of our community on the pretext that they are leaders, and what they do is work for their personal causes and not for the people. I am not going to say a name, but we are watching a so called “leader” on that matter, but thanks to God, most of our people are good and honest. Unfortunately, they stain the name of our community. I will always fight for the Latino. A leader is the one who works to serve the people, not the people serving him. And for that reason, I have worked for my people and with those in need, and you see, I have been elected by the people nine times, thus at the end of this term, it will be 18 years of service.”
Cruz shares that this year he will return to run the mental health commission that deals with mental problems as a result of unemployment, stress, racism and homelessness among other subject areas.
At the end of this interview, the representative noted on his presidency of the National Hispanic Caucus of the State Legislature. “This gives us more emphasis to help our Latinos because it opens the door to more relationships with different states of the nation, which groups together 420 Latino legislators of different Hispanic nationalities.” ◆