Latinos in the New Administration. Isabel Guzman as SBA

UnidosUS is proud to be a partner of Proyecto 20%, a campaign dedicated to ensuring that at least 20% of the political appointments made by the Biden-Harris administration are filled by Latino/as.

The confirmation hearing of Isabel Guzman, Small Business Administrator, has begun and is the focus of the first blog of a series focusing on the importance of Latinos in the White House. Representation matters. Read below.

Isabel Guzman, nominated to lead the Small Business Administration.

As 2020 came to a close and a new administration entered the White House, our nation witnessed many firsts. Among them was the nomination of Isabel Guzman to lead the Small Business Administration, making her the first Latina — if confirmed — to hold a presidential Cabinet position.

Guzman, director of California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate, served as a deputy chief of staff and senior adviser to the administrator at the SBA during the Obama administration, has run her own small businesses.

As the Biden-Harris administration kicks off their efforts at mitigating and rolling back the COVID-19 pandemic, entrepreneurs, small business owners, their employees, and their communities continue to suffer. The pandemic has also further amplified economic inequities, especially those faced by Latinas.

Guzman should advocate for and represent Latina immigrants who, according to Census data, start businesses at a higher rate than non-Hispanic white women. She will be reflecting the aspirations of more than 11 million women in the U.S. workforce who look like her, speak like her, and come from a culture like hers. And with her confirmation by the Senate, she will help ensure that the Biden-Harris administration not only looks like America, but also includes Latinas.

The work does not stop there, however. Guzman’s appointment and confirmation can serve as a catalyst for America’s Latinas to recognize their potential. Her confirmation will be a stepping stone toward reaching 20 percent Latino representation in the Biden-Harris administration, and it will signal that Latinas are ready to take their seat at the political table.

The largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, UnidosUS works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans.