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Richardson Campaign Press Release - Actor/Activist Tony Plana to Serve as National Mi Familia con Richardson Spokesperson

November 14, 2007

Richardson announces national co-chairs and staff;

Mi Familia program beats goal of 100 chapters in 100 days

FRESNO, CA-- The Richardson for President campaign today announced that actor/activist Tony Plana, a star of ABC's hit show "Ugly Betty," will serve as the National Spokesperson for Mi Familia con Richardson, the campaign's grassroots Latino outreach program.

To learn more about Mi Familia con Bill Richardson, click here.

"Tony Plana not only is a brilliant actor, he also is an activist committed to serving the Latino community and working to improve the lives of every American," Governor Richardson said. "I often have said that this election will not be decided by which candidate is the biggest rock star. However, I never said anything about TV stars. I am proud to have Tony on my team to help lead this critically important outreach effort.”

Plana is one of the many leading Latino activists who have joined Mi Familia con Richardson. Grassroots leaders, community activists, and concerned citizens all are getting involved in this growing outreach program.

"Bill Richardson has spent his career in public service bringing people together to make life better for everyone," Plana said. "I am privileged to be a part of his campaign and to help him reach out to Latinos across the United States. I am excited that a Latino is running for the White House, but more importantly, I am excited that Bill Richardson has a vision for a better America and the experience to make that vision a reality."

The Richardson campaign also announced that the Mi Familia program has surpassed its goal of creating 100 chapters in 100 days.

"We are thrilled that the response to the Mi Familia program has been overwhelming, beyond our most optimistic expectations," Mi Familia National Director John Gomez said. "We are proud that Latinos across the country are joining the movement to elect Bill Richardson as the next President of the United States."

The Richardson for President campaign also announced the national and regional leadership of Mi Familia con Bill Richardson. Please find this information below:


Tony Plana was educated at Loyola High School, Los Angeles, and Loyola Marymount University, where he earned a Bachelor's degree through the Honors Program in Literature and Theatre Arts, graduating magna cum laude. He received professional training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England.

Plana currently stars as Ignacio Suarez, the widowed father to America Ferrera's Ugly Betty, in ABC's landmark, groundbreaking hit series for which he received the 2006 Golden Satellite Award from the International Press Academy and an Alma Award nomination for the best supporting actor in a television comedy.

As an actor, Plana has starred in more than 70 feature films, including JFK, Nixon, Salvador, An Officer and a Gentleman, Lone Star, Three Amigos, Born in East L.A., El Norte, 187, Primal Fear, Romero, One Good Cop, Havana, The Rookie, Silver Strand and Picking Up the Pieces with Woody Allen. He recently appeared in the action thriller Half Past Dead with Steven Seagal, Morris Chestnut, and Ja Rule; The Lost City, with Andy Garcia, Bill Murray, and Dustin Hoffman; and Disney's highly acclaimed GOAL, The Dream Begins! His soon-to-be-released feature film projects include El Muerto, starring Wilmer Valderrama, Justified, Towards Darkness, and American East with Tony Shalhoub.

He has been married to actress Ada Maris for nineteen years and is the proud father of Alejandro and Isabel.


Rick Hernandez is the President and CEO of the Metec Group, a financial consulting firm based in Washington, D.C.

Hernandez served on the Senior White House Staff of President Carter and was Counselor to Vice President Al Gore for his Reinventing Government program. He also served as Chief of Operations at the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Hernandez is the founder of the Mexican American Democrats of Texas and currently serves as a Senior Advisor to the Richardson for President campaign.


Miriam Cruz is the President of Cruz and Associates, an educational consulting firm servicing Hispanic universities and other educational institutions.

In 1996, she helped organize the National Hispanic Religious Partnership for Community Health. She was awarded the Medallion of Excellence by the Hispanic Congressional Caucus.

Cruz is a trustee of the National City Christian Church Foundation and a member of the Board of Higher Education of the Christian Church.


In the 1970's, Gloria Molina served in the White House under President Carter and the San Francisco Department of Health and Human Services.

She was elected to the California State Assembly in 1982 and the Los Angeles City Council in 1987. On February 19, 1991, she became the first Latina ever elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

She was named as one of the Democratic Party's "10 Rising Stars" by TIME magazine in 1996. Molina served as one of four vice chairs of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) through 2004.


John Gomez is a native of Las Cruces, New Mexico. He has over fifteen years of grassroots political and operational expertise, most recently as Director of Operations and Hispanic Outreach for Jim Pederson's U.S. Senate race in Arizona. He also has served as Campaign Manager for Richardson for President Arizona Co-Chair and State Minority Whip Rep. Steve Gallardo's House and School Board races and has directed campaigns for FieldWorks, Inc., SEIU, and ACORN.

He has served on various boards and commissions for the City of Phoenix, including the Phoenix 2006 Bond Committee, GLBT Advisory Board, Hispanic Advisory Board, and the Village Planning and Zoning Commission.

Gomez has been very involved with the Arizona State Democratic Party as Precinct and State Committeeman and Vice Chair of Legislative District 10. Gomez also has served on the Executive Board for the Maricopa County Democratic Party as Sergeant-at-Arms.


Daniel Figueroa currently is the Chief of Staff to Assemblyman Peter M. Rivera, Chairman of the Hispanic Caucus. He also is the former Executive Director of the New York State Assembly/Senate Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force. Under Assemblyman Rivera's direction, Figueroa oversaw the development of a Hispanic legislative agenda for New York.

Figueroa has worked as a criminal defense attorney for the Bronx Legal Aid Society Criminal Defense Division, prosecutor of disciplinary violations at the New York City Department of Sanitation, and Police Prosecutor for the New York Police Department.

Figueroa also has served as adjunct professor of Latin American History at Mercy College and has taught paralegal courses as part of the Bronx Community College Paralegal Program.

He also is the longest serving president of the Community Democratic Club in the Bronx and is a political operative with the Bronx Democratic County Committee and the New York State Democratic Committee.


Fernando Romero has a long history in Nevada politics. A graduate of UNLV, Romero has been volunteering and working on political campaigns for over 37 years, having first volunteered on Harry Reid's campaign for Lieutenant Governor.

Romero has directed two state agencies: the Nevada Equal Rights Commission and the Nevada Equal Employment Opportunity Office. He also has served as Manager of Government Relations for Mirage Resorts, Inc.

In past elections, Romero has served as a political consultant specializing in Hispanic affairs for U.S. Senators Harry Reid and Richard Bryan, Governor Bob Miller, and many others.


Diana Salazar has been an activist in South Carolina for over 20 years. Most recently, Salazar organized the first immigration march in South Carolina history. Her office provides translation services for various legal entities, including the courts, and for various Latino community organizations. Diana has been an Administrative Assistant in the Legislative Delegation Office for eight Senators and thirteen House members in downtown Charleston and currently is the President of The Latino Association of Charleston.


Alejandro Urrutia has worked as a medical researcher and as the Community Outreach Director for the American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay. He currently is the director of a health and safety consulting firm.


Annette Torres has been a community activist for many years. She was a VISTA volunteer for AmeriCorps, providing leadership to community organizations and public agencies to create and expand programs that build capacity and ultimately bring low-income individuals and communities out of poverty.

Torres has worked on campaigns in Arizona, Texas, Colorado, and Maryland. A graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso, she also sits on the Advisory Board for the Paseo del Norte Civil Rights Project in El Paso.

Bill Richardson, Richardson Campaign Press Release - Actor/Activist Tony Plana to Serve as National Mi Familia con Richardson Spokesperson Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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