Monday, June 11, 2018

A True Public Servant - Honoring my friend Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's career of service

In the summer of 1989, my life was changed by a State Senator from South Florida. She was a voice for change in a world that was happy with the status quo. She was a school teacher who had become a principal and loved education and showing children the importance of civic engagement. Little did I know that volunteering to help that August special election for Congress as she sought to be the voice of a Cuban-American community would set me on a career path that would lead me to where I am today.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, or Ily as we in her staff affectionately call her, was recognized last night by the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI), and her recognition is well merited. Her days in Congress are coming to an end, and the halls of the Capitol will never be the same. She has dedicated her 29 years of Congressional service to being an advocate for the voiceless, a true public servant who placed people above politics and constituents above party.

Many of you know her as the ferocious wolf fighting tyrants in the halls of Congress, but to myself and the dozens of staffers who had the privilege of working for her, she is more than that, she is a friend. Someone who never wastes an opportunity to support those who help her. When my son became ill, Ily was a pilar of support for my wife, Olga, and myself. As if her work in Congress was not enough, this dedication to her friends and family are what make Ileana Ros-Lehtinen a remarkable Member of Congress.

The road ahead will require new leaders picking up the baton Ileana leaves behind, but for now, let us take the opportunity to recognize the decades of service Ileana has given our great nation.

Ileana, thank you for your service to our South Florida community, but more importantly, thank you for your dedication to your family and friends and your constant support!

WATCH VIDEO NOW: "Thank You Ileana"

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