By Rocio Gonzalez, Voxxi
There’s no doubt this list is carefully and meticulously compiled every year. And what a very difficult decision that must be—to choose only the 100 most influential individuals from such a vast pool of candidates.
It is quite interesting to see how trends shift from year to year. Last year, for example, it was the year of Jessica Chastain. This year, it’s cover girl Jennifer Lawrence, who took the Oscar away from Chastain earlier this year. When it comes to leaders, Sen. Marco Rubio is out and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is in.
In 2012, Latin America had four entries in the 100 most influential people list: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Brazilians Eike Batista and Maria das Graças Silva Foster, and Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi. When it came to Hispanics making a difference in the U.S., there were three entries: Dreamer Dulce Matuz, Rubio and Spanish chef Jose Andrés.
Only three included in TIME’s 100 most influential: Is it them or is it us?
This year, the most influential Hispanics in the U.S. are, again, three: Martinez, singer Miguel and Pastor Wilfredo de Jesús. Entries from Latin America are Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Brazilian Joaquim Benedito Barbosa Gomes.
Does it say something about TIME, or does that say something about us that only three Hispanics in the U.S. made it to the list this year and last?
It’s fair to say things aren’t quite the same as they were last year. For example, there were two Latinos in the Obama cabinet, now there’s only Thomas Perez waiting to see if the Senate will confirm him as secretary of labor. And that came only after many organizations requested that President Barack Obama named Latinos to his cabinet when things began to look a little bland. But there is slightly more Latino power in Congress: take for instance Sen. Ted Cruz, who has certainly been a controversial figure, being called the new Sen. McCarthy.
Not to mention, it is looking very likely that this year will see the biggest immigration policy overhaul since the Reagan Administration, and that is being pushed by some very influential legislators, which include Rubio, Sen. Robert Menendez, Rep. Luis Gutierrez and others.
This article was first published in Voxxi.
Rocio Gonzalez is a writer in Washington, D.C. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, she is an avid reader, amateur baker & journalism graduate from American University in Washington.
[Photo by Albuquerque Public Schools]