Shadow Politics, November 10, 2019
Shadow Politics with Senator Michael Brown and Maria Sanchez
Guests, Hector Rodriguez and Matthew J. Cary
Headlined Show, Shadow Politics November 10, 2019
VETERANS DAY BROADCAST! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE! First half of the show we have Matthew Cary who serves as the executive director of Veterans and Military Families for Progress (VMFP) and then Hector Rodriguez who is the executive director of Veterans United for DC Statehood. Hector plans to lead a Veterans Day rally, 2-4 pm on Monday, November 11th, on Freedom Plaza with other veterans in support of DC statehood. Hector was a Viet Nam Era Veteran Captain in the United States Army Strategic Communications Command (1965-1968).
Guest, Hector Rodriguez
Hector Rodriguez was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Lorain, Ohio. In 1968 he arrived in Washington DC after completion of service as a Viet Nam Era Captain in the United States Army Strategic Communications Command.
He was appointed as Program Development Specialist and was assigned to a White House cabinet level agency under former Vice President Hubert Humphrey’s office. He worked with the Federal departments and national and community organizations in developing initiatives to reverse poverty and increase participation in federal programs.
In 1970 Mr. Rodriguez served as a special consultant to the US Commissioner of Education where he coordinated programs advancing education opportunities for children in low income municipal school systems.
In 1972 he engaged our nations’ urban crisis at the National Urban Coalition. As Deputy Vice President for Cities Operations, Mr. Rodriguez worked with community, government and industry leaders on solutions for our riot torn urban centers. He assisted in organizing and managing 60 urban coalitions in our nation’s cities. He received the “Outstanding Service Award” NUC’s highest recognition for his service and contributions to our cities.
Mr. Rodriguez authored and presented the original proposal to the DC City Council, establishing what is now the DC Office of Latino Affairs which continues to generate millions of dollars in services to thousands of needy residents in the District of Columbia.
In 1991 in response to disturbances in the Mt. Pleasant /Columbia Heights neighborhoods Mr. Rodriguez launched the Las Americas Avenue Development Corporation and created a Tri-Neighborhood international tourism model advancing small business incubators, economic development and job creation. He also created a plan for the DC International Enterprise Zone.
Mr. Rodriguez was appointed to a cabinet post in 1998. As Director, DC Office of International Affairs he conducted protocol with embassies and high ranking officials in behalf of the Mayor and the District of Columbia. He also developed programs to position the District for international trade, commerce and investment. Among his accomplishments was a trade agreement he authored between DC and the Republic of Panama Chambers advancing trade and commerce .
By nature Hector Rodriguez is a creative, solutions- driven institution builder. His professional and private life has been dedicated to public service, political participation and community economic development.
Selected civic activities and achievements:
Twice presented testimony before the US Senate- DC Full Vote/Latino participation.US government;Multiple testimonies before the DC Council- housing, economic development, education, international;Vice Chair, Committee to Support the DC Home Rule Charter-1974;Candidate, DC Council-1979,1980, 2002;Member, George Washington University Center for Small Business Advancement;Guest /Delegate White House-Summit of the Americas, Miami 1994;PresidentClinton; International Committee-US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce;VIP Escort Officer ,US Defense Department;Grand Marshall, DC Latin American Festival.
White House Communications Award- for providing support to the President of the US; George Washington Honor Medal-from the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge; Latino Community Achievement Award- as author DC Office of Latino Affairs; Exceptional Service Citation-from the US Secretary of Transportation; Distinguished Community Service Award-New Human Foundation.
Mr. Rodriguez has a Bachelor of Arts from Kent State University where he majored in Communications and Political Science. He has proven leadership abilities with expertise in government operations, program formulation, economic development and international affairs.
Currently he is President of Rodriguez Communications, a consulting firm he founded in 2003 with the goal of connecting strategic markets and expanding business networks.
Guest, Matthew J Cary
Matthew Cary currently serves as senior marketing and sales advisor for IOREX/USA –a water pipe protector and treatment company headquartered in Washington, DC and Seoul, South Korea. Matthew also serves as the executive director of Veterans and Military Families for Progress (VMFP) –a 501(c)(4) non-profit, non-partisan, tax-exempt national veteran and military family veteran service organization. VMFP’s mission is to endorse and elect veteran andmilitary family members for public office, advocate for legislation before Congress and state legislatures which assists veterans and their families with coming home issues and educatethe media and civilian population on these critical matters. Matt was recently elected to serve a second two-year term as VMFP Executive Director by its board of directors in December 2017. In addition, he was recently appointed to serve a four-year term on the board of directors of the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes–a 501(c)(3) non-profit veteran organization whose mission is to assist Iraq and Afghanistan disabled veterans with their transition to civilianlife.Matt was appointed director of the DC Office of Veterans Affairs by Mayor Vincent C. Gray in April 2011 and was unanimously confirmed by members of the Council of the District of Columbia in June 2011. During his four years in office, he initiated several new programs for DC veterans and their families including the furniture donation program for DC homeless veterans and their families resulting in donations of furniture and household items valued at $1.5 million from several military installations which has been delivered to 500 DC homeless veterans moving into transitional or permanent housing. The new DC Veterans and Spouse License Plate program provides display tags to District veterans and their spouses who are residents of the District of Columbia through the sale of tags by its partner, the DC Department of Motor Vehicles. The program has sold more than 155 license plates and raised more than$8,000 for the DC Office of Veterans Affairs’(DCOVA) Veterans Assistance Fund to assist DC needy veterans. The VALOR program is a financial literacy initiative providing debt management, credit management,financial planning, management and budgeting counseling through classroom and online training to DC veterans. The program has provided free educational training through its partners Financial Education Literacy Associates and Bank on DC to more than 200 District veterans and their families. Thefourth program is a Christmas holiday toy and clothing event for DC military and veteran families’ children ages two through 18. DCOVA and its partner AFL-CIO Helmets to Hardhats organization provided toys and clothing to 80 children in 2013 and 180 in 2014.Cary was instrumental in helping a senior staff member become accredited by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as a certified claims officer to prepare and present DC veterans’ disability claims to the VA.Since 2011, through Matt’s leadership,DCOVA has broken ground on four affordable transitional and permanent DC veteran housing projects with supportive services providing more housing.
From 1986 to his DC government appointment in 2011, Cary was president and chief executive officer of his own government relations and international marketing consulting firm representing the interests of public and private sector clients with the U.S. Congress, federal and state government agencies and linking U.S. companies to foreign government projects in water treatment and solid waste management.Prior to starting his own small business, Matt was director of federal programs for a consulting engineer trade association, director of the New York State Washington Office for former Governor Hugh Carey. As an employee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors,he was the Washington representative to the mayors of seven cities (Bayamon, PR; Buffalo, NY; Houston, TX;Kenner, LA;Richland, WA; Riverside, CA; and Sunnyvale, CA). He was also legislative director to a former congressman from New York.Cary holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration with a concentration in urban management and urban planning from American University and a BA Degree in Social Science from St. Bonaventure University. He was elected president of the National Democratic Club in Washington,DC in 2018 and previously served as first vice president, treasurer and a member of the board of directors. Matt serves on the board of directors of Veterans and Military Families for Progress,the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes and Sports Management Associates. He was also inducted into the Washington, DCMetroMen’s Adult and Senior Amateur Baseball League Hall of Fame in 2008.Matt has been a resident of the District of Columbia for 49 years and currently resides in Ward 3 with his wife Dana. Matt and Dana enjoy global travel and have visited Argentina, Brazil, numerous Caribbean Islands, Chile, China,Czech Republic, England,France,Greece, Iceland,India,Ireland,Italy, Japan, Mexico, Paraguay,Portugal,Scotland,Sicily, Spain,Thailand and Vietnam.He is originally from Elmira, New York.
Shadow Politics is a grass roots talk show giving a voice to the voiceless. For more than 200 years the people of the Nation's Capital have ironically been excluded from the national political conversation. With no voting member of either house of Congress, Washingtonians have lacked the representation they need to be equal and to have their voices heard. Shadow Politics will provide a platform for them, as well as the millions of others nationwide who feel politically disenfranchised and disconnected, to be included in a national dialog.
We need to start a new conversation in America, one that is more inclusive and diverse and one that will lead our great nation forward to meet the challenges of the 21st century. At Shadow Politics, we hope to get this conversation started by bringing Americans together to talk about issues important to them. We look forward to having you be part of the discussion so call in and join the conversation. America is calling and we're listening… Shadow Politics is about America hearing what you have to say. It's your chance to talk to an elected official who has spent more than 30 years in Washington politics. We believe that if we start a dialog and others add their voices we will create a chorus. Even if those other politicians in Washington don't hear you — Senator Brown will. He's on a mission to listen to what America has to say and use it to start a productive dialog to make our democracy stronger and more inclusive. If we are all part of the solution we can solve any problem.