NALEO to Honor U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen with Award for Outstanding Public Service at 2013 NALEO Edward R. Roybal Legacy Gala

Feb 21, 2013, 16:56 ET from National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO)

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and City of Miami Mayor Tomas P. Regalado to serve as tributors at the Feb. 26 event in Washington D.C.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) announced today that Florida U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen will be presented with the prestigious Edward R. Roybal Award for Outstanding Public Service at the organization's annual NALEO Edward R. Roybal Legacy Gala in Washington, D.C.  This year's event will be hosted by Univision Noticiero Co-Anchor Maria Elena Salinas and held on Feb. 26, 2013 at 7 p.m. at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Washington DC (1330 Maryland Avenue, SW).

"U.S. Representative Ros-Lehtinen has distinguished herself through her unwavering commitment to public service," said Alex Padilla, NALEO president and California State Senator.  "Her leadership has improved the quality of life of her constituents and increased opportunities for a new generation of Latino leaders around the country. We honor U.S. Representative Ros-Lehtinen for exemplifying the spirit of service of the late Congressman Roybal through her work."

The Edward R. Roybal Award for Outstanding Public Service is presented at the annual Legacy Gala to an individual who is a devoted public servant to the nation and the Latino community. The award pays tribute to the organization's founder and President Emeritus, the late Congressman Edward R. Roybal.  This year's Gala attendees will be joined by Roybal's daughter U.S. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, as well as tributors U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, and City of Miami Mayor Tomas P. Regalado.

More than 25 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives will be in attendance at the event, including Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Ruben Hinojosa.  Also in attendance will be U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios, Ambassador of El Salvador Francisco Altschul, Ambassador of Israel Michael Oren and Ambassador of Mexico Eduardo Medina Mora.

NALEO's 2013 recipient, U.S. Representative Ros-Lehtinen, has advocated on behalf of Florida's most vulnerable populations for more than 30 years, giving the people she serves a voice. Known for her commitment to quality education, immigration reform, veterans and economic development, as well as her strong stance against discriminatory practices, U.S. Representative Ros-Lehtinen embodies what this award represents.

Elected to the Florida State House of Representatives in 1982, followed by a term in the Florida Senate in 1986, U.S. Representative Ros-Lehtinen became the first Latina to serve in either body. Since 1989, she has served as a U.S. Representative for South Florida, becoming the first Latina in Congress and first Cuban-American.  She is currently the most senior Republican woman in the U.S. House, and was the first Republican female elected to the House of Representatives from Florida.  She is the former Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

"I am humbled and honored to receive this tribute from NALEO," said U.S. Representative Ros-Lehtinen. "It is because of organizations like NALEO that we see the emergence of a new generation of Latino leaders. These future leaders will help shape the face of this great nation."

U.S. Representative Ros-Lehtinen went on to say, "We can never forget that Latino values are also American values. As such I look forward to continuing to work with NALEO to ensure that the values of all Americans and the Latino community are heard in the halls of government."  

NALEO is also pleased to recognize two long-standing partners, Univision Communications Inc. and PepsiCo, which will serve as the Chair and Vice Chair respectively of the 2013 NALEO Edward R Roybal Legacy Gala.  Proceeds raised support the work of NALEO Educational Fund's mission to facilitate the full participation of Latinos in the American political process.

This event is open to members of the press.  Media must register in advance with Amanda Bosquez (, 202-546-2536 ext. 12) or Paula Valle Castanon (, 213-747-7606 ext. 4414).

For more information please visit

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials is the leadership organization of the nation's more than 6,000 Latino elected and appointed officials.

Contact: Paula Valle Castanon,
(213) 747-7606 ext.4414, (323) 253-6431 (cell)

Amanda Bosquez,
(202) 546-2536, ext. 12, (361) 548-6989 (cell)

SOURCE National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO)