Harris to host Latina business owners at White House

Vice President Harris arrives to the Senate Chamber on Monday, August 2, 2021 for a meeting.
Greg Nash

Vice President Harris on Wednesday will host five Latina business owners at the Vice President’s Ceremonial Office in the White House as part of celebrations for Hispanic Heritage Month.

Harris will be joined by Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D), a fellow Californian who will moderate a panel with the five business leaders.

“It’s a testament to the VP and her commitment to the Latino community, and to bring them to the table for Hispanic Heritage Month and hear from them is huge,” said Barragán.

Joining Harris and Barragán will be Daniella Senior, Rosa Caldas, Paola Moya, Myrna Peralta and Maria Hicks, all of whom operate successful businesses in the Washington, D.C., region.

Senior is a Dominican-born restaurateur who owns Colada Shop, Bresca, Serenata and Zumo in Washington.

Caldas, an engineer, is the founder of ZemiTek, an IT firm that works with the federal government and has operations throughout the world.

Moya’s architectural firm, Moya Design Partners, has designed a host of public and private spaces, including Diane’s House, a housing complex for people vulnerable to homelessness.

Peralta is the president and CEO of CentroNía, an affordable, bilingual and multicultural early learning center in Washington, D.C.

And Hicks is the founder of Meridien, a construction company that’s remodeled major public spaces, including the South Plaza of the Department of the Treasury.

At the meeting, Harris will promote the Biden administration’s Build Back Better agenda as part of the push to tout its benefits for small and medium businesses.

Democrats in Congress are currently negotiating among themselves to approve a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that’s already cleared the Senate and a $3.5 trillion spending bill that’s controversial among moderates for its price tag, at the same time legislating under deadlines for an impending government shutdown and a looming debt ceiling.

Moderates have pushed back on parts of the $3.5 trillion bill like universal child care, while balking at the overall price tag of the initiative.

Harris’s outreach is targeted at swaying moderates on those points by showcasing how business owners can benefit from added social services.

At the same time, she is promoting how the Senate-passed infrastructure deal will support those same businesses, as progressives are wary of giving final approval to that bill unless moderates agree to vote for the larger spending bill.

Tags $3.5 trillion spending bill Hispanic Heritage Month Infrastructure

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