Linda Sánchez Returns to CHC

Posted January 15, 2009 at 7:47pm

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus announced Thursday that it has increased its membership from 21 to 24, in part because Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) is rejoining the group after a dramatic 2007 exit amid charges of sexism within the caucus.

New CHC members include freshman Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and Puerto Rico’s new Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi. But more noteworthy is the return of Sánchez, who quit the group two years ago because, she said at the time, “the current leadership has not made needed structural reforms to ensure that the caucus is more equitable and inclusive of all its members.”

Sánchez’s resignation came just months after her sister, Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), also left the group after accusing then-CHC Chairman Joe Baca (D-Calif.) of calling her a “whore” in a meeting. Baca has denied making the comment.

But with Baca’s tenure as chairman finished and Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) now leading the group, Sánchez is back in business with the CHC.

“With the Latino community making its voice heard louder than ever in the last election, I look forward to resuming my full membership of the CHC and being part of a team that will advocate for issues important to Latinos and all American families,” Sánchez said in a statement released by the CHC.