In addition to roles as an actress, producer, and director, Eva Longoria spends much of her time politically involved through her work with President Barack Obama, El Voto Hispano, the Eva Longoria Fund, and more. Longoria utilizes her celebrity status to talk frankly and honestly about her views on immigrations, the economy, women's rights and more. Moreover, she constantly encourages her fans — particularly Latinas — to become more involved in the political process.
Get ready to be inspired by some of Longoria's best quotes about politics and activism:
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At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Longoria gave a touching speech about the American dream: "Like a lot of you, I did whatever it took and, four years later, I got my degree. More importantly, I got a key to American opportunity. That's who we are — a nation that rewards ambition with opportunity. Where hard work can lead to success, no matter where you start. Traveling the country for the president, I see young Americans of every background fighting to succeed. They're optimistic, ambitious, hardworking. But they also want to know their hard work will pay off."
At the National Council of La Raza's Award Gala in 2014, Longoria spoke frankly about the influx of migrant children. "I'm surprised at the handling of it. Americans of every background are disappointed with how the issue has been handled, and I think it's time for leaders from both parties to set aside partisan bickering and their own narrow political goals and get immigration reform done. How it's been handled has been unbelievable, unacceptable and un-American."
In an interview with This Week, Longoria stated that her activism extends beyond giving speeches. She wants to change policy. "I'm trying to do my part as a citizen. My part as a Hispanic. My part as a woman. As an American. I enjoy it. I think everybody should be civically engaged in a level that will affect policy. That's the point. That how our government is set up," she said.
While chatting with Piers Morgan on CNN, Longoria said she prefers to stay involved as a citizen — not a politician. "I'm not [going to run for office]," she said. "I never want to trivialize the work that [politicians] do... what they do is hard," she said. "To be politically involved, you have to be involved as a citizen."
When we interviewed the actress about her work with El Voto Hispano, she told us about the importance of remaining politically involved as a Latino. "Your vote counts... We wants the rest of the world to understand we [Latinos] do count. It's not just voting when it comes to fully participating in the democratic process. It's helping campaigns like this that can educate others and urge us all to get out there and change our lives for the better."
"As an actress, there's a stereotype that we can't be smart, we can't be political, we can't be civic-minded or engaged," she told us in our November 2012 issue. "We just have to stay in front of the camera and look pretty. No, I'm human. I can do more."
In an interview with My San Antonio, Texas native Longoria discussed how her Mexican-American heritage impacted her politics.
"My philanthropic drive definitely comes from my mother. My Latino pride — my Mexican American pride — comes from my father, who always taught me to never forget where oyu came from, and I never do. And even though I am ninth-generation American, I'm as American as apple pie but as Mexican as an enchilada," she said. "To have that dichotomy — I embrace it! I have sympathy and empathy for people of my culture who don't have the opportunities that I fortunately have, whether it's health care or education or the simple rights of being a citizen of this country. There are a lot of privileges that I have and so many people fought before me so that I could have them. So, I want to continue their fight to make a better life for those who want it and earn it and need it."
For Longoria, activism involves getting involved on many different levels.
"I always find that change has to come in two areas — in the private sector and in the public sector," she told NBC Latino. "So while I can do everything I can with [the Eva Longoria Foundation], we still need policy change and so you have to have both mechanisms working in order to create change and so legislation like immigration reform, or legislation like the Dream Act, or legislation like the Care Act. I mean, all of these things need to happen."