On Saturday October 22nd, the Peace Islands Institute hosted Asw Annette Quijano to celebrate the "Hispanic Heritage Month". Guests had breakfast first. Following her speech there was a brief Q&A. Many attended, it was a wonderful morning.
Below are notes from her inspiring speech.
Biographical/Personal Background info
Asw Annette Quijano is the granddaughter of Puerto Rican immigrant farmer; she is raised by single mother in southern New Jersey. She is among the first Hispanic families to live in the state and was supported by profits from mother’s hair salon. She became a community activist at 15 through a petition drive to keep Spanish TV on the air.
Asw. Annette Quijano was raised to work hard in school in order to succeed in life. Her high school guidance counselor advised Asw. Quijano not to be an attorney, he didn’t think she could do it. She received partial scholarships to Rutgers for undergraduate and graduate education.
Asw. Anette Quijano was appointed to Congressional Redistricting Committee in 1990 she took an active role in drawing a district specifically designed to be represented by a Latino, Bob Menendez. She was then hired as Chief of Staff for Senator Raymond Lesniak, the first ever Latina Chief of Staff. She also served as the Governor’s counsel under McGreevey, Codey, and the Corzine administrations. In 2008 she was selected to fill a vacant Assembly seat in, and won reelection in 2009. Asw. Quijano is the first Latina representative of the 20th District and only the 7th in the history of the state legislature.
She introduced bill (now a law) that requires bi-annual reports on state contracts awarded to minority and women-owned businesses. She created a network of community gardens to provide local food pantries with fresh produce and she established a voluntary income tax contribution to Boys and Girls Clubs of NJ.
We thank Asw Annette Quijano for her presence and for making this event possible.
Pictures from the event: