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Nine Elected Officials to be Recognized at Latino Book and Family Festival

Oceanside CA— Local Hispanic community leaders and elected officials will be recognized for their service in an awards ceremony during the Latino Book & Family Festival at 11:00 a.m. on August 12 at MiraCosta College (1 Bernard Drive, Oceanside).

The free festival, expected to attract more than 5,000 guests, will be the largest gathering of authors in the region and a perfect back-to-school kickoff for families.

More than two dozen workshops, along with family entertainment, over 100 exhibits, a bilingual story time and multiple food vendors, will offer something for every attendee.  Workshops will cover topics for children, students, parents and aspiring authors. More than 60 published authors will be on hand to discuss their books.

In addition to all the festival activities, two categories of North County Latino Leadership Awards will be presented:  Twelve Latino Elected Public Officials and seven Espiritu de la Comunidad Awards for grassroots community leaders. This is the first-time North San Diego County has honored elected Latino leaders in one setting, representing a historic event for the region.  Espiritu de la Comunidad honorees were selected from among the many Latinos(as) who have made an impact in their respective communities. Festival organizers plan to include these awards every year, because of the great number of leaders who embody the spirit of their communities.

Latino Elected Public Officials

  • California State Assemblyman Rocky J. Chavez
  • Escondido City Council Member Olga Diaz
  • Oceanside City Council Member Esther C.  Sanchez
  • Superior Court Judge Robert Amador
  • Superior Court Judge Carlos O. Armour
  • Vista City Council Member John J. Aguilera
  • Oceanside Unified School District Board Member Emily Wichmann
  • Palomar College Trustee Dr. John Halcon
  • Palomar College Trustee Mark Evilsizer
  • San Dieguito Union High School District Board Member John Salazar
  • Vista Irrigation District Board Member Richard Vasquez
  • Vista Unified School District Board Member Cipriano Vargas

Espiritu de la Comunidad Award Recipients

  • Carlsbad:               Ms. Ofie Escobedo, youth mentor and neighborhood activist
  • Encinitas:              Dr. Beatriz Villarreal, director Mano a Mano Foundation providing parenting training throughout San Diego County
  • Escondido:            Professor Emeritus John Valdez, professor emeritus at Palomar College and Route 78 Rotary Club member
  • Oceanside:           Mr. Jimmy Figueroa, at-risk youth mentor and public transit advocate
  • North County:      Ms. Corie De Anda, director Hermanitas leading programs for middle school Latinas
  • Solana Beach:      Mr. Manny Aguilar, youth mentor and founding board member and current president, La Colonia de Eden Gardens
  • Vista:                     Mr. Roberto Rivas, founder Encuentros Leadership improving educational outcomes for Latino boys

The awards ceremony will take place in MiraCosta’s “Little Theater,” Room 3601, at 11:00 a.m. while the festival will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with plenty of free parking available throughout the day.

While the festival’s goal is to promote literacy, generous community partners, Vista Community Clinic and We Support U will be on campus to provide FREE dental screenings and mammograms.  No dental appointments are required.  Mammogram appointments can be scheduled by calling 619-508-8088.

Launched in Los Angeles in 1997 and co-produced by award-winning actor and community activist Edward James Olmos, the Latino Book & Family Festival has become a sought-after and popular event held in key Hispanic markets across the country and is aimed at promoting literacy, culture and education in a welcoming environment for the entire family. The festivals are operated through the nonprofit Latin Literacy Now dedicated to advancing reading and literature as a way of improving lives throughout the Latino community.

Festival sponsors include the Consulate General of Mexico in San Diego, Wells Fargo Bank, MiraCosta College Foundation, Route 78 Rotary Club, El Latino San Diego, Souplantation, the International Society of Latino Authors, MiraCosta College and more.