Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute

Rigo/Patty 2018 Gala Speech


Rodrigo & Patricia's SPEECH at the
2018 CHLI Gala & Leadership Awards
HONORING Congresswoman Ileana ros-lehtinen

April 11, 2018

Rigo: We’ve always known our mom as a leader.  At home, abroad, and in our community.  She’s an inspiration for people everywhere. 

Patty: She always has a smile and a cafecito for anyone, even those she disagrees with.  She knows the people you meet on the way up will probably be there on the way back down, so you better hope you were nice to them.

Rigo: Her kindness and humility belie a truly fierce trailblazer. 

Patty: Possibly what makes us the proudest is that she isn’t afraid to speak her mind, even if it isn’t easy.  She’s never been too bothered with the party line, being most concerned with doing what she believes is right. 

Rigo: She knows that doesn’t always result in the popular choice, but that’s been ok with her.

Patty: What has always amazed us is that she is the same person whether on the floor of the House, speaking at a huge event like this, or at home.

Rigo: She introduces herself as “Rigo’s Mom” or “Killian’s Abu,” answers our calls with a whisper in the middle of a committee hearing (hope we aren’t getting you in trouble, Mom!), and then has trouble believing the President of the United States might actually be calling her on her cell.

Patty: Our mom has shown us that if you want to be a person of substance, you have to be willing to take risks and you have to be yourself.

Rigo: And she knows that being a person of substance doesn’t have anything to do with your gender.