Joseline Pena-Melnyk: “Abogadita”

Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk was recently profiled by NBC News for its series on Latino politicians running for office. Lots of interesting history, but my favorite part is this:

As a young, bilingual girl in New York City, Joseline Peña Melnyk did a lot of the translating for her mother and the rest of the Spanish speakers in northern Manhattan’s predominantly Latino Washington Heights neighborhood.

“I knew everyone’s business,” she laughed.

With her ability to navigate their needs and help with their problems, Peña-Melnyk’s mother began calling her “abogadita” (the little lawyer). Decades later, Peña-Melnyk went on to be a public defender in the U.S. Attorney General’s Office; a member of the College Park, Md. City Council and the Maryland House of Delegates.

Those who know her would say nothing has changed - she’s still out in the community helping out those in need.

As is usual, Pena-Melnyk got another endorsement today. I’ll be back in a few minutes with more information on that.

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