More than 15 million Hispanic and Latinos call California home, making up nearly half of LA County’s population. During Hispanic Heritage Month, we recognize the countless contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to our state and nation throughout history.

According to the University of Southern California’s Equity Research Institute, Latinas today are leading in a way that addresses every concern, from education to the economy to the environment. 

On this week’s “In Focus SoCal,” host Tanya McRae sits down with Rep. Nanette Barragán, chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, about the top priorities of the 42-member group.

“One of the big things that we’re working on right now is the Farm Bill. We know that the Farm Bill is one of the must-pass bills that we’re hoping to get done this year,” said Barragán. “There’s a huge impact on Latino communities on different things in the Farm Bill, whether it’s infrastructure or whether it’s SNAP and food benefits.” 

Rep. Barragán also shared her experience of breaking many glass ceilings throughout her career. She is the first Latina to represent California’s 44th congressional district.

“It’s really an honor to be able to serve in Congress,” said Barragán. “I think back about my parents who immigrated to this country, and I think back and see, of course, immigrants who today are immigrating to this country and think about the opportunity that has [been] given to me because I was able to go to school here.” 

Also on this week’s show is Cynthia Moreno, a data analyst at USC’s Equity Research Institute.

She co-authored a report released last year called “Leading with Hope: Supporting Latina Leaders for a Better California” in partnership with HOPE, or “Hispanas Organized for Political Equity” that examined areas where Latinas are making strong impacts and to look at ways to strengthen Latina leadership in organizations throughout California. One sector that Latinas are leading in is in the political arena. 

“One of the things that we found is that Latinas are already leading across the sector and across issue areas in the state, and they’re doing so with very little philanthropic investment in their leadership and in the development of their skills,” said Moreno. “So our report begs the question, ‘How much more are Latinas going to be able to do if they are invested in more intentionally?’”

Spectrum News 1’s Carmen Valencia introduces us to Johana Hernandez, one Latina fashionista who has been blazing a trail for other Latina designers and models.

Lydia Pantazes also takes us inside Pops Creamery, that has been in one family for six generations and is sharing their culture through flavors like Kriol Sweet Corn and Mamey. 

Send us your thoughts to and watch at 9 a.m. and noon Sunday.