Our Voices

Rudy RuizRudy Ruiz – Founder, Publisher, Editor-in-Chief & Contributor

Published author, thinker, and multicultural advocacy entrepreneur, Rudy Ruiz is the founder of Red Brown and Blue. Hailed as “a cultural visionary” by the National Hispanic Institute, Rudy is a native Spanish speaker, born and raised on the US-Mexico border. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Government and his Master’s degree in Public Policy at Harvard University. His published works include Adelante (Random House, 2003) and Going Hungry (Anchor Books, 2008). He is currently working on a collection of short stories scheduled for future publication.

 

In 1995, Rudy co-founded Interlex Communications, one of the leading multicultural advertising agencies in the nation, with a specific focus on advocacy and cause-Related Marketing. His unique blend of creativity, cultural insight and policy expertise has delivered measurable results for major government agencies, non-profits, and Fortune 500 companies as well as garnered numerous awards and accolades. Hispanic Business Magazine has frequently ranked Rudy as one of the Top Hispanic Entrepreneurs in America.

 

Jake NegovanJake Negovan – Editorial Director & Contributor

Jake’s interest in the American political landscape began in high school civics courses, where he looked forward to the daily back-and-forth conversations on the issues with his teachers. The service – or disservice – done by government to the American people continues to be a matter of intense interest and exploration for him today. Above all else, he strives to shine a light on truth and hypocrisy when the mainstream media overlooks those small details.

 

Jake’s experience crosses many professions, and in each he took confident hold of the bottom rung then raced everyone else to the top. He earned paychecks working as an office cog, as a banking operations officer, as an auto mechanic, as a naval communications specialist, and many others.

 

For love or money, Jake also has been ghost-writing some form of copy for the businesses of family and friends since he was 13. He currently works as a freelance writer who can be found on the web at jakejots.com or on Twitter @jakenegovan.

 

As Editorial Director, Jake drives Red Brown and Blue to be an outlet for progressive political opinion that leads to the betterment of life for the real, multicultural population of the U.S. and the rest of the world. His columns address the issues faced by our country as we continue growing toward a society of equality.

 

Ruben Navarrette, Jr.Ruben Navarrette, Jr. – Contributor

Ruben Navarrette, Jr. is an editorial writer for The San Diego Union-Tribune and a nationally syndicated columnist with The Washington Post Writers Group whose twice-a-week column appears in nearly 200 newspapers. He is a weekly commentator on National Public Radio’s “Tell Me More w/ Michel Martin” and a recovering radio talk show host who, in 1994, had a three-hour daily show in Los Angeles. He has also served as a guest host for the nationally syndicated “Michael Medved Show”, which airs in 200 markets.

 

Ruben contributes regular commentary to CNN.COM. His freelance writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Texas Monthly, Hispanic Magazine, Latino Magazine, USA Today, & TIME.COM.

 

On television, he has appeared on “CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight,” “CNN’s Inside Politics,” “CNN’s Paula Zahn Now,” “CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360,” “The Chris Matthews Show,” “The O’Reilly Factor,” “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” and “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.” He also served as a panelist on the PBS All-American Presidential Forum in June 2007, a prime-time event where he and other panelists asked questions of eight Democratic presidential candidates.

 

Ruben’s radio appearances include nationally syndicated shows hosted by Bill Bennett, Michael Reagan, Linda Chavez, Michael Medved and Laura Ingraham. Rush Limbaugh read one of Navarrette’s columns to his show’s 20 million listeners.

 

He is the author of A Darker Shade of Crimson: Odyssey of a Harvard Chicano (Bantam, 1993). He’s also a contributor to the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul series, having published essays in both Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul and Chicken Soup for the Latino Soul.”

 

In 2005, Hispanic Business Magazine named him one of “The 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the Country.” San Diego Magazine named him one of “50 People to Watch in 2006.” In 2006 and 2007, PODER named him one of 100 Hispanic “poderosos” (powerful ones).

 

Find out more at www.rubennavarrette.com.

 

Michael Maine – Contributor

Michael Maine

Michael Maine is dedicated to global communication, collaboration, and cooperation. Originally planning on utilizing his problem solving and strategic strengths in the corporate sector, his eyes were opened and life changed after taking his first sociology class at Southwestern University, where he graduated with a bachelor in Business and minors in both Sociology and Communications.

 

Michael Maine is the founder and chief strategy officer of Menrva Labs, consulting with small businesses and non-profit organizations to build sustainable social change by increasing social consciousness. Menrva helps organizations realize their potential by working with them to identify goals, build strategies, and carry out those strategies. Michael has also installed computers in low-income elementary schools in Honduras, volunteered time to multiple causes for several years, and participated in cultural awareness events and initiatives. 

 

He believes that through communication and education we can transcend the ethnocentric view of “tolerance” or “acceptance” of others and ascend towards “celebration.”  Follow Michael on Twitter at @michaelbmaine and @menrvalabs or follow his personal blog at http://www.michaelbmaine.com.

 

Vito de la CruzVito de la Cruz – Contributor

Vito de la Cruz was raised by his grandmother as part of an extended migrant farm worker family in Texas. His family crew would travel each summer to the sugar beet fields of North Dakota, the vegetable farms of Ohio and West and South Texas. With the steady hand of his aunt, De la Cruz overcame the obstacles of poverty and completed high school in San Benito, Texas earning scholastic and sports recognition along the way.

 

De la Cruz graduated from Yale University in 1981 and thereafter attended law school at the University of California, Boalt Hall School of Law, receiving a Juris Doctorate degree in 1985. He launched his law career working for California Rural Legal Assistance, primarily in the areas of employment discrimination, farm labor, and issues of migrant housing, health, and education. From California Rural Legal Assistance, he went to work for the Monterey County Public Defender’s Office then later with the Federal Public Defender in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was one of the original staff attorneys for the Federal Defenders of Eastern Washington. In 1998, he rejoined the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the District of Nevada in the Reno branch office where he remained through most of 2011. 

 

He is a regular faculty member with the National Criminal Defense College (NCDC). He has taught for several years at the National Judicial College’s Tribal Court program in the areas of federal Indian jurisdiction, Constitutional law and trial practice and procedure. He has lectured at National Federal Public Defender Conferences in areas ranging from the representation of minorities in federal criminal prosecutions to creative sentencing solutions. He was recently added to the faculty of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy in the Tribal Advocacy program. He has participated in Trial Advocacy programs in Latin America including Venezuela, Mexico, and Ecuador. He continues to be a trainer for the American Bar Association Rule of Law Institute trial advocacy programs in Latin America and for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy Tribal Advocacy training programs.

 

Vito lectures frequently in areas ranging from Native American and Latino youth self-esteem, educational achievement, and diversity. The greatest influences on his life have been his grandmother and auntie while growing up as migrant farm worker. In 2008, the Reno Gazette Journal named him one of Northern Nevada’s Most Watched Men. He is a regular columnist with the Reno Gazette Journal. He is married to Maria Sefchick. Their household includes two man-eating golden retrievers.

 

Benita VelizBenita Veliz – Contributor

Benita Veliz has become one of the most vocal advocates for the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act). Though undocumented, Benita has lived the American dream, becoming valedictorian of her high school and double majoring in biology and sociology at St. Mary’s University, where she graduated with honors. Benita’s story has drawn national media attention from multiple outlets including The New York Times, San Antonio Express-News, Texas Monthly, and the Univision television network.