Charlie Crist invites Clearwater Hispanic advocate as guest to Joe Biden’s Joint Address
Image via AP.

Charlie Crist and Joe Biden
Kristy Padilla is the coordinator of youth programs at the Hispanic Outreach Center in Clearwater.

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist announced Clearwater community advocate Kristy Padilla as his virtual guest to President Joe Biden’s Joint Address to Congress Wednesday night. 

Padilla is the coordinator of youth programs at the Hispanic Outreach Center in Clearwater. There, she advocates for Hispanic students who have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I have seen firsthand how children and families have struggled since this pandemic began,” Padilla said in a statement. “Florida’s Hispanic Community has seen higher infection rates than the rest of the state, and even higher rates of hospitalizations and deaths. The impact of this ongoing tragedy on our young children and students is devastating.”

Padilla applauded the American Rescue Plan, saying that it has helped the community continue “feeding hungry children, vaccinating our residents and keeping our families healthy and whole.”

The Congressman has worked with the Hispanic Outreach Center in an effort to help Hispanic residents get access to the COVID-19 vaccine. The Hispanic community has faced obstacles in vaccinations due to language barriers and other concerns, despite a willingness to receive the vaccine that mirrors that of the American public overall, according to The Associated Press. 

“One-hundred days into our work with the Biden Administration, and the American Rescue Plan is delivering shots in arms, money in pockets, students safely in schools, and people in jobs,” Crist said in a statement. “I’m grateful to the Hispanic Outreach Center and Floridians like Kristy Padilla, a community advocate who has been working tirelessly to help Hispanic students and families who’ve suffered disproportionately during this pandemic access the resources they need to survive and thrive.” 

The Joint Address, which is President Biden’s first speech to a Joint Session of Congress, marks 100 days into the President’s first term. Pre-pandemic, members of Congress often invited constituents to join them as guests, but this year, the speech will carry on a bit differently, with in-person attendance limited. 

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704