As the Presidential race heats up, El Rey Network (www.elreynetwork.com) today announced a 39 episode order and launch of “Maria,” a new hourlong talk show designed to empower and engage the over 60 million Latinos in the US – a destination to discuss, dissect and disrupt the issues that most concern this important community as our country heads swiftly towards the November election. This year, according to the Census, that community is larger than ever with Hispanics representing the largest ethnic voting bloc in the country — 32 million Latinos will be eligible to go to the polls this November.

Although election cycles come and go, the one thing that Latinos always feel when it comes to the political process is disenfranchised – unheard and unseen. Hosted by public policy advocate and CNN Political Commentator Maria Cardona, “Maria” will change that narrative and be a trusted resource for conversations about how politics, advocacy and public policy shape our daily lives. With “Maria,” viewers will understand why and how the collective voices of Latinos can drive change and make an indelible impact on our country and our culture, especially during this historic election cycle.

Airing Monday thru Wednesday at 7 PM & 10 PM ET, “Maria” will be an inspired, authentic and unrelenting platform for newsmakers, celebrities, journalists and elected officials to state their positions, pull the curtain back on what happens on the Hill, and bring a distinctive Latino lens to the litany of challenges facing our world.

Commenting on the new show, El Rey Network founder Robert Rodriguez said: “El Rey is a radically different storytelling platform – an opportunity to leverage the many creative and independent voices in the Latinx community. Maria is yet another talented voice we are amplifying — with her years of politics, media, and advocacy, she is uniquely positioned to share the stories of our community on the front lines. On behalf of our partners and stakeholders, I am thrilled to have Maria Cardona spearheading this important program and I urge everyone to not just tune in but to take a stand.”

Maria Cardona added: “For as long as I can remember, I’ve been in a position to contribute to the conversation about the relevance and significance of Latino culture and voices in the US, but being in the driver’s seat is a humbling opportunity that Robert and El Rey have made possible. As we face what is arguably the most important election in a generation, we want to empower US Latinos at this critical moment – to understand that they can have a seat at the table – that they don’t need permission to act, they just need to share their voices so they ring in the ears of those in Washington who may be hearing, but not listening. In my experience, you must be able to start a conversation to have one and right now, having that conversation and demanding change is more important than ever.”

Guest Listings For Week of June 22 (Subject to change):

Monday, 6/22

Co-host Amy Hinojosa, President and CEO of MANA, a National Latina organization; Cid Wilson, President and CEO of the Hispanic Association of Corporate Responsibility

Tuesday 6/23

Sister Norma Pimentel of Catholic Charities; Los Angeles Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo, District 51

Wednesday 6/24

Monica Ramirez, Founder of Justice for Migrant Women; Congressman Gil Cisneros (D-CA).

About El Rey Network

El Rey Network is a Latino-infused entertainment brand that revels in the courage, capacity, and creativity of ordinary people on extraordinary journeys. Launched by maverick filmmaker Robert Rodriguez and run by Rodriguez and his artistic collective, El Rey Network develops and produces linear and digital programming as well as integrated branded entertainment offerings. El Rey Network’s flagship is a 24-hour English-language entertainment and lifestyle cable channel that focuses a distinctly Latino lens on popular culture. El Rey Network is jointly owned by Robert Rodriguez and FactoryMade with a minority stake held by Univision Networks & Studios, Inc.

About Maria Cardona

A seasoned public policy advocate and political strategist, Maria Cardona has more than two decades of experience in the government, politics, public relations and community affairs arenas. Recognized among the most influential Latinos in the country, Maria is a Principal at the Dewey Square Group, leading the Multicultural and Public Affairs practices. Maria joined DSG in 2005 and founded DSG’s Latino Strategies practice, “Latinovations,” leveraging her reach in the Latino community by advocating on Latino issues, guiding clients on “best practices” for coalition building and support for their positions, products, and brands within the Hispanic community, and spearheading multicultural campaigns. Maria is also known for her work as a political commentator and is currently a CNN and CNN en Español political contributor, and who appeared frequently on MSNBC, FOX, Univision and Telemundo prior to signing on exclusively with CNN. She is regarded as one of the nation’s top 100 most influential Latinos.