The activist is coming out of retirement after a Kentucky official asked her to

As we continue with Hispanic Heritage Month, Marta Miranda Straub shares her story and is a “voice” across Kentuckiana.

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky – One woman is no stranger to the community as a longtime advocate and activist.

Marta Miranda Straub followed the call and continues to support those who have no voice.

Straub is the commissioner of the Department of Community Based Services for the state of Kentucky. She explains what got her out of retirement.

“The governor called and you know I said yes. Because I really respect[ed] his leadership during COVID and his values ​​and consistency with helping. So of course I said yes, but I hadn’t told my husband about it,” Straub said. “I was retired, we were on our way to Florida. I got this tattoo, I wrote the memoir, I started a consulting firm, I [was] ready to go.”

Marta came to Frankfurt with almost 50 years of experience in social work and advocacy. She and her team oversee 1,000 employees, a “billion dollar budget,” and they can oversee community services in 120 counties.

Straub describes her experience when she came to America.

“My mother, father and brother applied for political asylum from Cuba in the United States. We came in 1966. I was 10 years old at the time,” Straub said. “And at that time you had to have a foster family to come to the United States and the government had to allow you to leave.”

She lived in Miami and later moved to the mountains of eastern Kentucky. She said it was one of the best decisions she’s ever made.

Straub said it’s important to educate people about their culture and why that’s important.

“We’re either fiery hearted and sexy or we’re criminals like Scarface, you know there’s no reality for the majority of where we are. There is also no understanding of diversity within the Latino community,” Straub said. “There’s only 22 countries that we come from, you know, so we’re not all from here or from there. representation counts. And it’s really important to unpack that diversity within a group.”

Losing her twin at birth gave her the power to speak not only for herself but for others and to make an impact in the process.

“My legacy is really my activism. No matter what position I was in, I was always a voice,” said Straub.

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►Contact WHAS11’s Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@whas11.com or keep following her Facebook, Twitteror Instagram. Photojournalist Nelson Reyes and edited by Todd Prinz.

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