FEATURED STORY LOS NOBLES

Change Makers of Texas

Profiles written by: Yol-Itzma Aguirre


LINA HIDALGO ROCKED HOUSTON’S POLITICAL LANDSCAPE THIS PAST NOVEMBER, WHEN SHE SMASHED THE GLASS CEILING, BECOMING THE FIRST LATINA AND FIRST WOMAN TO BE ELECTED COUNTY JUDGE OF THE NATION’S 3RD LARGEST COUNTY AND THE LARGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS, HARRIS COUNTY.

JUDGE LINA HIDALGO WAS BORN IN COLOMBIA AND PARTLY RAISED IN PERU AND MEXICO. WHEN SHE WAS 14 YEARS OLD HER FAMILY IMMIGRATED TO THE UNITED STATES AND MADE TEXAS HOME. THROUGH HARD WORK AND SACRIFICE, LINA GRADUATED FROM STANFORD, WITH HONORS. AFTER STUDYING GOVERNMENT BOTH HERE AND ABROAD, LINA RETURNED HOME AND BEGAN TO VOLUNTEER FOR THE TEXAS CIVIL RIGHTS PROJECT.

ON THE HEELS OF THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION – AND WITH HER FIRST HAND KNOWLEDGE OF HOW POLITICAL DEVASTATION CAN HAPPEN – LINA DECIDED TO RUN; YOU CAN NOW ADDRESS HER AS JUDGE HIDALGO.

HER ELECTION NOT ONLY MARKS A FIRST FOR WOMEN AND LATINAS BUT ALSO EXPANDS THE SPACE LATINAS HOLD IN POLITICS TO INCLUDE NEW VOICES.

NOW LEADING ONE OF THE NATION’S LARGEST AND MOST DIVERSE COUNTIES, IT IS EXCITING TO SEE THE NAME “JUDGE LINA HIDALGO” AT THE TOP.

THE FUTURE IS LATINA AND THE FUTURE HAS ARRIVED!

16

FRANKIE GONZALEZ-WOLFE IS IN THE PROCESS OF MAKING HERSTORY IN SAN ANTONIO; ALREADY HAVING CRACKED THE PROVERBIAL “GLASS CEILING” BY BECOMING THE FIRST TRANSGENDER LATINA TO RUN FOR OFFICE, AND IF ELECTED, SHE WOULD ALSO BECOME THE FIRST TRANSGENDER LATINA TO HOLD PUBLIC OFFICE IN TEXAS.

AS WOMEN CONTINUE TO MAKE STRIDES ON THE POLITICAL FRONT, FRANKIE’S CAMPAIGN CARVES OUT A UNIQUE SPACE WITHIN INTERSECTIONAL FEMINISM. AS THE FIRST, SHE IS A CHAMPION FOR LATINA VOICES AND FOR LGBTQIA VOICES AS WELL, EQUALLY.

ALWAYS ONE TO PAY HER RESPECTS TO HER MOTHER, ABUELA AND ALL THE MUJERES THAT HAVE PAVED THE WAY, WE WANT TO NOW TAKE A MOMENT TO DO THE SAME AND PAY OUR RESPECTS TO THIS FIERCE LATINA. WIN OR LOSE, YOU HAVE MADE US PROUD!

14

WE WANT TO RECOGNIZE UT AUSTIN ALMNA ALEJANDRINA GUZMAN, WHO SAW THE NEED FOR CHANGE AND DECIDED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. ALEJANDRINA BROKE THE

‘GLASS CEILING’ IN 2017, BECOMING THE FIRST LATINA – IN THE 135 YEARS OF UT HISTORY – TO BE ELECTED STUDENT BODY PRESIDENT AND SHE IS ALSO THE FIRST ‘DIFFERENTLY-ABLED’ STUDENT BODY PRESIDENT TO HAVE BEEN ELECTED IN THE ENTIRE BIG 12 CONFERENCE. REMEMBER HER NAME, THERE IS NO DOUBT SHE IS A FUTURE LEADER OF TEXAS.

15


LUPE VALDEZ OWNS TWO PLACES IN TEXAS HISTORY, SHE KICKED DOWN THE DOOR OF THE “GOOD OL’ BOYS CLUB” AND BECAME THE FIRST LATINA TO BE ELECTED SHERIFF IN TEXAS (DALLAS COUNTY).

WITH VALDEZ NOW LEADING, SHE WAS ABLE TO MAKE CHANGES TO THE DEPARTMENT, STARTING WITH HIRING A DIVERSE STAFF. SHE FACED CONSTANT ATTACKS IN THE MEDIA FOR HER SEXUALITY AS AN OUT LESBIAN SHERIFF, ATTACKS FOR ALLOWING OFFICERS TO OBSERVE RELIGIOUS DAYS LIKE RAMADAN, SHE ALSO MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR FEMALE MUSLIM OFFICERS TO WEAR A HIJAB .

AFTER SERVING IN UNIFORM FOR OVER A DECADE, VALDEZ MADE A BOLD STANCE AGAINST TEXAS GOVERNOR, GREG ABBOTT; SHE WAS ONE OF THE HANDFUL OF TEXAS LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS WHO ACTIVELY FOUGHT THE RACIST SB4 BILL, OFTEN SHOWING UP TO COURT IN UNIFORM, MANY CRITICIZED HER AND EVEN SO, SHE PERSISTED. THEN SHE DECIDED TO RUN.

DURING THE 2017 – 2018 MIDTERM PRIMARY, VALDEZ BROKE THE POLITICAL GLASS CEILING, BECOMING THE VERY FIRST LATINA AND THE FIRST LGBTQ PERSON – OF EITHER POLITICAL PARTY – TO WIN THE NOMINATION FOR GOVERNOR, BEATING OUT THE 7 OTHER MEN IN HER DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY.

AS IT IS WITH MOST FEMALE CANDIDATES, HER MALE OPPONENT HAD FAR MORE MONEY. THE REPUBLICAN BACKED, INCUMBENT GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT HAD OVER $43 MILLION READY ON HAND – COMPARED TO VALDEZ’S NUMBERS, WHICH CAME IN JUST UNDER THE $1 MILLION MARK – YET EVEN AGAINST THE ODDS, UNDER CONSTANT CRITICISM AND MEDIA BIAS COVERAGE FOCUSED ONLY ON THE U.S. SENATE RACE, VALDEZ STILL CAME ALMOST WITHIN A 10-POINT MARGIN, WHICH WAS MUCH CLOSER THAN SENATOR WENDY DAVIS’ 2014 GUBERNATORIAL RACE.

AS A NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS EMERGE, LATINAS NOW HAVE A NAME TO ADD TO OUR GREAT TEXAS WOMEN’S HISTORY…LUPE VALDEZ.

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Lupe Valdez for Texas FB page

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