Questions have swirled after an article in the Wisconsin State Journal about whether the second Latina in the Legislature — a conservative Republican — would be invited to join the Democratic group of minority legislators, especially after caucus chair state Rep. Mandela Barnes said white legislators who represent minority districts might be invited to attend caucus meetings.
So Rodriguez put out a news release that said, in part:
“As an immigrant, I’m proud of my Salvadorian heritage. I’m also proud of the work I’ve done with low-income Hispanic parents across the state helping them invest in the future of their children.
“And so with due deference to Representative Mandela Barnes and his group, I don’t need to be a part of a minority caucus to understand communities of color or find ways to empower them.
“I’ve worked long enough in struggling communities to understand that no self-appointed group or organization, whether White, black or Latino, owns the right to represent any one segment of our society.”
She went on to say:
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