Where Are All The Latina Candidates?

Latinas-Congressphoto: latinovations.com

Across the country, we all hear the trumpeting of Hispanic Heritage Month. Elected officials, from local leaders to the highest office in the land, have released messages of inspiration, praising the contributions of our Latina/o community. Unfortunately, the media pays less attention to one group of voices, because it is a small group when compared to others in public office: Latina elected officials.
It is important to look at the facts: Of the 8,236 seats in state and national political office, only 109 are held by Latinas; only 1 Latina has served as governor; no Latina has ever served in the U.S. Senate. More than 12,000 members have served in Congress and of those, only 11 have been Latinas. White men hold four times more political power compared to women and people of color.
Throughout our nation’s history, we have struggled to build a reflective democracy, where everyone has a voice and a seat at the table. That struggle continues today. We earnestly believe that our country benefits when our elected officials reflect the racial and gender diversity in our communities.
Now is the time to change who has access to power in order for the new American majority to be rightfully represented when making decisions that affect everyone in this country. That is why we are proud to chair the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda’s (NHLA) Latina Task Force. The NHLA coalition, which is comprised of the nation’s 40 most pre-eminent Latino nonpartisan advocacy organizations, recognizes not just the need to increase the number of Latino leaders in government, but also the need to increase and empower Latina elected officials across the country.
There are 25 million strong and growing Latinas in the United States but we are dramatically underrepresented in politics. While often courted as voters, Latinas are frequently overlooked as candidates. Together with Political Parity, NHLA launched LatinasRepresent to call out the lack of elected Latina leaders and to show support for Latinas ready for public service.
LatinasRepresent is ready to lead that change. We are working to unite stakeholders and communities around the country so that Latinas have a network of support. With all the rhetoric, money, and connections that running for office entails, deciding to take the first step can feel like an impossible task…
To read the full story:  http://www.harvardhispanic.org/latinas-courted-as-voters-but-overlooked-as-candidates/

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