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EMILY’s List Announces New Initiative to Increase Number of Latinas in Elected Office

March 2, 2016
 
EMILY's List Announces New Initiative to Increase Number of Latinas in Elected Office
Council chaired by Maria Teresa Kumar, includes Dolores Huerta

 
 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, announced a new initiative to increase the number of Latinas in elected office with the formation of a new national Latina Advisory Council. The group will draw upon the expertise and political insights of nine Latina leaders from around the country to establish a new voice in EMILY’s List’s efforts to elect pro-choice Democratic women leaders at the local, state, and federal level.
 
The council, made up of Latina leaders in politics, government, business, and civil rights, will make recommendations on ways to reach out to voters, identify potential recruits for open seats, and aid in strategic messaging.
 
“As the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, we understand the power Latinas hold – at the ballot box and on the ballot itself. While EMILY's List has played a role in electing every Democratic Latina currently serving in Congress, we know we need to do more and now is the time,” said Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List. “The stakes in this election could not be higher — for Latinas and for all of us. With Donald Trump leading the Republican fight to divide our nation and roll back opportunities for women, Latinas will not sit on the sidelines. Together we will work to break down barriers, not build walls.”
 
As the fastest-growing portion of the electorate, Latinos are poised to play a pivotal role in the 2016 elections, and a key role in electing Democrats. However, Latinas are underrepresented at all levels of government with only seven Latina Democrats out of the 84 women lawmakers serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. And no Latina has ever served in the U.S. Senate.
 
This cycle, EMILY’s List has already endorsed five Latinas for statewide and congressional seats, including Susanna Mendoza for Illinois comptroller, Nannette Barragán (CA-44), Joseline Peña-Melnyk (MD-04), and Annette Taddeo (FL-26). And Catherine Cortez Masto is poised to make history as the first Latina ever elected to the U.S. Senate. 
 
“It’s time to make history and elect more Latina leaders who know how to deliver for working families,” said Schriock.
 
Last week, EMILY’s List launched a new effort to engage Latino voters, in partnership with pro-Clinton Super PAC Priorities USA. The program includes over $4.5 million for a Spanish-language radio campaign to reach out to Latinos voting on Super Tuesday in states like Texas.
 
"Our country is entering a sweeping generational and demographic shift and we need to prepare for the leaders of tomorrow today,” said Maria Teresa Kumar, president and CEO of Voto Latino. “I am honored to chair the EMILY's List Latina Advisory Council. Through it, we will identify talent and start building the necessary infrastructure to guarantee a strong, progressive, and robust democracy." 
 
“The EMILY’s List Latina Advisory Council provides us an opportunity to help cultivate a new generation of feminists who will be the change agents and advocates on behalf of their communities. Congress will not fully do its job until it fully reflects the people it represents," said Dolores Huerta, renowned civil rights and farm labor activist who worked alongside Cesar Chavez. “And Latinas, who only make up one percent of the serving members of Congress, are ready and willing to make their imprint at all levels of government with policies that will finally put women first. Si se puede! (Yes, we can.)" 
  
"Equity will not be attained by default, but instead by intentional deliberate design,” said Roberta M. Rael, founder and director of Generation Justice. “I congratulate EMILY’s List for taking steps to recognize the strength, influence, and diversity of Latinas."
 
“As a Latina entrepreneur and investor, I am proud to be part of the Latina Advisory Council, which will work to change the face of American politics by electing more Latinas to better reflect the beliefs, interests, and demographics of our great country,” said Bianca Cabán, partner at Taino Capital LLC and World Economic Forum global shaper. “We must transform our Latino voting prowess into a force that not only continues to consistently elect presidents, but also supports our Latina electable compañeras.”
 
 
Latina Advisory Council Members
Chair:

Maria Teresa Kumar, president and CEO of Voto Latino, contributor with MSNBC, and host of MSNBC’s web show “Changing America.”
 
Members:
 
Elmy Bermejo, vice president of the San Francisco Commission on the Environment, advisory committee member for Hispanas Organized for Political Equality, and former chair of the California Commission on the Status of Women.
Bianca Cabán, partner at Taino Capital LLC and global shaper with the World Economic Forum.
Maria Cardona, principal at the Dewey Square Group, leading the multicultural and public affairs team. She is also a political contributor for CNN and CNN en Español. 
Delia Garcia, co-founder of the National Latina Legislative Caucus and Latin@ Young Elected Officials Caucus, and the first Latina ever elected to the Kansas legislature.
Jessica González-Rojas, advocate for the national reproductive justice and former member of the New York State Democratic Committee.
Dolores Huerta, renowned civil rights and farm labor activist who worked alongside Cesar Chavez to improve social and economic conditions for farm workers and to fight discrimination. She is the president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation and co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association/United Farm Workers.
Angela Kelley, executive director of the Center for American Progress Action Fund and a senior vice president of the Center for American Progress. She was previously the director of the Immigration Policy Center.
Roberta Rael is the founder and director of Generation Justice, which helps youth create media dedicated to social justice.
  
 
EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $400 million to support pro-choice Democratic women candidates – making it one of the most successful political organizations ever. We recruit and train candidates, support strong campaigns, research women's issues, and turn out women voters. We've trained over 9,000 women to run and helped elect over 100 women to the House, 19 to the Senate, 11 governors, and over 700 to state and local office. Since its founding in 1985, almost one-third of the candidates EMILY’s List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color - including every single Latina, African American, and Asian American Democratic congresswoman currently serving.