We Need Latina Representation in New Jersey

By Grissele Camacho, Esq.

When I was very young, I noticed that there were no women in public office or in positions of any power. I wondered why this was the case since my experience was that girls were as smart and as capable as boys. When I was in college, my question became why are there almost no Latinos/Latinas in positions in elected office. When I became an attorney, I began to see more women in powerful positions, but still not enough Latinas. This motivated me to advocate for Latinas to run for office and to raise money to help them get elected. I have been working for years in collaboration with other Latinas to recruit, train and support Latina candidates in state and local races.

We now have some very capable and talented Latinas in the New Jersey Senate, Assembly and in County and Municipal offices. But New Jersey has NEVER had a Latina run in any state-wide elected federal office. Furthermore, it has never sent a Latina to the U.S. Congress.

The upcoming primary on June 4 is an opportunity to change the current political system in New Jersey, and make it an inclusive process that gives not only Latinas a fair chance to run for office, but all women of color to run and win campaigns that are representative of their constituency and needs.

Time and time again women are denied fair opportunities, just as on Saturday, March 16 when Dr. Patricia Campos-Medina was denied entry to the Camden County Democratic Convention by several men at the door, who refused to acknowledge her status as an official U.S. Senate candidate and prevented her from speaking with committee members. This behavior is unacceptable and it just emphasizes the intimidation tactics by male political bosses and why we need more women in politics to change the Democratic Party. Patricia was denied the right to speak to fellow Democrats who were denied the right to hear from all possible candidates. I enthusiastically support Dr. Patricia Campos-Medina’s and others’s efforts to abolish these undemocratic practices in New Jersey of “county lines”. Doing away with such practices will restore trust in our Democracy and not dissuade our younger voters from trusting the electoral system. We need fairness, inclusion, and equity in our electoral process.

Dr. Patricia Campos-Medina has stepped forward to run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Robert Menendez. Patricia has a record of more than 30 years of advocating for working families and championing workers’ rights to join a union and to earn a living wage. She is a leading voice for the political representation of women in politics, for women’s equal pay, and their right to make their own autonomous decisions over their reproductive healthcare needs, for access to affordable healthcare and a dignified retirement, amongst others.

She is qualified for this moment and has the track record of community support we need in elected leaders. I am supporting Patricia’s candidacy enthusiastically and with great hope that we will make HERstory in electing the first Latina to go to the U.S. Senate to represent New Jersey.

I am supporting Patricia not just because she is a Latina, but because she is a capable, committed leader who will represent all the people of New Jersey in the U.S. Senate competently and with integrity.

For more information on Dr. Patricia Campos-Medina, visit www.patricia4senate.com.

Grissele Camacho, Esq.

Grissele Camacho is an attorney and community leader. She is a board member of Latina Civic PAC. Latina Civic PAC is a nonpartisan political action committee whose mission is to increase the number of Latinas in elected and appointed office in New Jersey.

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5 responses to “We Need Latina Representation in New Jersey”

  1. I agree completely. Elected officials should represent all legal citizens, regardless of race, color, creed or religion.
    Stop the divisiveness. Stop the special interests.
    Let’s be American.

  2. The men blocked her because they had already decided that they wanted Murphy to be the next senator.i don’t see you criticizing Tammy for not saying anything.

  3. “Latina” representation??? Show us qualified candidates to vote for that can handle the Governorship or high positions in the government. If you’re a successful business owner/leader, rather than an ambulance-chasing an attorney looking to make a name for yourself, then we may consider voting for you. Successful business owners/leaders are basically the only people that can really run the government, because the government is nothing more than a corporation. Ask the NJ Secretary of State for the State’s incorporation papers if you don’t believe me.

    Secondarily, I speak with male and female Hispanic friends occasionally and they tell me that the term “Latina” is offense, derogatory and discriminatory.
    The term “Latina” makes Hispanic women sound like someone from a gang.

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