The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Democrat urges Latina involvement

Celina Vasquez
Celina Vasquez

By Ryon Boswell/ reporter

Celina Vasquez
Celina Vasquez

Celina Vasquez had a simple message about getting things done in politics.

“If you’re not at the table in politics, you’re on the menu,” she said.

Vasquez, who is on the state Democratic Party’s executive committee, spoke to a small group of students about the importance of minorities in politics March 24.

Although her speech was titled Latinas in Congress, Vasquez urged all students to get involved in the political system, saying if they did not represent themselves, someone else would.

Vasquez began her speech with the history of women in Congress and moved through the importance of the civil rights movement. The combined efforts of minority groups, including women, have forged the path toward true equality. However, things are still not truly equal, she said.

Vasquez’s research shows women still make less money than men, even in the same position and while possessing the same qualifications. This is tied to the historical position of women in society and in the home. Even men who are minorities make more than Anglo women. Vasquez said this sexual discrimination has kept women from attaining the same jobs, education and networking as men throughout history.

This discrimination is not just found in the workplace, however. Out of the 13,000 people who have served in the U.S. Senate, only 215 have been women, and only nine of them have been Latinas. She said this is a problem as there are 41 million people of Latin descent in America.

She predicts that as Latinas make more money and have access to better networking, their representation will go up. She also believes that as voters’ attitudes toward gender and race change, Latina representation will improve as well.

Vasquez encouraged audience members to do their part in getting a Latina from Texas into Congress. She said there have been many firsts in her lifetime, but she is waiting for the day a Latina from Texas gets into Congress.

“These are historical political times,” she said.

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