Hispanic Heritage Month: Latina Civic Action to Boost Hispanic candidates

AC JosepH Media

TRENTON — Latina Civic Action, a statewide non-partisan organization that seeks to advance the interest of Latinas and their families in New Jersey, is formally launching a 12-month program, Latinas Building the Bench, that seeks to bring together Latinas across New Jersey to strategize, support and develop the next generation of progressive and pro-choice Latina leaders to run for public office.

According to the 2020 Census, 21.5 percent of the state’s population identifies as Latino or of Hispanic origin, making it New Jersey’s largest and fastest growing minority population.

Nationally, Latinos represent about one of every five people living in the United States and continues to be the largest minority voting bloc in the United States. While the number of elected Latinas in the New Jersey Legislature has grown to nine percent in 2021, the representation of Latinas in New Jersey state and local government still lags behind other states.

“Since the early 2000s, leaders of Latina Civic have been advocating for more political representation of Latinas in public office in New Jersey; because of that early work, we have the first Latina senate majority leader and majority conference chair in the New Jersey Legislature,” stated Dr. Patricia Campos-Medina, president of Latina Civic Action.

Dr. Patricia Campos-Medina

“But while our population numbers have increased, our political representation has remained stagnant. We are coming together to talk to local leaders and strategize together how to support Latinas with training, mentoring and resources so they are prepared to step into public service and help us advance policies that protect the fundamental rights of education and economic opportunity for Latino children and their families,” concluded Campos-Medina. 

“I am excited to support Latinas Building the Bench,” states Cindy Matute-Brown, Councilwoman for West Orange, New Jersey. “The women of Latina Civic were critical to inspiring me to run for office. 

“They mentored me and encouraged me to attend trainings like ELLA Wins, which is part of CAWP’s Ready to Run® campaign training program that is housed at Rutgers University. 

“Latina Civic helped me with resources and advice on how to build networks of support to launch a credible campaign. I want to give that same support to other Latinas so they also can feel that they have the skills and the network to step out of their comfort zone to represent their local communities,” concluded Councilwoman Matute-Brown.  

Latinas Building the Bench will kick off as part of the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration with its first virtual gathering on September 29th and a second in person gathering in Essex County on October 27th. More events in counties across New Jersey will soon be announced.  

To confirm attendance and for additional details, email latinacivicaction@gmail.com. To stay updated on upcoming events and general updates, subscribe by visiting www.latinacivicaction.com, or follow Latina Civic Action at @LatinaCivicAction on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Latina Civic Action is a 501c4 non-partisan civic action committee whose mission is to advance a policy agenda that invests and advocates on behalf of Latinas. Latina Civic Action supports issues, causes, and leadership that works to ensure Latinas thrive and achieve economic prosperity, equal representation in private and public sectors, and are a priority when advancing public policy and legislation.. If you support our mission, please subscribe for all updates by visiting www.latinacivicaction.com 

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