By Leonard Rodriguez

This column highlights inspiring stories of Latino leaders. For more than 500 years, Latino men and wom- en have positively influenced the face of United States so- ciety. Let us celebrate these outstanding hispanics.

Judith Zaffirini
Since 1987, Judith Zaffirini, an award- winning communications specialist, has served in the Texas Senate. In 1996, she was re-elected to her third landslide victory and accomplished a feat never before in Texas history, carrying all the counties in the 21st district of South Texas.

She is the only senator with a 100 percent attendance and voting record.

She has been named Texas Heroine and Outstanding Leg- islator and Friend of Business by the Texas Chamber of Commerce. For her role in promoting trade with Mexico, she received the internationally prestigious “Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon Medal of Merit.”

The recipient of more than 250 awards and honors for her public service, legislative and professional work, Zaffirini is also the first female