Last month, I had the honor of speaking at a “Su Voto Es Su Voz” event hosted by the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project as part of Hispanic Heritage Month. Today, nearly 58 million people, or 18% of Americans, are of Hispanic or Latino descent. Generations of Hispanic Americans have positively enriched our nation and culture. Our mission is a continuing one. As midterm elections approach this November 6th, I continue to believe in the power of our collective voice in this country’s political process. Now, more than ever, your vote matters.
As Latinos, we are not immune from the biased criticism I suffered in college and law school. Even as a Latina serving on the bench, I am not immune from attack. We may all share a story when at one time, we were perceived as taking a seat belonging to someone else. When we find ourselves in a room that lacks a necessary voice, we must speak up.
I am proud to have served the last 6 years as your justice on the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals, currently the only all-female court of its size in the country. On the court, 4 of the 7 Justices are Latinas. But don’t take that as a sign that we are at the end of the tunnel. Women still comprise less than 10% of the judiciary here in Texas, even less are women of color.
There is a common thread among all Americans – liberal or conservative, male or female, black white or brown, young or old. We the People, in order to form a more perfect union, ESTABLISH JUSTICE – we all believe in a fair and independent judiciary.
As Latinos, we must continue to fight to preserve the integrity of the most important branch of government – the judiciary. Shakespeare wrote in one of his classic plays, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” Why? Well, in order to overthrow a sense of security and rule of law, the first thing you do is take over the judiciary. And that’s what will happen if you don’t vote.
Early voting is Monday, Oct. 22nd – Friday, November 2nd. Election day is Tuesday, November 6th. Remember to vote all the way down the ballot. Your judicial candidates will outnumber the statewide candidates at the top of the ballot. Now is the real revolution. VOTE!