Things That Matter

Jessica Cisneros Is 26 Years Old And Has Some Big Plans To Rep Her District If Elected To Congress

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is hoping she loses her title as the youngest ever elected Congressperson, and she wants to pass the crown onto Jessica Cisneros. Cisneros is a thriving 26-year-old immigrant rights attorney and a proud Tejana who wants to advocate for her border town district in the Capitol. In the ways that matter most – immigrant rights, environmental justice, and healthcare for all – AOC and Cisneros are in the same fight. 

Until they can work together in Congress, however, Cisneros has to unseat another Democratic Latino, Henry Cuellar, who has held the seat for eight terms in a row. Now his greatest contender, Cisneros used to be his intern.

Jessica Cisneros considers her opponent, Representative Cuellar, “Trump’s favorite Democrat.”

Credit: @emilyslist / Twitter

Cuellar has taken donations from the likes of immigrant detention centers and the Koch brothers. Cuellar maintains an “A” rating by the National Rifle Association. He’s even co-sponsored anti-abortion legislation, which would have banned abortion after week 20. In 2014, Cuellar was the only House Democrat to vote for a bill that made it easier to deport unaccompanied minors. 

Still, Cisneros tells The New York Times that she was “very, very excited” to intern with him. She thought she’d be helping her people. “Once I got there,” she continued, “I noticed his silence on a lot of things I care about: women’s rights, poverty, health care. People I know with diabetes have to go to Nuevo Laredo for medications because it’s so expensive.”

Like AOC, Cisneros refused to accept corporate PAC donations, which frees her up to be more accountable to her constituents than to corporations.

Credit: jcisnerostx_ / Instagram

The short story is that Cisneros can’t be bought. Every constituent’s voice carries equal weight in her decision-making process. “Less than 1% of my opponent’s donations last year came from small-dollar donations: under $6000,” Cisneros shares to her social media campaign account. “In 6 hours, our campaign received more small-dollar donations than my opponent did ALL last cycle. I’m proud to take no corporate PAC money so I am accountable only to the people.”

Her primary campaign platform is to reform the broken immigration system.

Credit: jcisnerostx_ / Instagram

When Cisneros was 7 years old, she witnessed Mexican families crossing the border, and “would see that they were terrified.” She tells The New York Times that even then, at 7 years old, she couldn’t see the difference between those families, and her own. She knew she would become a lawyer, and went on to serve immigrants trying to navigate the complicated immigration system. As a practicing lawyer, it was a horrible pill to swallow to learn that there isn’t much she can do to help grant her clients asylum as a lawyer. The laws don’t exist to allow lawyers to effectively serve their clients.

I realized that if the laws are the problem, then I am going to have to go to Congress to fix that,” she tells The New York Times.

She’s experienced the failing healthcare system first-hand and wants to change it.

Credit: jcisnerostx_ / Instagram

Cisneros’s parents used to live across the bridge in Nuevo Laredo, México, but when her older sister needed medical care only available in the United States, they moved to Laredo, Texas. Soon after, Jessica was born. Her father, a farmworker, started a produce trucking business while her mom took care of the children. Still, she continued to see how her sister wasn’t able to get the urgent medical care she needed. Cisneros’s campaign aims to grant Medicare for all to “all who call America home.” She wants to scrap copays, deductibles, and premiums.

Cisneros wants to create a “renewable economy through solar and wind.”

Credit: jcisnerostx_ / Instagram

The Green New Deal is arguably AOC’s most ambitious and urgent proposal during her Congressional term. While donning a “Green New Deal” shirt, Cisneros captions the social media photo with her own local campaign for a “big bold plan like the Green New Deal.”The Rio Grande River is the lifeblood and only source of water for our border community,” she posts. “We must improve infrastructure that will clean our water and sustain our community far into the future,” she writes, adding that such an industry would “provide a new wave of jobs for our district.”  

AOC’s endorsement is huge, but Cisneros is committed to being “the first Jessica Cisneros.”

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

As far as being compared to AOC as a young Latina, Cisneros tells The New York Times, “People think because I am a young Latina who is trying to help the Democratic Party I am just like her. I have a lot of admiration for her, but that doesn’t mean we’re the same. I am trying to be the first Jessica Cisneros, and just do that well.” Still, AOC’s endorsement has invited supporters like Tere Schaefer to tweet, “Thank you AOC! I sure hope @JCisnerosTX  joins #TheSquad in the next term. I don’t live in TX but I’ll donate to her.”

Cisneros has also been endorsed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the Justice Democrats. You can donate to her campaign here.

READ: AOC’s Average Priced Haircut Has Set Off A Twitter Storm On The Right But She’s Clapping Back

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Texas High Schoolers Conducted a Mock ‘Slave Auction’ Of Black Students Over Snapchat

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Texas High Schoolers Conducted a Mock ‘Slave Auction’ Of Black Students Over Snapchat

Photo via Getty Images

Students at a high school in Aledo, Texas are being disciplined after the administration discovered they held a mock slave auction on Snapchat where they “traded” Black students.

Screenshots of the Snapchat group show that these unnamed students “bid” on students of color, ranging anywhere from $1 to $100.

One student in particular was priced at $1 because his hair was “bad”. The screenshot also shows that the group chat’s name changed regularly. The group’s name started as “Slave Trade” then changed to “N—-r Farm”, and finally to “N—– Auction”.

Upon learning of the mock slave auction, the Daniel Ninth Grade Campus’s principal wrote a note to parents explaining the situation. Principal Carolyn Ansley called the mock slave auction “an incident of cyberbullying and harassment” which “led to conversations about how inappropriate and hurtful language can have a profound and lasting impact” on people.

Many people felt that the school principal downplayed the gravity of the mock slave auction. Not once did she mention the word racism in the letter that she sent out to parents.

“Calling it cyberbullying rather than calling it racism… that is the piece that really gets under my skin,” said Mark Grubbs, father to three former Aledo ISD students, to NBC DFW. But Grubbs, along with many other Aledo parents and community members, say that the incident didn’t surprise them.

In fact, Grubbs said he had to take his children out of the Aledo ISD school system because of how much racist harassment his children were facing. “A lot of racism,” he said of his son’s experience at the school. “My son being called out of his name and what not and it got to the point he didn’t mind fighting and that didn’t sit right with me and my wife. My son was never a fighter.”

After the backlash to the initial statement, Superintendent Susan Bohn finally released a statement condemning the racism and “hatred” of the mock slave auction.

“There is no room for racism or hatred in the Aledo ISD, period,’ Bohn wrote. “Using inappropriate, offensive and racially charged language and conduct is completely unacceptable and is prohibited by district policy.”

The problem with “policies” like these is they fail to target the issue of racism at the root. Hate speech may be “prohibited”, but if a child is displaying racist behavior for whatever reason, the bigger problem is the way that they have been educated and indoctrinated. Slave auctions have no place in 2021.

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Texas Republicans Are Recruiting An ‘Army’ of Poll-Watchers To Go Into Black and Brown Precincts To ‘Fight Voter Fraud’

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Texas Republicans Are Recruiting An ‘Army’ of Poll-Watchers To Go Into Black and Brown Precincts To ‘Fight Voter Fraud’

Photo via Getty Images

The GOP’S voter-suppression tactics in Georgia have been gripping the nation. But now, the media is also turning its attention to other voter-suppression tactics in the rest of the country. Now, Texas Republicans are taking the heat.

According to Common Cause Texas, Texas Republicans are planning on recruiting thousands of volunteers create an “election integrity brigade”. They want the “brigade” to go into Black and brown neighborhoods in Houston and “fight voter fraud”.

A Texas GOP presentation was leaked that outlined plans to send an “army” of poll-watchers to Black and brown precincts.

“I’m trying to encourage and recruit, as a precinct chair, about 30 people in my precinct who will have the confidence and courage to come down in here…,” said an unnamed GOP official, pointing to majority non-white urban areas, “…in these areas where we really need poll-workers. Because this is where the problem is occuring.”

“So me finding poll-watchers out here, it helps, but it’s a pretty safe precinct”. He said this while pointing to majority-white Houston neighborhoods.

The video inspired outrage among people who saw these tactics as blatant attempts to suppress the voting rights of POC.

“The impetus for releasing [the video] right now is there are some bills in the legislature that seek to empower poll watchers in some really scary ways,” said executive director of Common Cause Texas, Anthony Gutierrez, to NBC News. “And also at the same time, take away the power of the presiding judge at the poll site from being able to remove a disruptive poll watcher.”

“It’s very clear that we’re talking about recruiting people from the predominantly Anglo parts of town to go to Black and Brown neighborhoods,” said Gutierrez to The Washington Post.

“This is a role that’s supposed to do nothing but stand at a poll site and observe,” he added. Why is he suggesting someone needs to be ‘courageous’?”

This “election integrity brigade” comes on the heels of a problematic election bill the Texas Senate just passed.

According to NBC News, the bill “bans overnight early voting and drive-thru early voting” and also “empowers partisan poll watchers.”

“It’s part of the intimidation, the confusion, the antics that (the Republican Party) has engaged in for so many generations that culminated in President Trump asking people to overturn the election,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo to CNN.

“What they’re doing is filing bills that are essentially a poll tax that weaponize the election system against our own voters,” she continued. “And what they’re proposing is absolutely tragic and reminiscent of the worst of what we’ve seen in Texas and across the South since Reconstruction.”

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