Things That Matter

A Latina Is Running To Be Mayor Of Salt Lake City And Her Views Are Slight Departures From Her Mormon Faith

For all the hardship and trauma inflicted on Latinos since Trump’s 2016 presidential victory, there has been an equal rise in Latinas giving voice to power through political office. The 2018 midterms gave Latinos a refreshing glimpse of hope for the future and has ignited a swell of women running for office.

Luz Escamilla has been ahead of that welcome uprising and is enjoying her third term as a Democratic Senator for Utah. Now, she’s running to become the mayor of the state’s capital, Salt Lake City. If she wins, she’d become the first person of color to represent the metropolitan city, a blue-voting population surrounded by a deep sea of red.

Luz Escamilla is a Mexican immigrant and was inspired to run for office in 2007, after a shockingly degrading policy move that treats first-generation Americans as second-class citizens.

Credit: luzformayor / Instagram

Escamilla was the director of the state Office of Ethnic Affairs when she listened to a Republican legislator dismiss equal education opportunities for “anchor babies” in a legislative committee hearing. The offensive term is used by anti-immigrant folks to describe American born children of noncitizen parents. She told The Salt Lake Tribune that she was in shock. Nobody in the room, including Democratic legislators, said anything.

Later, they told her that those children were not their “constituency.” She knew that Utah needed a representative who would adequately represent the most basic needs of marginalized immigrants.

Since 2000, the Latino population in Utah has doubled, making up 14 percent of Utah’s population.

Credit: luzformayor / Instagram

Latinos have flocked to Salt Lake City, a liberal hub in the otherwise deeply red state. Today, Latinos are the largest minority of Utah’s total population. As mayor, Escamilla will prioritize the families and children of Salt Lake City. She wants the city to help provide affordable, high-quality childcare for working parents, after school programs, and simplify access to healthcare by providing nurses and counselors to every Salt Lake City school.

Escamilla would also become the first Mormon to serve as Salt Lake City’s mayor in 30 years.

Credit: luzformayor / Instagram

While that fact may not be a problem for the rest of Utah, Salt Lake City residents are wondering how The Church of Latter-Day Saints’ belief system might be adapted as city policy. Like many practitioners of religion, Escamilla doesn’t see eye to eye on everything with her church. As Senator, she’s voted to ban conversion therapy, an effective hate crime against LGBTQ+ people. 

Knowing the LGBTQ+ community becomes leery after learning someone’s religion of choice discriminates against their basic rights, Escamilla has made a concerted effort during her campaign to ensure LGBTQ+ people know she’s on their side. Escamilla walked in SLC’s Pride Parade and tabled at the festival wearing a rainbow patterned serape. She’s also voted to loosen restrictions on alcohol sales.

Among her top three issues are clean air and homelessness.

Credit: luzformayor / Instagram

Homelessness is a multi-faceted issue, that Escamilla plans to tackle from SLC’s unique perspective. She wants to convene the forces of the public sector and non-profit and private sectors alike to share resources and research at getting to the root of the problem. In the meantime, her short-term plan is to invest in shelters and make more beds available during winter months.

As air pollution worsens, asthma rates skyrocket, and Escamilla wants to get at the source. Escamilla will first work towards creating a stronger public transportation system, which she calls “active transportation.” She hopes residents will feel more compelled to walk or ride than hop in their cars, reducing air pollution. Then, Escamilla will then redesign city-owned buildings to become as sustainable as possible while using as few resources as possible. 

Escamilla has been endorsed by many Democrats, including a March for Life co-founder.

Credit: luzformayor / Instagram

Escamilla was born in Tijuana, México, and moved to the United States in 1996. She finished high school in San Diego and moved to Utah to attend the University of Utah, where she majored in Business Marketing. She later earned a Master’s in Public Administration, after working in the nonprofit sector to help end domestic violence. Escamilla has since served 11 years in Congress and has passed legislation that creates after school programs, healthcare access and clean air for all. 

In a meet-and-greet reported by the Los Angeles Times, Escamilla told the crowd, “I’ve always had people tell me, ‘Voters will never elect a Mexican. They’ll never elect an immigrant. Now they’re bringing up my religion. People have been trying to put me in a box forever. It’s not going to work. I’m not just one thing.”

READ: Regina Romero Won The Democratic Primary In Tucson And Now Has The Chance To Be The City’s First Latina Mayor

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A Ted Cruz Piñata Exists And People Want One So Bad

Culture

A Ted Cruz Piñata Exists And People Want One So Bad

Sen. Ted Cruz has reached peak infamy with a piñata in his honor. People have been turned into piñatas over the years for both good and bad reasons. The Cruz piñata serves as a reminder of the senator’s attempt to flee the brutal Texas winter crisis.

A Texas party store is selling piñatas of Sen. Ted Cruz and people are into it.

Piñatas are always the centerpiece of a fun party and they are even more exciting when they are topical. One party shop in Texas is riding on the wave of local and national news criticizing Sen. Cruz to cash in.

Last week Sen. Cruz was caught boarding a United flight to Cancún, Mexico to escape the winter storm devastating Texas. As millions of Texans survived without water and power, the Cruz family booked a Mexican getaway to warmer weather and reliable electricity.

At first, Sen. Cruz tried to blame his daughters for fleeing Texas as his constituents suffered from the weather. He soon changed his story and claimed that he realized he had made a mistake as soon as he sat down on the plane waiting to depart from Houston.

Finally, after days of speculation, someone came forward and leaked text messages from Sen. Cruz’s wife, Heidi. Turns out, according to the texts, that the Cruz family was actively planning a vacation to avoid the snowstorm. According to the texts, the Cruz family was trying to convince neighbors and friends to join them so they can get out of their freezing house. The criticism amplified when it was reported that the Cruz family left the family dog behind as they fled to Mexico.

People are eager to get their hands on a Sen. Cruz piñata.

Families have been in quarantine for almost a year and they are hitting a wall. Now that the weather is starting to warm up, it is no surprise that people would want to have something to do together outdoors. Seems that a lot of people would like a piñata party to celebrate the bad weather slowly moving out.

There are even some people asking for different people made as piñatas.

You never know unless you ask, right? Never hurts to try to make your own request to better your birthday. It seems that the party store is able to make various different piñatas. The party store made a piñata after Sen. Bernie Sanders’ famous mitten moment at President Biden’s inauguration.

READ: Sen. Ted Cruz Makes Quick U-Turn From Mexico After Outrage He Abandoned His Frozen Texas

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Rep. AOC Opens Up About Being A Sexual Assault Survivor And Capitol Riots In Powerful IG Live

Fierce

Rep. AOC Opens Up About Being A Sexual Assault Survivor And Capitol Riots In Powerful IG Live

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the most recognizable faces of Congress, used an Instagram Live video to share her experience in the Capitol riot. The congresswoman from New York also shared with the audience that she is a victim of sexual assault.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez finally broke her silence about her experience during the Capitol riot.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was in the Capitol on Jan. 6 when a group of angry far-right extremists stormed the building. The Congress was in the process of certifying the election results to certify President Joe Biden’s victory. In the chaos, people died and members of Congress were rushed to secure locations to keep everyone safe.

There has been a lot of chatter that some Republican members of Congress are responsible for the attack. Some members of Congress have accused colleagues of giving rioters tours the day before the attack and two senators are facing calls to resign or expulsion over their connection. Sen. Josh Hawley and Sen. Ted Cruz are facing sustained nad bipartisan calls to resign after appearing to encourage the insurrection on Jan. 6.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez openly shared that she is a survivor of sexual assault. The moment comes at the beginning of the video as he breaks down the way some of her colleagues have talked about the riot.

“They’re trying to tell us to forget about what happened. They’re trying to tell us that it wasn’t a big deal. They’re trying to tell us to move on without an accountability, without any truth telling, or without actually confronting the extreme damage, physical harm, loss of life, and trauma that was inflicted on, not just me as a person, not just other people as individuals, but on all of us as a collective and on many other people,” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez says in the IG Live. “We cannot move on without accountability. We cannot heal without accountability. So, all of these people who want to tell us to move on are doing so at their own convenience.”

AOC highlighted how these tactics and this rhetoric is similar to that of an abuser. She calls out those using this rhetoric as hiding from what they did for their own convenience and how it something she has heard before.

“I’m a survivor of sexual assault and I haven’t told many people that in my life,” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez says as her voice cracks and she tears up. “When we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other and so whether you have a neglectful parent or whether you have someone who was verbally abuse towards you. Whether you are a survivor of abuse, whether you experience any sort of trauma in your life, small to large, these episodes can compound on one another.”

During that moment, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez hid in a colleagues office and feared for her life. In a previous Instagram Live video, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez spoke about how she had a moment when she feared for her life but could not say anything due to security issues. Her latest IG Live is open and free to discuss what happened and it is a terrifying ordeal.

At first, AOC took shelter in her office and had to hide in the bathroom as the attackers broke into her office.

“I just hear these yells of ‘WHERE IS SHE? WHERE IS SHE?’” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez recalls. “This was the moment where I thought everything was over. I thought I was going to die.”

“I felt that if this was the journey my life was taking, I felt that things were going to be okay — and that I had fulfilled my purpose,” Rep. AOC said through tears.

According to AOC, her legislative director Geraldo Bonilla-Chavez, told her to come out of the bathroom and that there was a Capitol police officer there who secured her office. Yet, something seemed off so the two fled to get to another secure location. That’s when they ended up in Rep. Katie Porter’s office.

This is when AOC changed into sneakers and gym clothes so she could run and blend if she had to. She continues to say that a real split between Democrats and Republicans has led to an environment of fear and that on the day of the insurrection, she never felt sully safe or secured.

READ: Rep. AOC Calls Out Sen. Ted Cruz After He Tried To Join Her Fight Against Robinhood

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