Things That Matter

From A Poor Family To Being In The Run To Becoming The First Latino Governor Of Texas, Meet Lupe Valdez

Former Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez is running to be the next governor of Texas. The openly lesbian gubernatorial candidate is currently 20+ points behind incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott but she hasn’t given up yet.

Gov. Abbott is the governor who signed Senate Bill 4 prohibiting “sanctuary cities” within Texas and has raised a lot more money than Valdez. Abbott’s campaign has raised $65 million to Valdez’s $500,000.

Here are some facts about Valdez and her campaign as she runs to govern the state of Texas.

Lupe Valdez has already made history as the first Latina ever nominated for Texas governor by a major party.

CREDIT: @lupefortexas / Instagram

She ran against six other Democrats in the primaries and then, too, she was an underdog. One of her primary opponents was Andrew White, the son of former Texas Governor Mark White.

Her new goal is to become the first ever Latino governor of Texas.

CREDIT: @lupefortexas / Instagram

Texas is nearly 40 percent Latino. Yet, it has not yet elected a Latino to govern the state. Texas also hasn’t elected a Democratic governor since 1990. Through it all, Valdez has continued her fight in the race despite the odds against her.

Valdez is from the poorest zip code in Texas.

CREDIT: LupeValdez / YouTube

In her campaign video, she shares the story of how she had to get on a city bus to get to school and would immediately go to the school bathroom to clean her shoes every morning. She was the only kid from a pueblo that didn’t have paved streets. She walked through mud and dirt to get to the bus stop.

Valdez is the youngest of eight children to Mexican-American migrant farmworkers.

CREDIT: @lupefortexas / Instagram

Many of her siblings didn’t finish school and instead became farmworkers like their parents. One teacher in high school told her she had what it took to go to college and it changed her life forever.

She credits her mother for the courage and motivation to purse an education instead of working int he fields.

CREDIT: @lupefortexas / Instagram

Caption: “Because of my mother, I went from the crop fields to the classroom. I was fortunate to succeed and be the first in many things, but I am running so that I am not the last. That is why we keep going—to fight so that others can follow in our footsteps. #WomensEqualityDay”

Valdez paid her way through a Master’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice.

CREDIT: LupeValdez / YouTube

She first earned her Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Southern Nazarene University and then her Master’s at the University of Texas at Arlington. Education is a major issue for the gubernatorial candidate.

On her campaign website, she says, “I am where I am today because a Texas public school gave me the opportunity to succeed. Our public schools are the path to opportunity, but for too many Texans, that opportunity is slipping away under the current Governor’s failed policies.”

She’s here to raise salaries for teachers, remove the burden of financing local schools from the communities and back onto the government where it belongs, and remove caps on special education funding.

Valdez joined the Army National Guard where she was elevated to captain.

CREDIT: “Officer in the Army Reserve, 1974″ Digital Image. Lupe Valdez Campaign. 30 October 2018.

She eventually became a senior federal agent at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, right when it was formed. Valdez understands the deep structural flaws of the Texas prison system because she worked it from a jailer to a sheriff.

Her campaign also stands to improve the quality of care for mentally ill inmates, to reform the cash bail system that implicitly keeps poor minorities behind bars, to decriminalize misdemeanor possession of marijuana and ban for-profit prisons.

At times, she even worked undercover.

CREDIT: LupeValdez / YouTube

This might be the raciest photo from a long history in investigating fraud in the United States to money laundering from drug lords in South America.

Valdez retired to run for sheriff of Dallas County, becoming the first openly gay Latina Sheriff in that position.

CREDIT: “Sworn in as Dallas County Sheriff, 2005.” Digital Image. Lupe Valdez Campaign. 30 October 2018.

Valdez served for 12 years as Dallas County Sheriff and at age 70 she resigned as sheriff so she could campaign for governor for Texas. She celebrated her 71st birthday on the campaign trail with a cafecito y Topocito.

She’s a cop who believes the system needs to be reformed in the wake of Black Lives Matter.

CREDIT: LupeValdez / YouTube

“We must also work together with municipalities to strengthen the bonds of trust between police and communities and train our police forces to the highest standard, because better trained and accountable police forces means safer neighborhoods and safer cops,” reads her campaign website.

“Criminal justice has been the fight of my life, and I will push to make sure that Texas is on the front lines of the most effective and progressive practices and reforms possible.”

Some have criticized her for working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when she was a sheriff.

CREDIT: @lupefortexas / Instagram

During her tenure, Valdez cooperated with federal immigration authorities by holding immigrants in her jail cells when requested and handing them over to ICE. That said, she famously and publicly clashed with Abbott when he signed SB4 into law.

Valdez was required by law to cooperate with ICE, for fear of losing federal funding, which resulted in the deportations of thousands of Dallas residents.

Valdez does not have the young vote.

CREDIT: @lupefortexas / Instagram

In the September Quinnipiac poll, Sheriff Valdez’s favorability rating among young people is ten points lower than Governor Abbott’s. Meanwhile, one third of eligible Latino voters are aged 18-29.

In an interview with NPR’s Latino USA podcast, Valdez was adamant that Texas isn’t a red state, it’s a low voter state.

Valdez prides herself as being one of the people.

CREDIT: @lupefortexas / Instagram

In her interview with NPR, you can hear her campaign managers trying to steer her to wear an apron, to sit down for one second, etc., but Valdez is the abuelita that cannot be steered.

She’s going to serve enchiladas to people and when she sits down for the interview, she says that she feels bad she’s not helping to load up the truck.

Oh, and this is her truck:

CREDIT: @lupefortexas / Instagram

Caption: “While #GregAbbott flies around Texas on private jets loaned by his billionaire buddies, I’m chugging along in my pick-up truck meeting as many Texans as possible — face to face. Help us meet more Texans by donating at my website! LupeValdez.com”

The Latino community is stanning hard in the midterms.

CREDIT: @lupefortexas / Instagram

One woman interviewed by NPR said of Lupe, “After Selena, there hasn’t been anyone that has impacted my life that I can see myself in, like a woman of color. She’s brown like me. She speaks Spanish and English like me. She reflects so many pockets of voters. She’s just like us. The other day a tree branch fell and there she was with a chainsaw, cutting it up so that it wouldn’t get in the way of pedestrians. Yeah, she’s one of us.”

Latinos have rallied hard for Beto O’Rourke, but have been lackluster for Valdez.

CREDIT: @lupefortexas / Instagram

Valdez has known that her fight to become the next governor of Texas would be tough when competing against Gov. Abbott. Latino voters prefer Abbott over Valdez by 49 to 45 percent, according to a Quinnipiac poll.

Valdez is a fierce feminist.

CREDIT: @lupefortexas / Instagram

“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them. #InternationalWomensDay”

And she gives her constituents donuts.

CREDIT: @lupefortexas / Instagram

She’s getting one on one face time to talk about the issues that matter most to her: extending Medicare to the 76,000 Texan veterans without access to health care, ending gerrymandering by instead giving over the redistricting process to a nonpartisan commission and including more comprehensive protections for the LGBTQ community.

She loves her perritos.

CREDIT: @lupefortexas / Instagram

I know. This is relevant information for your voting needs. I stand by it.

Whoever you’re voting for, just get out there, fam.

CREDIT: @lupefortexas / Instagram

Latino voters are a force to be reckoned with this election. We need to turn out in full force so that we look back and laugh at the naming of our uprising as anything other than the Brown Wave. Nos vamos.


READ: Trump Stokes Fear Of Immigrants As US Prepares To Send Thousands Of Troops To The Border

Please share this with your Tejano amigos and our allies. Gracias.

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A University Is Releasing A Historic Mexican Cookbook Filled With Recipes You’d Want To Try

Culture

A University Is Releasing A Historic Mexican Cookbook Filled With Recipes You’d Want To Try

UTSA

The University of Texas San Antonio is bringing the history of Mexico into our kitchens. The university is releasing cookbooks that are collections of historic Mexican recipes. Right now, the desserts book is out and online for free. Main dishes and appetizers/drinks are coming soon.

You can now taste historic Mexico thanks to the University of Texas San Antonio.

UTSA has had an ongoing project of preserving, collecting, and digitizing cookbooks from throughout Mexico’s history. Some books date back to the 1700s and offer a look into Mexico’s culinary arts and its evolution.

UTSA has been digitizing Mexican cookbooks for years and the work is now being collected for people in the time of Covid.

Millions of us are still at home and projects like these can be very exciting and exactly what you need. The recipes are a way to distract yourself from the current reality.

“The e-pubs allow home cooks to use the recipes as inspiration in their own kitchens,” Dean Hendrix, the dean of UTSA Libraries, said in UTSA Today. “Our hope is that many more people will not only have access to these wonderful recipes but also interact with them and experience the rich culture and history contained in the collection.”

The free downloads are a way for people to get a very in-depth look into Mexican food history.

The first of three volumes of the cookbooks focuses on desserts so you can learn how to make churros, chestnut flan, buñelos, and rice pudding. What better way to spend your quarantine than learning how to make some of these yummy desserts. We all love sweets, right?

If you want to get better with making your favorite desserts, check out this cookbook and make it happen.

There is nothing better than diving into your history and using food as your guide. Food is so intrinsically engrained in our DNAs and identities. We love the foods and sweets from our childhood because they hold a clue as to who we are and where we come from. This historical collection of recipes throughout history is the perfect way to make that happen.

READ: The Laziest Food Hacks In All Of The Land Would Send Your Abuela To The Chancla

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One Year Later, The Latino Community Remembers The El Paso Shooting

Things That Matter

One Year Later, The Latino Community Remembers The El Paso Shooting

Mario Tama / Getty Images

On August 3, 2019, a man entered a Walmart in El Paso, Texas and killed 23 customers and injured 23 more. The shooter, Patrick Crusius, went to the Walmart with the expressed purpose of killing Mexican and Mexican-Americans. One year later, the community is remembering those lost.

One year ago today, a man killed 23 people in an El Paso Walmart targeting our community.

The Latino community was stunned when Patrick Crusius opened fire and killed 23 people in El Paso, Texas. The gunman wrote a manifesto and included his desire to kill as many Mexicans and Mexican-Americans he could in the El Paso Walmart. The days after were filled with grieving the loss of 23 people and trying to understand how this kind of hate could exist in our society.

Representative Veronica Escobar, who represents El Paso, is honoring the victims today.

Rep. Escobar was on the scene shortly after the shooting to be there for her community. The shooting was a reminder of the dangers of the anti-Latino and xenophobic rhetoric that the Trump administration was pushing for years.

“One year ago, our community and the nation were shocked and heartbroken by the horrific act of domestic terrorism fueled by racism and xenophobia that killed 23 beautiful souls, injured 22, and devasted all of us,” Rep. Escobar said in a statement. “Today will be painful for El Pasoans, especially for the survivors and the loved ones of those who were killed, but as we grieve and heal together apart, we must continue to face hate with love and confront xenophobia by treating the stranger with dignity and hospitality.”

El Pasoans are coming together today to remember the victims of the violence that day.

Latinos are a growing demographic that will soon eclipse the white communities in several states. Some experts in demographic shifts understand that this could be a terrifying sign for the white population. These changing demographics give life to racist and hateful ideologies.

“When you have a few people of color, the community is not seen so much as a threat,” Maria Cristina Morales, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at El Paso, told USA Today about the fear of changing demographics. “But the more that the population grows – the population of Latinos grow for instance – the more fear that there’s going to be a loss of power.”

The international attack is still felt today because of the constant examples of white supremacy still active today.

“It doesn’t occur to you that there’s a war going on, and there’s always been a war going on—the helicopters the barbed wire—but you just kind of didn’t see it,” David Dorado Romo, an El Paso historian who lost a friend in the shooting, told Time Magazine.

The sudden reminder of the hate out there towards the Latino community was felt nationwide that day. The violent attack that was planned out revealed the true cost of that hate that has been pushed by some politicians.

“El Paso families have the right to live free from fear, and I will continue to honor the victims and survivors with action,” Rep. Escobar said in her statement. “Fighting to end the gun violence and hate epidemics that plague our nation.”

READ: As El Paso Grieves Their Loss, Here Is Everything We Know About The Victims Of The El Paso Massacre, Which Were Mostly Latino

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