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It is time for young Latinas to see their faces reflected back in the halls of the United States Senate

“America needs more women leaders. In this election, we have a historic opportunity to make history not once, but twice,” writes Eva Longoria.
Actress, director, producer and activist, founder of Latino Victory Project and “The Eva Longoria Foundation” dedicated to helping Latinas build better futures for themselves through education and entrepreneurship.
Former Nevada Attorney General and U.S. Senate candidate Catherine Cortez Masto speaks during a campaign rally for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts on October 12, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada Crédito: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

I learned three important values from my mother and father: hard work, humility and pride in my heritage. I’m a ninth-generation Mexican-American who grew up in a small town in South Texas. My father is a veteran. My mother is a special needs teacher. It was their mentorship and guidance that gave me the confidence and courage to act on my ambitions and find ways to give back to my community. Their values made me the woman I am today, and I am proud of my heritage.

I believe young Latinas should see their faces reflected back when they look at those in elected office. I also believe America needs more women leaders. In this election, we have a historic opportunity to make history not once, but twice.

In Nevada, Catherine Cortez Masto is running for the United States Senate. She is running on behalf of middle-class families, communities of color and women who have been viciously attacked by congressional Republicans and Donald Trump.

Catherine is campaigning hard to make sure Nevada’s voters know the choice they have to make. She is focused on women and struggling families in Nevada. Serving as Nevada’s State Attorney General from 2007–2015, Catherine led the fight for economic justice for women and families. Catherine understands that a women’s labor is equal to a man’s and believes that our government must tell our young women the same. In the Senate, she will fight so women are paid equal wages for equal work. Unlike Congressman Joe Heck, she understands that workers in Nevada, and across the country, deserve a raise and she supports an increase in the minimum wage.

Catherine has stood with women on the front lines her entire career. During her time as Attorney General, she fought to end domestic violence and the victimization of children. As the state’s top law enforcement officer, Catherine worked to stop sex trafficking, protect vulnerable children and punish those responsible. Catherine knows that we must protect vulnerable women, children, and families, and that is why she made sure immigrant victims of sexual and domestic violence received assistance when petitioning for U-Visas. That is why she will also work to make sure the survivors of such heinous acts are provided with the resources needed to overcome and thrive.

Catherine supports comprehensive immigration reform. Above all, she will ensure that Latino families are kept together. In 2013, she led thirty-five Attorneys General in calling on the United States Senate to pass comprehensive immigration reform. She is committed to helping Hillary Clinton pass immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship. She supports and has called for the extension of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) programs to be upheld in the courts. In Nevada, Catherine made sure that unscrupulous scam artists did not get away with Notario Fraud and she cracked down on fraudulent healthcare providers trying to steal the hard-earned money of vulnerable immigrant families.

Education is an important tool to get ahead in America, and access to education is critical for Latinos, women and families. My family worked hard to make sure I could graduate to college and I did my part as well. I signed up for financial aid, Pell Grants, work-study and took on other odd jobs to support my education and pay my family back. While Catherine has called for making college more affordable, her opponent, Congressman Joe Heck, has voted to cut Pell Grants and put college out of reach for low-income and Latino families. While Catherine sees education like I do, as a way for all young people to build better lives for themselves, Congressman Joe Heck sees it as a privilege only for those kids that can afford it.

Catherine is committed to educating our next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, teachers and engineers. She will protect and strengthen funding for critical scholarships, Pell Grants and aid to low-income students and their families. She will not stop at higher education either. Catherine is committed to making sure children in Nevada receive a 21st-century education with better classrooms and smaller class sizes so students have better access to their teachers and greater funding for early childhood education.

We have an opportunity to make history this election. Catherine Cortez Masto must be the next United States Senator from the State of Nevada. She has committed herself throughout her career, and in this election, to helping families achieve a better life. Catherine will fight to give these families, aspiring small businesses and hardworking Latinos the support they need to succeed. Catherine and I both know the story of hardworking families in Nevada, Latino and non-Latino, because their stories have been our own. That is why I am proud that the Latino Victory Fund has endorsed Catherine and is working around the clock to elect her to the United States Senate.

Disclaimer: We selected this Op-Ed to be published in our opinion section as a contribution to public debate. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of its author(s) and/or the organization(s) they represent and do not reflect the views or the editorial line of Univision Noticias.