null: nullpx

These Latina candidates are seeking to break the 'glass ceiling' in their state on Nov. 3

A woman of color running for the presidency of a major party for the first time. A record number of women (and women of color) running for Congress. While women are breaking national records for nominations for national political office, what is happening at the state or local levels? (Leer este articulo en español)
28 Oct 2020 – 06:36 PM EDT
Latina candidates in the Nov 3, 2020 elections.

Beyond the presidential election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden that focuses the attention of the Nov 3 elections at the national level, the United States will see seats filled in practically all layers of government in federal, state and local government.

2020 is an election in which for the first time there is a woman of color running for the nation's second-highest office, with Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris as Biden's running mate for vice president. This comes four years after Hillary Clinton was became the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major American party.

This political climate of breaking the 'glass ceiling' for women seeking positions of power comes only two years after Congress broke a record for female members in 2018. Many women, Democrats in particular, have since been encouraged to compete for positions in their states or at the local level in order to continue breaking down those barriers.

The 2018 Congress also represented the greatest female diversity in history, with a record of Latinas, African-Americans and Asian-Americans.

Many of these new faces in politics are Latino. Some make the leap from being teachers, doctors or activists in their communities to becoming policy makers. While national politics deals with major issues (health laws, citizenship rights, immigration), state legislatures or councils and local authorities are generally in charge of those issues that affect people's daily lives, from managing schools to safety.

Records for women are also being broken in many state legislatures. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), about 2,140 women held seats in the 50 state legislatures in 2019 (1,453 Democrats, 662 Republicans, 5 from other parties and 14 without party affiliation).

That accounts for 28.9% of the compositon of all state legislators nationwide, an increase from 2018, when it stood at 25.3% and, according to NCSL, is the "largest number of women elected at the same time."

It is also the front line for many Latina candidates seeking to begin political careers that can later lead to higher office, including going to Washington DC.

"The barriers that women face in politics are numerous, from how to balance their professional and domestic tasks, to the (sometimes) impossible expectations of the public," said Vanessa Cárdenas, a consultant for Emily's List, which promotes the nominations of dozens of Democratic women across the country.

"For Latinas, the barriers are more pronounced because on top of dealing with these same obstacles, they also have to face stereotypes and cultural expectations," adds Cárdenas, who adds that women of color often also face a lack of funds necessary to set up a campaign or support from influential groups.

Here are some of the fresh female faces running in the Nov 3 elections in various states:

Cargando galería
RELACIONADOS:PoliticsVanessa CárdenasLatina