By Reps. Sylvia Garcia, Veronica Escobar, and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell
Somos las tres Comadres del Congreso. We proudly serve together in Congress, representing the great states of Texas and Florida. We work closely together and often lean on each other in times of challenge, as well as in our success. We see this in Latino communities everywhere. Whether it’s mami, tía, abuela, or our comadres, Latinas look to the women in their lives as a source of strength and comfort in order to deliver a better quality of life for our families. And we do this more now, holding each other tight and looking at each other, asking ‘what are we going to do?’
What are we going to do as our community shoulders a disproportionate share of the burden of this pandemic? What are we going to do as we lose family members and friends? What are we going to do as our loved ones head into their essential jobs without necessary protections? How will we put food on the table as we lose our jobs — at a higher rate than almost any other community?
Well, we will tell you what we are going to do. We are going to garner the strength we have always found in our communities and families because this is a life-and-death decision. This election will determine the livelihood and survival of our abuela, tia, madrina, and the promise of the American dream. We will organize and mobilize and turn out the vote for leadership that will look out for us instead of ignoring us. We are going to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and Democrats all across the country.
Because Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have a plan to contain the coronavirus pandemic and ensure we can build back better for Latinas, and we’re here to share with you how:
Getting a handle on this crisis
Under President Trump, Latino families are facing disproportionately higher COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates, and it is decimating our community, literally killing us. But the Biden-Harris Administration would call on everyone to wear a mask, provide free testing, treatment, and vaccines, and ensure personal protective equipment and other supplies and treatment are distributed fairly. They will listen to the experts and follow the science so that we can safely reopen our schools and get back to our jobs. Sin salud, no hay vida, ni economía.
Improving our economic security
Joe Biden won’t just rebuild the economy the way it was before — he will build it back better, creating millions of good-paying jobs. An independent analysis estimates Biden’s plan will create 7 million more jobs than President Trump’s plan and spur $1 trillion more in economic growth. He’ll make it easier for Latinas to go back to work by ensuring families can access high-quality child care and care for aging relatives while creating new care jobs, elevating pay of care workers, and treating them with the dignity they deserve. The Biden-Harris administration will give many more Latinas a long-overdue raise by increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and ending the tipped minimum wage, critical for Latinas who work in the service sector at a higher rate than any other group. And Joe Biden knows that it’s wrong for Latinas to make a fraction of what other Americans make for the same work — only 54 cents on the dollar of an average non-Hispanic white man — which is why the Biden-Harris plan demands equal pay for equal work. It also invests in job training and education so that our community can access more good-paying job opportunities. A Biden-Harris administration will ensure no child’s success is determined by race or zip code, provide every student with a path to a career, and invest beyond high school, so workers have the opportunities to learn and expand their skills.
Addressing racial disparities
This crisis highlights the health disparities we’ve dealt with for far too long. Instead of addressing these disparities, President Trump is asking the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act, ripping away coverage from millions of Latinos and taking away protections for Latinos with pre-existing conditions like diabetes and asthma. Joe Biden will protect and build on the Affordable Care Act, lowering the costs of care and establishing a new public insurance option providing more members of our communities will have access to high-quality, affordable health care. He’ll also increase community health centers, diversify the health workforce, and invest in common-sense policies like ensuring we have clean air to breathe and increasing access to healthy food in Latino neighborhoods, leading to better health care outcomes for our community.
Honoring the contributions of immigrants to this nation
Coronavirus has devastated our communities, but it hasn’t stopped President Trump from vilifying and attacking immigrant families at every turn — even as we fill frontline roles in responding to this pandemic. We’re a nation of immigrants, and Joe Biden is proud of that heritage. The Biden-Harris administration has a plan to allow Dreamers to continue the lives they’ve built here, and create a roadmap to citizenship for more than 11 million immigrants already living in the US. Amid this pandemic, it’s more important than ever that the millions of law-abiding immigrants who’ve made this country home have a chance to succeed here. Biden-Harris will not stand for separating children from their mothers. They will ensure that detainees at detention centers across America are treated with dignity and humanity and will not be subjected to unnecessary or unwanted surgeries without consent.
Addressing violence against women, hate, and gun violence
Finally, as the author of the Violence Against Women Act, Joe Biden is committed to taking steps to reauthorize and strengthen the law to ensure it protects and empowers all women, including immigrants who may feel trapped in an abusive relationship. Joe and Kamala will work to end sexual harassment and assault in the military. They will also take steps to tackle the rise in violence and hate crime and address the scourge of gun violence that has taken far too many lives.
In so many ways, a Biden-Harris Administration will improve the lives of Latinas and honor the contributions we make to this country — from serving in the military and on the front lines of this pandemic as health care workers and first responders to keeping our economy moving in the private sector. Joe and Kamala understand that Latinas are not just a part of this country’s fabric, but an integral part. They see us, listen to us, and are putting us front and center in their plan to build back better.
We are hard at work in the next five days to elect Joe and Kamala, and we hope you’ll join us. You can start by making a plan to vote for Joe at iwillvote.com — and ensuring your comadres do the same.