There’s a new badass in town — Jessica Cisneros. She has been pushing the limits in South Texas since she decided to launch her campaign for Congress earlier this year and doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. In a similar approach to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or AOC as some call her, Cisneros has relied on running grassroots campaign in the hopes to take over Henry Cuellar’s seat, a well-known Congressman, who also used to be her boss. Yes, this woman means business!
Tired of not seeing enough movement by Cuellar, who has held the seat since 2014, she decided to step up to the plate. It’s like he wasn’t even taking his job seriously. She felt as though she didn’t have any other choice, but to challenge him, especially since other people seemed to be afraid to stand up to him. But, that was not her case at all.
“People are afraid to stand up to this man. Well, I’m not afraid. I’m going to run a people-based campaign, a campaign for la gente,” Cisneros told Remezcla.
Her views came rushing with the progressive mentality that so many are quickly adapting. She expressed a desire to work towards free public college, the Green New Deal, and abortion rights, among the other points she’s focused on. Luckily, she has a lot of support to get these policies moving. She’s actually being backed by Justice Democrats, which is the same group that supported AOC during her campaign in 2018. This couldn’t have happened without the help of her high school teacher and mentor who nominated her.
Cisneros impact to the people was almost immediate. Just 24 hours after she announced she was running for congress, her campaign was able to accrue $80,000. All of this was achieved from grassroots donations. If this is the beginning of the campaign, I can’t imagine what’s in store in the upcoming months.
Though the vast majority haven’t gotten used to the fact that young women are stepping up to the plate, it is a phenomenon that is rapidly growing. Nowadays, young women, such as Jessica Cisneros and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have fervently been breaking down walls to change the status quo. Sometimes shaking things up is what’s needed to get results.
This campaign has a lot of heart to it as well. Jessica Cisneros is the daughter of Mexican immigrants who settled in Laredo, Texas after emigrating. Since Laredo is so close to the border, Cisneros witnessed a lot of things relating to immigration. She recalls seeing undocumented families running away from border patrols as she played outside in her school’s playground. She didn’t understand it then, but she knew she didn’t like what she had witnessed. From then on, she realized that laws didn’t really care about people like her and this irked her. She used this moment as an encouragement to trek through life in the hopes that she’d one day have the ability to redirect laws to finally focus on representing people that looked like her.
Historically, Latinx people haven’t been regarded fit to hold reputable positions or to be given recognition for their success. This is especially true if it’s a Latinx person who defies all of the expectations of the flawed beauty standards heavily instilled into society. Despite all of the challenges along the way, Cisneros went ahead and pushed through. She was able to obtain a scholarship that helped her fund school after her decision to do well in school. Through hard work and the support of her parents, she became the valedictorian of her school and graduated from law school. She’s now an immigration and human rights lawyer all because she never lost track of her ultimate goal — helping her people.
“Standing up for people has always been something that I feel a moral obligation to do as a Christian woman. That’s something that I take seriously.”
Getting to where she’s at now has been tough on her too. She’s dealt with some imposter syndrome herself (this feeling is real AF by the way), but she overcame it. Sadly, women of color sometimes feel as though they aren’t enough to participate in certain things in society. As messed up as that sounds, it’s something that many Latinx people feel. Because of this, she wants to let everyone know, especially in our Latinx community, que si se puede. Regardless of what’s happening in your mind or around you, you have to continue pushing the envelope. Doubt will always be there, but you will always be stronger than that.
“What the public didn’t see [after our successful launch] was the doubt I felt leading up to [it]. That’s why [the launch] was so validating because it cast away every doubt that I could do this.”
Jessica Cisneros campaign for la gente is still going. I’m hoping she continues smashing down any barrier or wall that gets in her way. It’s time we start choosing people that are for and by the people. Don’t you think so?