Advocating greater representation of Latinas in public office Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Anaheim) spoke in Fresno State’s Education Building Tuesday about her 18-year-career as a congresswoman.
“I’m excited this year because California has seven Latinas running for Congress,” Sanchez said. “That’s pretty exciting because we only have nine or 10 Latinas right now currently in the Congress.”
Suzanna Aguilera-Marrero (D), one such Latina congressional candidate, introduced Sanchez.
“In a traditionally male environment, [Sanchez] has succeeded in serving on some of the most important committees that you can serve on,” she said.
Aguilera-Marrero is running for the 22nd District that encompasses parts of North Fresno and Clovis.
Sanchez, the second-ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, was critical of the lack of representation for Latinos.
Speaking about committee meetings she’s a part of, she said, “When I sit in there, I’m usually the only woman and usually the only minority.”
Sanchez also said the effects of lack of representation can be seen in critical issues such as immigration, and that many of the new representatives coming to Congress don’t favor comprehensive reforms.
“Those of us who have been in for a while actually know how to get things done,” she said. “And we’ve been friends with people on the other side of the aisle.”
While she said that many Republicans claim to approve of immigration reforms, they refuse to put pressure on Speaker of The House John Boehner.
“If the speaker doesn’t want you to do something, you can’t do it,” Sanchez said. “Not in his Congress. Not in his offices. You can’t do it.”
She also called on President Barack Obama to do what he could within his executive authority to change immigration restrictions.