Stand with El Paso women rally talks voting, reproductive rights
Texas state Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, D-San Antonio, said Texas women voters have to say “ya no mas” to state leaders who have “disrespected” women with recent legislation that affects women’s reproductive rights and continues wage inequity.
“They are more concerned with our private parts than they are about la mujer (the woman)- what we bring to the work force, what we bring to our families and what we bring to the community,” Van De Putte said at a Vote with Texas Women Rally Friday at Memorial Park.
“So I stand with the mujeres de El Paso who say enough is enough, ‘you can’t disrespect us anymore.'” she said.
Van De Putte along with Senators Jose Rodriguez of El Paso and Sylvia Garcia of Houston also spoke at the rally, encouraging women to stand up for themselves and make their voices heard through their votes in the 2014 elections. Other speakers included representatives from Planned Parenthood, Catholics for Choice and County Judge Veronica Escobar.
Lyda Ness-Garcia, of Stand with El Paso Women, said the organization is made up of women from all walks of life, from homeowners and small business owners to students and grandmothers. The organization had T-shirts that had the name of the organization, an image of the female reproductive organs and the saying, “ven y agarralo,” (come and get it).
The organization will continue to support leaders like Rodriguez, Garcia and Van De Putte who “support legislation that puts women on an equal playing field with the rest of Texas which is the least of what we deserve,” Ness Garcia said.
She and other leaders said that El Paso voters have the ability to help turn Texas blue. Democrats have an ambitious plan to loosen the Republicans’ tight grip on political control in Texas by motivating unregistered Latino voters to vote in 2014.
“We are going to see a change in Texas. We know it is time and we know this because of all the women that came to the capitol and said ‘enough is enough,'” Ness-Garcia said.
Rodriguez pumped up the small crowd by having them chant “El Paso stands with women.”
“I’m honored to be a part of these senators efforts to educate the whole state of Texas and our women and our men about the importance of participating and voting. We have had rallies in Houston, San Antonio and the Dallas-Fort Worth area.”
Rodriguez, who mentioned Sen. Wendy Davis who is running for governor, said everywhere they have been, people are upset about the recent legislation led by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, such as his veto of a bill that would have helped prevent wage discrimination.
In his veto statement, Perry said he objected to the bill because it duplicated federal law which already allows employees who feel they have been discriminated against to file a claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Lupe Crook, a Central El Pasoan, enjoyed the rally in perfect El Paso weather.
“I like to come meet the candidates, don’t like to go by hearsay,” she said. “I think it’s very important to participate in politics. I stand with women in that our bodies shouldn’t be of concern to the legislature as to what we can do with them. And women need to know what’s going on (in our government),” she said.
This piece was originally published by the El Paso Times.