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Op-Ed: Texas Latinos: Support Wendy Davis


by: Katherine Haenschen

Sun May 11, 2014 at 02:00 PM CDT




Earlier this week, State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer had published an op-ed in the McAllen Monitor on why Latinos support Wendy Davis.

From education to health care to paycheck fairness, Wendy Davis has stood with Texas families, especially Latinos.

Meanwhile, as Martinez Fischer points out,

    Abbott fought against us in court and defended redistricting maps that the Department of Justice called "intentionally discriminatory" because it reduced the voting strength of Latinos.

Read TMF's full op-ed about why Latinos should support Wendy Davis below the jump.

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Texas Latinos: Support Wendy Davis
By State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer

As chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, it is my job to lead the charge on issues important to Texas Latinos. And when I have needed people to join me in those fights, I have always counted on state Sen. Wendy Davis.

Republicans like Greg Abbott like to talk about Latinos around election time. Pero son puras promesas y nada de hechos.

In fact, Abbott has a long record of betrayal against our community. Davis has fought with us when we needed her.

In 2011, I fought against a cruel budget that would decimate our schools, shove more kids into already crowded classrooms and lead to teacher layoffs. Davis stood with us and fought back against the old political establishment by filibustering the bill in the Senate. Abbott not only fought against us, he's still fighting against us. In an ongoing court case, he is defending these unconstitutional budget cuts against hundreds of Texas school districts that were short-changed by political insiders. He could seek settlement with school districts, but he has not done so.

When the old political establishment pushed voter suppression laws and political maps intended to lessen Hispanic voters' political power, we fought back in court and Davis fought with us. Abbott fought against us in court and defended redistricting maps that the Department of Justice called "intentionally discriminatory" because it reduced the voting strength of Latinos.

When we fought in the Texas House to pass equal pay for equal work legislation - to help close the pay gap whereby Texas women are paid 79 cents to every dollar made by a man - Davis fought with us. (Latinas in Texas earn just 45 cents to every dollar earned by an Anglo man.) As the sponsor of the bill, Davis helped push the Texas Equal Pay Act in the Senate.

Abbott fought against equal pay in court and if elected governor, I believe he would veto the Texas Equal Pay Act.

While political insiders launched attacks on our community to appeal to the most extreme voters, Davis stood with us. She has traveled across the state, met with educators and students, visited colonias and presented her plan to make college more accessible through dual-credit programs in the Rio Grande Valley. Abbott, meanwhile, unveiled his border security plan hundreds of miles from the Texas-Mexico border and compared South Texas to the "Third World."

When Republicans competed to see who could be the most anti-immigrant by pledging to repeal the Texas DREAM Act, which allows immigrant students to continue their education, Davis fought with us. She's worked with us in the Legislature to protect the law and will never back down in her support.

Abbott thinks the Texas DREAM Act is flawed.

Davis has long worked for and with Latinos to lead this state into the future. Republicans like Abbott like to talk about their identification with Latinos but their actions paint a far different picture. Abbott and his Republican Party aggressively refuse to change policy positions that are deeply harmful to South Texas and the Latino community.

If elected governor, Davis would make education a priority again. She would protect the right to vote and veto any unfair laws meant to prevent our community from voting.

She will stand up for Texans' interests, not the special interests. We know this because it's what she has always done.

Wendy Davis has always had our back. This November, we'll have hers. Wendy ha luchado con nosotros, y este noviembre nosotros lucharemos por ella.

State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer is a seven-term representative from San Antonio and chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, the nation's oldest and largest Latino legislative caucus.



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