One Million Latinas Strong is a campaign with an ambitious goal to mobilize 1,000,000 women. This goal was birthed from recognizing the immense power and influence women hold in our communities and families. The One Million Latinas Strong campaign is a way to honor and fully unleash the political power Latina women hold.
The pandemic has been a difficult time and communities of color have been especially hard. Women have also been disproportionately impacted by the changes the pandemic brought on. As the world slowly opens up, it is time to rethink how rigid our old way of life was and the restrictions it created for women in particular. During the pandemic over 3 million women left the workforce in the United States, many to care for children and aid in their distance learning. Other women, who were essential workers, were forced to choose between their career and family as daycares closed down but their work required being in person. Even before the pandemic childcare was a major barrier for many women in the workforce as many companies had inflexible policies which combined with high costs of childcare.
This campaign aims to empower women to exercise their political power to create positive change for families and communities. Using our power we can help rethink outdated standards for women, like the notion of delegating all caregiving work to women. We can also help bring about change such as childcare not just being a perk offered by some companies but a standard that also extends to lower-paying jobs as well.
We dare to ask what society would look like if it were designed with the needs of women in mind? As we move forward in our fight to improve the lives of women we ask what issues are important to you? If you are eligible to vote, what drives you to the voting booth? Who in your life inspires you to vote, whether it be your mother, your children, or members of your community who can’t vote. With our influence at the polls and in our community, we can help ensure our families have health care, access to affordable education, and a clean Earth to grow up in.
While the past presidential election was extremely stressful especially when combined with the ongoing pandemic, it is imperative that we continue to show up to the polls. The upcoming elections are just as crucial for the rights of women and other marginalized groups.
The only way to ensure long-term solutions is to keep showing up to the polls and to bring other women with us. The last midterm elections were historic for the number of women elected with 23 in the senate alone. The 2020 election saw a similar number of women elected to the senate with 20, and in total, a record-breaking 142 women were elected to congress. In order for our voices to be heard, it is imperative to elect more candidates who understand the issues in our community and are committed to combating them. This involves electing more women, and in particular Latina women who are severely underrepresented in Congress. The upcoming midterms are another opportunity to create a more diverse Congress and to elect candidates who reflect our values. In order to continue making history at the voting booth, we need to do more than just show up on election day, but also ensure that all the women in our lives are registered and have a plan to vote. We need to be One Million Latinas Strong and take on the 2022 midterm elections. We invite you to join us and become One in a Million.
Sindy M. Benavides
LULAC Chief Executive Officer