Latina organizer Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez announces bid to unseat Texas Republican John Cornyn

File-This photo taken Sept. 19, 2007, shows Cristina Tzintzun speaking to a group of Mexican immigrants during a meeting of an immigrant workers advocacy group, Proytecto Defenso Laboral in Austin, Texas. The founder of a Latino progressive group in Texas is joining the growing list of Democrats lining up to challenge Republican Sen. John Cornyn in 2020. Tzintzún Ramirez launched her U.S. Senate campaign Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. She’s the founder of a Latino voter mobilization effort called the Jolt Initiative. (Larry Kolvoord/Austin American-Statesman via AP, File)
U.S. Senate candidate Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez

A Latina organizer whose organization has worked to spur young Texans of color into voting is herself becoming a candidate for office, announcing that she’s entering the race to defeat Republican Sen. John Cornyn in 2020. “We have people in power that have wanted to make us feel powerless,” Jolt Initiative founder Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez says in her campaign kickoff video, “in a moment where we actually have incredible power.”

New voices like El Paso Rep. Veronica Escobar have emerged as strong leaders for Texas, but in the Senate, Cornyn has been an accomplice to Donald Trump’s racism and policies. “The daughter of an immigrant mother, co-founder of the Workers Defense Project and founder of the progressive Latino youth group Jolt Texas, Tzintzún Ramirez argues she has the best story, experience and ideas to harness the energy of Texas’ ascendant voters, particularly young people of color,” The Texas Tribune reports.

Earlier this year, Jolt said “the Texas electorate in 2020 will be the youngest and most Latino pool of voters ever. Half of the young people turning 18 now are Hispanic and 95 percent of young Latinos in the state are U.S. citizens—meaning they have the right to vote.” The group has also previously released research showing Texas Latinas “are taking the lead on crucial efforts to turn out the Latino vote … generally, Latina women have higher rates of voter registration than their male Latino counterparts.

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