Senator Torres Ray plays integral role in increasing the number of Latinas in politics

ST. PAUL, MN –State Senator Patricia Torres Ray participated in the 2018 Summit of The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) last week, where participants signed an historic agreement with Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) to hold a yearly leadership academy to provide skills training to NHCSL Latina members and eventually help recruit aspiring Latina candidates for elected office.

“I am proud to play an integral role to ensure the Hispanic agenda is front and center for policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels and to help encourage and train future Latina political leaders,” Sen. Torres Ray said. “Latinas comprise 1.3 percent of state legislators of all racial and ethnic backgrounds and are just 1.6 percent of the members of Congress. Our goal is to work towards our numbers on both the federal and state level.”

The agreement signed between Rutgers and NHCSL is meant to increase the number of Latina state legislators nationwide, ensure that incumbent Latina legislators have the tools they need to reach leadership positions within their Legislatures as well as aspire to higher office. This makes the Latinas Lead Initiative an urgent imperative for this vastly underrepresented segment of American society.

“I am thrilled we are partnering with Rutgers, one of the Nation’s leading academic institutions, on this historic mission to make sure that our government reflects the diversity of the people it represents. As women candidates are dramatically increasing in numbers, we need to make sure that Latinas are leading the way,” Senator Patricia Torres Ray (MN), Chair of NHCSL’s Latinas Lead Initiative, said.

During the summit, Latino state legislators from across the country convened in the Chicago, Illinois to focus on key priorities for Latino families. The summit gathered senior elected officials, state legislators, diplomats, corporate executives, community advocates, and policymakers to address some of the issues impacting Latino voters. Attendees participated in panels to discuss a wide variety of issues, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations, the Census, infrastructure, political underrepresentation of Latinas, and other pressing issues.

Senator Patricia Torres Ray
Patricia Torres Ray represents District 63, which includes portions of southeastern Minneapolis and eastern Richfield in Hennepin County in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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