Yesterday on Facebook, progressive pro-choice organization Emily’s List announced that it was endorsing Susie Lee for Congress in Nevada’s 4th district. That decision did not sit well with progressive Latinas who felt that Emily’s List was being politically hypocritical for not endorsing Lucy Flores, a Latina who is also running for the same seat. The decision to choose Lee over Flores comes just days after Emily’s List announced a new initiative to increase the number of Latinas in elected office.
Commentators on Facebook were quick to call out Emily’s List for the Lee endorsement, including Alida García, a prominent political strategist:
Way to ditch the woman of color actually from the area who actually represents the interests of the voters of this district and actually is a reproductive rights advocate, emily’s list!!!
In addition, García added a larger public post on her Facebook page about the decision:
Others also weighed in on the Emily’s List endorsement. Here are some of the comments:
And to endorse a wealthy white woman running a struggling campaign against a Latina front-runner SCARCELY A WEEK AFTER ANNOUNCING AN INITIATIVE TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF LATINAS IN ELECTED OFFICE?
I’m extremely saddened as a young Latina who also struggled with her abortion and wasn’t able to tell my story until Lucy told hers in the state house in Nevada. I thought you all cared about reproductive justice, seems like you don’t. I have been a supporter of Emily’s List, and was so happy when y’all endorsed Lucy for Lieutenant Governor. In a time where racial and criminal justice are being talked about EVERYWHERE how could you endorse a white wealthy woman over Lucy Flores?
What about Lucy Flores? She’s an incredible champion for women and would add much needed diversity to the women’s contingent and the Democratic caucus.
I’m am extremely disappointed that Lucy Flores did not receive your endorsement. She’s from this community and represents everything Eniky’s list supposedly supports. Shame
What an incredibly disappointing choice. Lucy Flores should have been your choice, but once again you prove to the rest of the world you are an establishment that does not include or create spaces for women of color. Don’t worry, Planned Parenthood and NARAL will work endlessly to fight against the white rhetoric you are apparently selling out to. #TeamFlores
Well, I guess that whole “let’s get more pro choice Latinas into office” thing didn’t last very long. You have a brave, young Latina champion of women’s health Lucy Flores who just got honored by NARAL for her work on these issues, a young lady who received threats on her life for that advocacy & a former legislator who actually passed real legislation on these issues & what do you do? Endorse the rich white woman with no political experience whatsoever. You sold out your principles. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
The Emily’s List initiative to have more Latinas to elected office is being co-chaired by María Teresa Kumar of Voto Latino and Dolores Huerta. The Latina Advisory Council will consist of nine Latina leaders. According to the press release, Emily’s List has endorsed other Latinas this cycle:
As the fastest-growing portion of the electorate, Latinos are poised to play a pivotal role in the 2016 elections, and a key role in electing Democrats. However, Latinas are underrepresented at all levels of government with only seven Latina Democrats out of the 84 women lawmakers serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. And no Latina has ever served in the U.S. Senate.
This cycle, EMILY’s List has already endorsed five Latinas for statewide and congressional seats, including Susanna Mendoza for Illinois comptroller, Nannette Barragán (CA-44), Joseline Peña-Melnyk (MD-04), and Annette Taddeo (FL-26). And Catherine Cortez Masto is poised to make history as the first Latina ever elected to the U.S. Senate.