On Friday morning within the Hesburgh Heart Auditorium, California State Senator Monique Limón spoke concerning the intersection between her expertise working in public workplace and her Latina identification. The lecture is a part of Hispanic Heritage Month and was hosted by the Hesburgh Program in Public Service and the Institute for Latino Research.
Limón is a first-generation faculty pupil and was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California. She graduated from the College of California, Berkeley and acquired her grasp’s diploma from Columbia College.
In 2016, Limón gained the State Meeting seat and in 2020, she gained the State Senate seat. She serves the nineteenth Senate District, which incorporates Santa Barbara County and a part of Ventura County.
Limón is the primary lady of colour to be elected from the district to the State Meeting and the primary individual of colour from the district to be elected to the State Senate.
Though she represents a principally white voter base, demographics are altering, and “as points grow to be extra difficult and embody many alternative communities, we’re beginning to department out to consider who displays the values which are necessary for the voters,” Limón stated. “With my background, I’ve felt not simply an honor to characterize my neighborhood, but in addition a strategy to bridge stereotypes.”
Ladies make up simply over 30 % of the California State Legislature, however over 50 % of California’s inhabitants.
Limón stated there must be “a person and collective dedication to make sure there are extra marginalized communities represented in public workplace,” and girls have to see others they establish with and assist in these positions.
One other downside Limón recognized in her neighborhood is that, when individuals consider Santa Barbara, they solely consider the pockets of wealth.
“This makes different individuals in my neighborhood invisible,” she stated.
It’s been necessary as a consultant to make sure the voices of the neighborhood who aren’t all the time on the desk are elevated and accomplish that in a method that creates extra allies, Limón stated.
Earlier than she grew to become concerned in politics, Limón was a member of the Santa Barbara Unified Faculty District Board of Training, and her instructional background taught her concerning the points she cares about from a coverage perspective. She labored with many college students who had been the primary of their households to go to varsity and certified for monetary help.
“I in a short time understood that the problems that our neighborhood cares about weren’t restricted to the classroom, as a result of it seems that no matter’s taking place locally goes to indicate up within the classroom,” Limón stated.
She grew to become concerned with non-profit neighborhood organizations to assist college students, and this motivated her to make the change from implementing coverage to creating it.
Limón stated her connection to her neighborhood and her massive community of scholars and their households made her a profitable candidate for public workplace.
She was in a position to construct this community as a result of she grew up in a giant family with a big prolonged household.
“Household has taught me lots about politics,” Limón stated. “There are occasions when you need to break bread with people and never all the time agree with them.”
Her household additionally taught her necessary expertise that helped her persevere when working for workplace.
“My dad and mom all the time taught me the abilities that it takes to work onerous to beat boundaries and transfer ahead,” she stated.
Though Limón’s dedication to higher-level schooling has influenced her insurance policies, she stated individuals assumed that when she received to the legislature she was solely going to give attention to schooling, since that was her energy.
“I did go in actually targeted on schooling, and I had this historical past being on the college board, and I cared lots about it. However what occurs while you’re in workplace is that, typically, you don’t get to choose what you’re employed on,” Limón stated.
A yr into her time period was the start of the Thomas Hearth. The fireplace affected Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and was the most important hearth in California for six months. Over 100,000 individuals had been evacuated from her district.
“And at that second, regardless of how a lot I cared about schooling, I needed to flip instantly to grow to be a coverage knowledgeable in pure disasters,” Limón stated.
She defined that she had to make use of her talent set to deal with totally different points.
“I’ve all the time been a giant believer that it doesn’t matter what you do in life, you need to know learn how to switch your skilled, tutorial, mental and interpersonal communication talent units to each atmosphere,” she stated.
A few of Limón’s most necessary insurance policies have been in several areas not associated to her instructional background.
“Many of the coverage that I’m identified for is definitely not schooling,” Limón stated. “I’m identified for environmental coverage, shopper protections, ladies’s points and pure disasters.”
Limón stated she hopes to behave in one of the best curiosity of the communities she serves, and her essential aim is to raise the wants of the people in these communities.
“I’ve tailored to being a pacesetter that the neighborhood wants of me, and the neighborhood will determine once they not want the talent units and the values that I transfer ahead,” she stated.
Contact Caroline Collins at email@example.com.