Adryana Aldeen, a consultant, analyst, strategist and commentator on public policy, is a maven of the Hispanic community. Throughout her career, her passion has centered on the education and empowerment of Latinos on public policy and politics. A frequent political analyst of NBC universal-Telemundo, Univision and CNN Español, Adryana has become one of the most well-known Hispanic conservatives on Spanish news television. Before marrying her husband, healthcare attorney Doug Aldeen, Adryana gained recognition through her work and within her community by her maiden name, Adryana Boyne
On August 31st, 2019, TX-HD6 State Representative Matt Schaefer posted a thread of tweets in response to the call for gun reform in Texas, following the mass shooting on August 3rd at an El Paso WalMart that left 22 dead and 24 others injured. In it, he wrote, “I say NO to ‘red flag’ pre-crime laws. NO to universal background checks. NO to bans on AR-15s, or high capacity magazines. NO to mandatory gun buy-backs...YES to your God-given, constitutionally protected rights. YES to God, and NO to more government intrusions.” The tweets received national attention, and spurred Julie Gobble, a 24-year-old UT Tyler political science senior, to run for his seat.
Born and raised in Fort Worth - a sixth-generation Texan - Amanda Arizola has dedicated her life to achieving economic stability and equitable political representation in her hometown. Arizola’s parents were public servants: a nurse and a Marine. The desire to serve is no doubt a trait they passed onto their daughter, who is involved in a variety of public service boards and advocacy organizations.
Before Lupe Valdez made history as the Democratic nominee in the 2018 Texas Gubernatorial Election, her life was characterized by public service and a knowledge of the hardships faced by Texas minorities. As a young girl and the daughter of migrant workers living in the poorest zip code in San Antonio, Valdez was given the opportunity to attend a better school in the wealthier part of the city. She bussed herself every morning and it was then she first recognized the gross inequity among the communities in San Antonio. She remembers rainy days as the most obvious indicator that she didn’t enjoy the same privilege as her classmates. When it rained, Valdez would get to school and have to clean her shoes, unlike her mostly Caucasian classmates. She realized that she was the only student with muddy shoes because her neighborhood did not have paved sidewalks. After high school, she attended college in Oklahoma and commissioned in the United States Army after getting her bachelor’s degree.
Jennifer Skidonenko is running for District 106 for the Texas House of Representatives, located near Northeast Denton county in North Texas. Though this is her first campaign for public office, this isn’t Jennifer’s first time working within the political sphere. In 2018, following the shooting at Parkland High School, Jennifer founded the local chapter of Moms Demand Action in Denton County, an organization that advocates for gun violence prevention—especially in schools. Prior to this, Jennifer volunteered on local political campaigns like Beto O’Rourke’s U.S. Senate race. Now, Jennifer is taking the reigns into her own hands—leading the way in her own campaign for office.
Lyda Ness-García, the co-founder of Women’s March of El Paso and Stand with El Paso Women, an activist for child advocacy and immigration reform, a family law attorney, and child welfare expert, is a force to be reckoned with. Born in North Carolina and raised in Athens, Greece, her childhood played a crucial role in shaping her into the advocate and activist she has become for El Paso. Listening to the old radio in her grandmother’s kitchen, she realized at a very young age how important it is to learn and talk about what is happening in the world.
“People often say women need to be asked a certain number of times to run for office before they will go for it,” Abbie began. “I don’t buy into that. No woman needs to be asked to run for office. You do not need permission. Just run.”
Abbie Kamin is a civil rights attorney and neighborhood advocate running for Houston City Council in District C. She has spent her life helping others by observing firsthand the problems affecting her community and working at the ground level to implement solutions. Her inclination toward altruism began in childhood. Abbie’s mother founded a charity helping at-risk youth around the world, and her father was a politically-engaged businessman. Starting with her childhood dinner table, Abbie’s ideals and values began to take shape at a very young age. “They never asked, ‘Well, what did you learn at school today?’ Conversation was always about what happened in the world today with an eye toward how to make the world better for people”.
Gina Ortiz Jones is running to serve the 23rd Congressional District of Texas. Her firsthand experiences have shaped her perspective about the community she represents; she is a first-generation American, raised in San Antonio by a single mother. Jones’ mother embraced challenges and sacrificed comfort to provide opportunities for her daughters. As a child, Jones understood that she was lucky to have resources like subsidized housing and reduced-price lunches, and that manifested into a life of public service.
Mayor Pro Tem Jennifer Berthiaume has been preparing for her political service her entire life--even if she wasn’t meaning to. Although her family’s homebase was Northern Virginia, her parents’ public service careers meant they traveled extensively throughout her childhood. Berthiaume was born in Okinawa, Japan and spent time in Panama and Poland growing up.
At only 18 years old, Maria Lopez is a powerful immigrant rights activist in the Dallas area. She is a successful student at a top Dallas ISD magnet high school. She is the Texas Youth Director for the state’s League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) . She’s a Young Women’s Advisory Council Fellow under the Texas Women’s Foundation . Her advocacy has been so profound that she recently won LULAC’S National Woman of the Year Award. Maria has shown strength, dedication, and work ethic at a young age. Still, she may struggle to lead a normal life in the United States of America.