Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, Luisa is proud that Mexico gave her roots while America gave her wings. She was raised in a conservative family with male role models, like her grandfather and father, empowering Luisa to believe that women should have a seat at the decision-making table. For Luisa, her father inspired her to stand up for what she believes in, saying that he always told others what he valued with a smile. Luisa was raised to also believe that a life of dignity and purpose began with serving others; she was raised as the child of parents fighting for democracy. In Mexico, societal and structural barriers prevented Luisa and other women from succeeding. After Luisa arrived to Texas, she graduated from college, earned multiple degrees, and now serves as the public policy director for two institutes at Southern Methodist University. According to Luisa, migrating to the United States gives ordinary people extraordinary opportunities.
Luisa’s desire to serve stemmed from her long-standing passion for education. Luisa says that education is the great equalizer among all communities. Before working at SMU, she worked for Education is Freedom, an organization focused on building college-readiness skills to underprivileged students. Now, education serves as a foundation for her campaign for TX-HD 114. First, Luisa hopes to engage Texas classrooms in financial literacy. Luisa believes students across the state need greater access to financial planning. Second, Luisa wants to implement stronger civics programs in state curriculum. Luisa described Texas as a non-voting state rather than a low-voting state because voter turnout in Texas is the lowest in the United States. Finally, Luisa wants to expand United States and world history courses—the importance resting on the United States’ impact on a global spectrum.
Outside of education, Luisa wants to transform property taxes and healthcare not only for the constituents in District 114 but for all across the state. Specifically, Luisa wants to ensure that property taxes are not so high that homeowners do not feel safe in the ownership of their own properties. Additionally, Luisa wants to ensure that healthcare companies are more transparent and accessible for the people.
Currently, Luisa is preparing for a general election as she is unopposed in her primary race—an incredible accomplishment for a self-proclaimed newcomer to politics. Luisa’s hopes to inspire a new wave of first-time candidates by pushing them to jump in the race. She advises fresh faces to be comfortable with asking questions and reaching out to established community members for guidance. For Luisa, this meant finding a mentor with conservative values like Honorable Linda Koop, a former Dallas City Councilmember and Texas State Representative. Before running for office, Luisa had never connected with Honorable Koop but now considers her a dependable mentor—always willing to lend a hand. Luisa wants to challenge the notion that someone cannot be a candidate unless they have steadfast connection, saying “[i]t’s the courage to say you are interest and find someone to become a champion for you.”
For other women and femmes interested in running for office one day, Luisa says, “It takes a lot of grit. As women, we have it.” Being a candidate requires organization and focus, according to Luisa. Finally, it is most important to remember that candidates are running to serve, not running for themselves—it is okay to ask those around you for help.
To learn more about Luisa’s campaign, visit her website here: https://www.luisafortexas.com/