Claudia Ordaz Perez: Empowered women empower women
Claudia Ordaz Perez believes in the power of women in politics. She currently serves in the 76th District of the Texas House of Representatives. Prior to this role, Claudia served on El Paso’s City Council as the youngest elected official to date. Claudia believes that women have the opportunity to sit at the table where laws and policies affecting the community are being made. Today, she works with an all-female staff and ensures that women receive the opportunities to excel. After all, empowered women empower women.
Claudia was born and raised in El Paso, a border city located on the West-most tip of Texas. Growing up, service was a driving force in Claudia’s family. Each member served their community in different ways. While she attended the University of Texas at El Paso, she served different community organizations such as Ni Uno Más, a partnership program with El Paso court systems that combined civic engagement and domestic violence prevention. She also served as the President of the UTEP Democrats, an experience that jump-started her interest in advocating for gender parity. Fast forward to 2021. Claudia is now part of one of the most important legislative sessions.
When speaking about her first role models, Claudia fondly remembers looking up to many hardworking women. Specifically, Claudia named her mother, her former undergraduate professor Dr. Irasema Coronado, and her high school teacher Terri Flickinger (fun fact: Terri would become Claudia’s first campaign treasurer). She hopes to one day be there for other women like these women have been there for her. In an effort to uplift other young women of color in politics, Claudia works with the Texas House Democratic Women’s Caucus, a statewide caucus of elected officials working to ensure gender equity for women.
In her capacity as a state representative, Claudia has become a strong advocate for reform on a variety of issues. Some of the issues she is most passionate about includes gun safety reform, COVID-19 relief for small businesses, paid parental leave, and gender parity. Claudia is aware that her community is hurting, especially in the face of a global pandemic. She does not take any of these issues lightly and works to solve these issues.
Balancing work and lifestyle priorities while running for office was difficult for Claudia, especially because her husband is also an elected official. Even in the face of this difficulty, she’s grateful to have a partner who has gone through the same situation and understands what it takes to be in this type of role.
Claudia advises other women with political aspirations to “do it.” Many women are overqualified for an elected role but think that they are not qualified enough. She encourages anyone who wants to enter the political field to have faith. Claudia believes that it’s different when we have women at the table, and for good reasons: women have all of the qualities and traits we would want in an elected official. “It is challenging but also gratifying,” she said.