Gina Ortiz Jones: Her mission to create opportunity and change
Updated: Jan 21, 2021
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.
Exhibiting dedication and a strong work ethic, Jones was involved in high school student council, graduated at the top of her class, and received a four-year scholarship for ROTC. She attended Boston University and served as an intelligence officer in the United States Air Force during the Iraq War. She has been a public servant for 14 years, reaching the rank of captain, advising operations in Africa and Latin America, and supporting operations for the intelligence cell for the Bolivia Crisis. To add to her impressive resume, she ran for the House of Representatives last year and is now running for the 23rd Congressional District, where she would be the first female to hold the seat.
Jones upheld and continues to uphold her promise to create opportunities and resources for Americans. She entered the political arena with no connection to financial resources and has committed to reform finance policies for candidates. She is aware of the influence money has in politics, along with the corruption it can cause - especially regarding gun control: “there’s a certain number of life experiences that are absent from our political representation because of the role of money in politics.” Jones believes that policies should reflect the challenges and needs of the country, and wants to use her past experiences to change the leadership landscape.
The biggest issue facing Jones’ community is access to healthcare. Additionally, the quality of healthcare is based on availability, meaning an already underserved population has lower quality medical care. Jones believes that investing in the infrastructure to close the economic gap between urban and rural areas will benefit the entire community. Creating an incentive for young people to consider careers in rural healthcare will help address this concern.
Jones has overcome many obstacles to accomplish her goals, but her core values come from the strong support system within her family. She has exuded dedication in her public service roles, bravery to serve under the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy, and perspective that has allowed her to propel change. Jones believes that people are going to remember you for what you did, how you upheld yourself, and your service to others. What is her key to success? “Be kind, work hard, and lastly, you have to be so good that people cannot ignore you.”