Jasmin Flores: Showing up
Jasmin Flores is the Vice Chair of the Dallas County Democratic Party, and the first Latina in DCDP leadership. A lifelong Dallas metroplex resident since she was 7 years old, Jasmin was born to immigrant parents from El Salvador and carries her family’s values and heritage to guide her work in politics today. She is a dedicated public servant committed to increasing voter participation and civic engagement in the larger Dallas area. Jasmin’s interest and passion for political engagement began at home.
Originally born in Phoenix, Arizona, Jasmin spent her summers and her first few formative years with her family in El Salvador. Her twin uncles in El Salvador served as two of her first political role models. With careers in social work driven by the importance of service, Jasmin’s uncles instilled in her the value of community and personal integrity. Growing up during part of the Salvadoran Civil War, Jasmin’s first introduction to politics was the political turmoil during the 80s and 90s in El Salvador. From a young age, she witnessed “people organizing and activating, and trying to impact for more positive change in their communities.” Jasmin’s passion for community engagement and local change began here. She took her family’s lessons with her to her childhood and adolescence in Dallas, Texas.
As a child of immigrants, Jasmin understands voting and political engagement as both a privilege and a responsibility to her community. By the time she turned eighteen, she cast her first vote and told her family, “I’m voting for us.” She carried her interest in politics into college, where Jasmin became involved with LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) and served on the young adult council board to fight for policy issues like the DREAM Act and immigration reform. Community and fighting for justice remain two of Jasmin’s core values.
After college, she remained politically active as she built her corporate career in marketing technology. In 2019, she reconnected with a few organizer friends to create the nonprofit organization Somos Tejas. She set out with the mission to encourage civic engagement for Latino voters, driving her campaign around the idea that “community was our candidate.” During the pandemic, the team worked on a volunteer basis to hand out COVID resources to community members, while educating them on important issues, supporting them with census responses, and registering citizens to vote. According to Jasmin, “Everybody that took part in founding that organization has a heart for wanting to make a positive impact here in our community.”
Jasmin remains active within her community to engage potential voters and reach those affected by apathy to the system. She works to provide voters with information to become educated on issues affecting their community, distributing resources on political candidates in both English and Spanish. Jasmin aims to humanize the political process and reach voters on a personal level through strategic field and digital organizing. She maintains the importance of “boots on the ground, knocking on doors, meeting voters where they are, and having real conversations.” Through her efforts, she and her team were able to get voter turnout up by 200+% in key targeted precincts around the Dallas area.
Through her experience with Somos Tejas, and work supporting various electoral and issue based campaigns, Jasmin was connected with other political actors in the community and eventually came to her current role as Vice Chair for the Dallas County Democrats. As Vice Chair, her main objective remains to increase voter participation in Dallas County. Jasmin works to build infrastructure within the Democratic Party to outreach to voters and build relationships with voters, allied organizations and elected officials. In particular, she aims to reach those voters (particularly young adults) who remain apathetic to the political system. Jasmin describes how, for a lot of members of their community, “... they feel that elections don't matter, ‘my vote doesn’t matter.’ But if all of us act on that feeling, if we don’t show up, we will continue to have the same struggles and nothing is going to change.” To Jasmin, engagement is the first step to positive community-oriented change.
For other women and Latinx people searching to become active in politics, Jasmin offers her advice. “My main advice would be to keep showing up. Some days are easier than others. But try to stay yourself, be authentically you and remember your why – why is it you got involved, why do you care about this specific issue. That has been my moral compass.”
For Jasmin, her mother remains her why. Despite being a single immigrant mother, Jasmin’s mother worked tirelessly to ensure Jasmin and her brother the opportunity to thrive in the United States. Jasmin affirms, “Her and my uncles instilled in me how important it was not just to think about myself, but the community. There are others out there who have much harder struggles than us… there is always something better to strive for.” Fueled by the strength of her family roots and her values, Jasmin’s story inspires us to find ways to become involved in our communities and to keep showing up.