Miheala Plesa: Power in representing a community
Mihaela Plesa is currently running as the Democratic Candidate for the Texas House of Representatives in District 70, which covers portions of Collin County. She was born and raised in the North Texas region, attending schools in the Plano and Carrolton school districts.
Plesa says she has always been interested in the world of politics because she grew up in an inherently political household. Growing up the daughter and granddaughter of immigrants, Plesa was surrounded by a diverse community growing up, interested in issues such as women’s rights, the war in Iraq, civil justice causes, and more. Plesa saw how her parents’ strong international roots connected and conflicted with their pursuance of the American dream growing up and this pulled her to pursue a career in politics.
Given this, it is no surprise that Plesa sees her mother as a role model in her life, due to the ways in which her mother’s hard work and dedication provided her with a secure and loving upbringing. Plesa considers her mother the embodiment of the American dream and admires the ways in which her mother has always been there for her. Plesa also mentions Former Governor of Texas Ann Richards as a role model for her in the world of politics, due to Richards’ ability to connect with the members of her community. To Plesa, people being seen by their leaders is missing in the current world of politics, and she believes Richard allowed people to do so in a way that made her an effective representative for her community.
In 2017, Plesa worked as a legislative intern in Austin. After the session ended, she returned to Dallas with a continued interest and passion for politics. She began running communications for Representative Rhetta Bowers’ team during Bowers’ 2018 House District 113 campaign. This was a historic year for Democratic representation in the Texas legislature, due to the 12 house seats being flipped in favor of Democratic representation. The experience Plesa gained while working on this campaign has helped her in her own race because she is facing some of the same obstacles that Bowers did in her race. Like Bowers, Plesa is going up against a well-funded establishment in Texas, and so all of the lessons she learned working on the grassroots Bowers campaign has helped Plesa to be an aggressive and effective campaigner in her own race.
Plesa’s desire to serve her community through working in politics was the result of an honest feeling. With redistricting, Plesa’s home was redistricted and she truly felt the weight of the opportunity she had. With the creation of the new district her home was redistricted into, Plesa saw that she had the opportunity to be a new voice in Austin, which meant she could serve as a voice for the people of not just her district, but the state as a whole. Part of the reason that Plesa believes she can be a strong voice for the members of her community is that she truly understands the importance of the word representative; without focusing on the voices and opinions of the community she will serve, she cannot truly raise awareness for and advocate for her community in a way that represents their belief systems.
When asked what she believes to be the biggest issues facing her community, Plesa focuses on access to healthcare and school safety. She believes that a lack of access to abortion and healthcare services is dangerous and does not serve her community well, especially in a county as fast growing as Collin County is. In terms of the school systems, Plesa places a high priority on making sure that the school districts in her community are not just the best in education, but also in school safety. She sees the decreasing investment in public schools as a disservice to the students who attend those schools and is worried that a continued lack of investment could cause these school districts to limit the education that students could otherwise receive.
Plesa is extremely grateful to be the democratic candidate for this district and sees it as one of many milestones in her career so far. She is moved that she is able to take this moment, that being the creation of a new district, and turn it into a movement. Plesa reiterates that there is so much opportunity to be had with the creation of House District 70, as it is a fantastic opportunity to send a new voice to Austin, to fight for the beliefs of that community. It is evident that Plesa is more than up to the challenge of doing so, as seen by the passion that she has for her community and her inherent drive for the world of politics.