To make an outright understatement: It ain’t easy being in politics if you’re a gal.
It can’t be. The dearth of women in politics is obvious and it is an arena in which we cannot afford to be absent. I was lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time when I met Tina Torres in San Antonio at the rally after the march for International Women’s Day on March 3rd, 2012. She’s running for State House Representative District 117 in San Antonio, TX. Check out her website: www.votetinatorres.com.
The Texas House of Representatives has 150 members, each elected for a two-year term. The primary election takes place on April 3, 2012 and the general election takes place on November 6, 2012.
This was an impromptu interview there at the rally. First I want to give her props for being at the rally. I don’t even live in San Antonio and her presence showed me two things very clearly, 1. she cares about women and 2. she cares about her community.
We need women who care about women in politics. We need women like Tina Torres to stand up and fight for women and families. It can’t be easy to be a woman in politics for more reasons than I have time for in this post, but she’s there and she was at the rally showing women she cares about women. Talking with her was not at all like talking to a politician. She was genuine, sincere, and really nice. I’ve met quite a few politicians over the years and some are super phony, talking with them is like chewing on plastic. Tina Torres isn’t like that, she’s real.
Here’s an interview with Tina Torres, out in the park sun surrounded by tons of awesome San Antonians. I only regret I somehow forgot to take a picture when I was there talking with her. Anyway… sit back, listen, reflect, and consider how more women can be involved in politics. And if you live in San Antonio’s district 117, or know someone who does, Vote For Tina.
Liza Wolff-Francis: So, Tina Torres, if you can tell me just a little bit about what you’re running for, your political stance on stuff and about your campaign.
Tina Torres: I am running for State House Representative District 117 here in San Antonio. That is currently occupied by John Garza, a Tea Partier who snuck in during 2010 during that Republican wave. I am a native San Antonian. Both of my parents were always involved in the community and actually my Dad was very involved back in the 60’s. He beat the GGL establishment and he was known as a “voice of the people.” So I grew up in a family and in a household that really promoted the power of the people and speaking out. I’m a practicing attorney. I’ve been practicing here for fifteen years. I do a lot of consumer litigation where I help individuals in small businesses against big corporations and insurance interests and I also do a lot of family law and I work with children and families.
Liza: And you’re one of not that many women politicians in the country, how do you negotiate that?
Tina Torres: Which is probably why we’re at where we’re at, because I think if we had women lawmakers in positions of power, we would not be fighting over things like birth control. I think that if you look at stats, when we do have women lawmakers, we concentrate on things like family, children, education and I think women lawmakers also tend to be more collaborative. It’s hard for women to get into the mix. First of all, we have to take care of our families and that’s always our first priority, but secondly, once we get into the mix, we get pushed back from the male dominated- the status quo, the people that are in positions of power don’t necessarily want to welcome us to join the mix. You know we haven’t elected a woman legislator here in San Antonio, I think for fourteen years.
Tina Torres: And it was very exciting that I got asked by a number of local interested individuals, as well as some progressive groups that focus on social justice and women’s and children’s issues. But even though I got asked to step up, it took me a lot of consideration and after that, there’s still push back. The male dominated positions of power aren’t saying, Oh, that’s great you’re qualified, they’re just pushing back. But that’s okay because we fight harder and we’re just doing what we need to do to get out the word, and hopefully to women especially.
Liza: That’s great! And do you have any words that you would like to say to women voters or to voters in general about why it’s important that women are in politics? And just about your campaign in general?
Tina Torres: Well, definitely it’s important that women are in politics because if we don’t have a place at the table, then we’re not going to have policies that are favorable for women and children, and families. That’s what our campaign is all about. The reason, the biggest reason that I stepped up is because of the horrible public education funding cuts, 5.4 billion. This area of town is very diverse, but it includes some of the hardest hit areas and the only way that we can really level the playing field is with education. So if we don’t have people in positions of power that want to help level that playing field, I just don’t know what they expect. It’s almost like instead of a win-win, they’re putting people into a very very difficult position. So I think that people need to definitely come out to vote. I think that 2010 was a horrible year and we saw the ramifications. And hopefully everybody realizes how important it is to elect individuals that lift you up and not push you down.
Liza: Great. Thank you!
Women in Politics are so needed! Thank you Tina Torres and to all women in politics who support women- Keep up the fight for us! Again, Tina’s website: is www.votetinatorres.com.
Article and Interview by: Liza Wolff-Francis