Women in Leadership Series: Norma Torres

Norma Torres

Could a woman whose parents sent her from Guatemala “on vacation”, become a U.S. Congresswoman?

It is quite possible with Norma Torres. Earlier this year, the current California State Senator announced her intention to run for the congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod.

As detailed in a recent Huffington Post article

“More than four decades ago in Guatemala, Torres’ parents told her she was going to the United States on a vacation. They declined to tell her she would not be coming back. Torres received a temporary visa and lived with her uncle in Whittier, California. She overstayed that visa, but her family helped her obtain legal residency while she was in her teens. She became an American citizen in the months leading up to the 1992 presidential election.”

Now 49, Torres is the favorite in a race between two Democratic candidates to represent a Los Angeles-area district in the House.

“In many ways, I see the decision these children have made … like the decision my parents made for me,” Torres is quoted as saying. “They wanted an opportunity for me to grow up and be a successful person.”

I think all can agree she has made good on her parents sacrifice. In addition to her support of humanitarian protects for the children who cross our borders seeking asylum, Torres also has a history of providing aid to the people of her community. In fact, she has served as a 9-1-1 emergency dispatcher, a City Councilmember, Mayor of the city of Pomona, California, Member of the State Assembly District 61 and District 52, and now as a California State Senator. Her campaign has been built around her record of representing the Pomona Valley and Inland Empire.

Promoted on her campaign website as accomplishments are:

– Working to secure billions in federal funding to helping families avoid foreclosure
– Fighting for better jobs for the Inland Empire
– Forcing state agencies to do a better job in enrolling our families for low cost health care

Congressional promises include:

– Fighting for better jobs, to protect families from the fallout from the housing crisis
– Improving local transportation infrastructure
– Protecting Medicare and Social Security, and
– Helping the Ontario Airport regain its footing as a hub of regional economic activity

What do you think of Norma Torres? A quick Google search will reveal more about her record.

If she were representing your state, would you vote for her? Why or why not?

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