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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Necessary to fight for the rights of women, our daughters and granddaughters: Connie Guerrero

Connie Guerrero
Listen to Constanza Mazzotti's voice note

Connie Guerrero is president of the Women's Voting League of San Mateo since 2021, her work is to promote the participation of the vote of this sector, as well as of the youth, as she affirms that it is necessary to fight for the rights of women, of our daughters and granddaughters.

A woman, mother, grandmother and tireless worker for democratic rights, Connie sees voting as a way to combat government rollbacks, such as the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to eliminate the constitutional right to abortion after almost 50 years, which is an attack on women's rights over their bodies. 

Guerrero mentioned during the program Portraits of the Bay Area of Peninsula 360 Press, that participation in voting by citizens is fundamental in all sectors of the population, but it is even more important when it comes to voting by women and young people because they are the ones who make daily decisions and, in addition, "they are our future".

Coming from a large family, Connie Guerrero stresses the importance of transmitting the teachings she promotes within organizations such as the Women's Voting League to her offspring, as she does with her granddaughters and great-granddaughters whom she teaches to fight for their rights and dreams.

"Women make decisions every day and are important for the future of their families and children. In addition to caring for their families, women are most interested in financing housing and, above all, in being able to financially support the care of their children. Young people are interested in the environment, and in having access to a good education in order to have a good job in the future," she said.

One of the missions she has as president of the Women's Vote League is to promote, through forums, the different candidates, as well as their political proposals so that people can get closer to them and know in depth the actions that each one will take when they assume their position or not. All this, says the activist, with a neutral diffusion so that voters can make the best decision.

However, in the context of the Latino community, voting participation is very low, which is why she, along with different organizations such as Casa Círculo Cultural, Nuestra Casa and Clubes Demócratas, are working hard to get people to go out and exercise their right to vote.

The elections on November 8 are important because, although they do not have the weight of a presidential election, every vote counts because, he says, "it is not fair that a small percentage decides the future of an entire community on fundamental issues such as housing or transportation".

"In Redwood City County, you see that, out of a population of about 80,000 residents, maybe half are registered to vote, but the reality is that maybe only 25 percent of the voters are the ones who exercise their vote. That's the frustrating thing about Redwood City, because very few people get out to vote," he said.

In that sense, he pointed out that, in the city, his job was to increase the vote during the elections because very few were registered. "Twenty-five percent of the people out of those 80 thousand, were making the decisions for the rest of the city. How is that possible? It's not fair. The idea is to empower voters."

While it is true that the Latino community has impediments to vote due to lack of citizenship, there are many who can vote, but are not registered. 

Thus, organizations such as the League of Women Voters are working to educate the population and encourage them to participate in many ways. Those who cannot vote, can support and volunteer to register people outside supermarkets, make phone calls informing the population of their right to vote, or simply make voters aware of their options so they can make a conscious decision.

Last June 24, says Connie, when the U.S. Supreme Court decided to overturn abortion rights, "it was a very hard day for all of us, very hard to believe that we are going backwards instead of improving the situation for women. It was something we decided to protest. It was very frustrating. We marched through the streets to the capitol in Denver. We need to keep fighting for the rights of women and our daughters and granddaughters. No man should tell us what to do or not to do with our bodies and whether or not to have an abortion.

With more than 15 years of activismGuerrero is a recipient of the San Mateo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's "Diversity Award" in 2011 and currently serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations including: Casa Circulo Cultural, Redwood City Education Foundation (RCEF), Mexico Vivo, Police Activities League for Youth (PAL), Latino Community Council of Redwood City (LCCRC) and the Sequoia Hospital Community Board.

Don't miss "Portraits of the Bay Area" with Constanza Mazzotti, where every Thursday a personality that makes a difference in the community is interviewed. The appointment is every Thursday at 5:30 pm.

You may be interested in: "Photojournalism is not for everyone, you have to be cold-blooded": Ray Chávez


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