At Walker’s Legacy September is all about celebrating and highlighting elected and political women of color: Politichics. Read below on the amazing women throughout the nation who are changing the game one policy and community at a time.
WHY SHE’S WALKER’S LEGACY: Snowden is the first Deputy Mayor of Greater Economic Opportunity to be appointed in Washington, DC. Since her appointment she has been working to improve conditions east of the river where unemployment and poverty are much higher. She also serves as a shining example in the LGBT community and is endorsed by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.
Clarissa Martinez De-Castro, National Council of La Raza
WHY SHE’S WALKER’S LEGACY: Clarissa Martínez De Castro is the Director of Immigration and National Campaigns at the National Council of La Raza, the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States. She has a master’s degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in diplomacy and world affairs from Occidental College.
WHY SHE’S WALKER’S LEGACY: Before thirty Brown has become one of the youngest Executive Director’s in the history of the National Women’s Business Council working to advance the agenda of women entrepreneurs alongside powerhouse women such as Carla Harris, Wall St vet and NWBC Chair.
WHY SHE’S WALKER’S LEGACY: At an early age Erica Renee Thomas answered her life’s calling: to be of service to others. Her motivation began at the age of 15 when Erica was placed into the foster care system. In 2006, while attending Oakwood University she developed an interest in political science. She shares her life lessons through mentoring young girls in her community through her organization “Speak Out Loud.” Last year she was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives representing District 39 to represent Cobb County.
WHY SHE’S WALKER’S LEGACY: Alejandra came to Washington in 1996 to accept a prestigious Public Policy Fellowship and opportunity to work on Capitol Hill with Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard and at the National Council of La Raza. From there, she went on to occupy a variety of notable and prestigious roles, such as, program examiner for the White House Office of Management and Budget and as senior budget and appropriations advisor at the House Education and Labor Committee. In 2013 she was appointed to serve President Barack Obama and the U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as the Executive Director of the White House Initiatives on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. In this role, Alejandra works closely with the President’s Advisory Commission and others to increase the educational attainment and life outcomes of Hispanics across the nation.
Alejandra Castillo, Executive Director of the Minority Business Development Agency, United States Government
WHY SHE’S WALKER’S LEGACY: Alejandra Y. Castillo was appointed to serve as the National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) in 2014, by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. Ms. Castillo is the first Hispanic-American woman to lead the Agency since its creation. In this capacity, she directs the Agency’s strategic efforts to enhance the growth and global competitiveness of minority business enterprises (MBEs). Under Ms. Castillo’s leadership, the Agency has expanded its effort to help MBEs grow and succeed through access to capital, access to contracts and access to business opportunities both domestically and abroad.
Symone Sanders, Press Secretary of Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders
WHY SHE’S WALKER’S LEGACY:Sanders is a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement and a young black political justice advocate who recently took office as the press secretary for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (no relation). At just 25 she is a National Chair of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice and previously served as a communications officer for the Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.
WHY SHE’S WALKER’S LEGACY: Mary Gonzales is one of the more progressive Hispanic leaders, who won her seat after openly declaring herself gay and “pansexual.” She serves on the County Affairs and Agriculture and Livestock Committees in the Texas House. In her first legislative session, she authored numerous bills that sought to improve schools, increase economic development, and support agriculture in House District 75. She’s pursuing a Ph.D. in Education and hopes to use her skills in education and community activism to make changes in the Hispanic community.
WHY SHE’S WALKER’S LEGACY: Mayor Freeman- Wilson became the first woman to lead the steel city and the first African-American female mayor in the State of Indiana. Freeman-Wilson has also demonstrated public service and leadership in state government. During her tenure as Indiana Attorney General, she was one of the first Attorney Generals in the country to combat gas price gouging and to ensure that tobacco settlement dollars were directed towards smoking cessation and health care.
Aja Brown, Mayor of Compton, Ca
WHY SHE’S WALKER’S LEGACY: To date Brown is the youngest mayor ever elected in the United States. She won by a landslide defeating both previous Mayors Eric Perrodin and Omar Bradley. Before taking her post as mayor in 2013, she earned her Bachelor’s in Public Policy and Urban Planning and Development followed by her Masters in Economic Development which prepared her to take charge of her community and make changes like lowering the crime rate by 25 percent, decreasing unemployment, and bringing commercial retail locations to the City of Compton.