Jody Casey: Why I’m Backing Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez for Senate
I first met Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez in early 2018, in the midst of Beto O’Rourke’s historic campaign to defeat Ted Cruz for the U.S. Senate seat in Texas. While I was serving as campaign manager for Beto for Texas, Cristina was the Executive Director of Jolt, an organization she co-founded to engage and empower young Latinx voters. I was immediately struck by her passion and her commitment to grassroots organizing. Cristina was direct, she was honest, and she was willing to roll up her sleeves and do the hard work it takes to connect with people. She first approached our campaign with several critiques, but as I worked with her she became a confidant and collaborator. The more I got to know Cristina, the more I liked her. She committed to volunteering to help our campaign and had a meaningful impact on our outreach within communities of color. Fast forward to today, and Cristina, a true activist, organizer, and grassroots leader, is now the one running for U.S. Senate to defeat John Cornyn — and I am proud to be endorsing her.
I have first-hand knowledge of Cristina’s capabilities, and know she has what it takes to win against Cornyn and give us better representation in the Senate. Cristina is visionary, yet tactical. Strategic, yet sensible. She has a rich history of activism and getting results for working Texans. She was still in college when she founded the Workers Defense Project, an organization that advocated for workers in construction and other low-wage industries to have safe working conditions and fair wages. John Cornyn, meanwhile, has taken over $2 million in donations from construction lobbyists. At Jolt, she spent the past few years listening to and empowering young Latinos in our state, while John Cornyn was supporting using emergency funds for a border wall. And as the primary caregiver of her son, she knows what it takes to raise and support a family in Texas. Cornyn, on the other hand, has made life harder for working Texans, voting against equal pay for women, voting against an increase to the minimum wage, which in Texas hasn’t changed in almost 10 years, and failing to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. Cristina will deliver results for Texans.
I am confident Cristina can mobilize a grassroots coalition against Cornyn. Her organization, Jolt, registered and turned out Latino voters across the state, helping to give Texas record turnout. In 2018, Texans from all over the state came together, and it was through all of this collective work that we made Texas a battleground state, shrinking the gap between Texas Democrats and Republicans from nine percentage points to less than three. I know that many of the staff, volunteers, and other people energized in 2018 are hungry to get involved again. I certainly am. I believe that Cristina’s incredible work ethic and community-focused approach will inspire and activate Texans, and will be the key to defeating John Cornyn in 2020.
I am supporting Cristina not just because I think she can win, but because we share the same values. As someone who advocates for common sense gun reform, I have been impressed by Cristina repeatedly calling for action on gun safety, including supporting the March for Our Lives Peace Plan. I live on the border, in El Paso, a community attacked by someone driven by hatred of immigrants, and I believe Cristina’s work with immigrant workers, young Latinos, and her own background as the daughter of immigrants, give her the best perspective to drive our immigration policy away from hate and toward our values. With Cristina as our Senator, we will have true representation, which is why I am going to do all I can to help her. I ask everyone, whether you just started organizing or you have been doing it for years: join us. If we come together, we can once again show the country what Texas can do.
Jody Casey is the former campaign manager for the Beto for Texas Senate campaign. While she is no longer a political operative, she continues to organize and fight the good fight for causes and candidates she believes in. She lives in El Paso, Texas.