"The Hill" Names Juana Matias A 2018 Latina Leader To Watch
Jul 05, 2018 06:28AM
● Published by Theresa Gilman
“It’s critical that our diverse communities have a seat at the table and that Americans of all backgrounds are represented,” said Rep. Matias. “Growing up, I didn’t know if public service was for me because I saw very few public servants who looked like me. I’m proud to be a Latina leader and I hope that young Latina girls like I once was look at my example and know that they can do anything they aspire to. It’s inspiring to be part of a sisterhood of Latinas running across our country to ensure that our voices are heard and the needs of our communities are addressed.”
The Hill highlights Juana’s immigrant story and her work in the State House as the lead on the Safe Communities Act
, a bill that would prohibit local law enforcement from inquiring about individuals’ immigration status. Rep. Matias led the effort to bring law enforcement to the table, resulting in a groundbreaking agreement between Massachusetts’ police leaders and the immigrant rights community.
Rep. Juana Matias has dedicated her career to serving the communities of the Third District – as a caseworker, a legal advocate, and, currently, a state representative. The Matias family settled in Haverhill when Juana was five. Juana’s parents spent nearly 20 years working blue-collar factory jobs, often at minimum wages, to provide for Juana and her three brothers. They would eventually save enough to start a small family business and achieve their American Dream. Juana attended Haverhill’s public schools and worked her way through UMass-Boston and Suffolk Law School. If elected, she would be New England’s first Latina member of Congress.
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