Written by Kelly Dittmar, Center for American Women and Politics
Latinas are serving in record numbers across levels of elective office, but we are still vastly underrepresented when compared to our numbers in the population.
One woman serves in President Joe Biden’s 25-member cabinet. Isabel Guzman serves as the administrator of the Small Business Administration. Prior to her appointment, Guzman served as director of Office of the Small Business Advocate for the state of California (2019-2021). She previously served as deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to the administrator of the Small Business Administration under President Obama (2014-2017).Guzman is the fourth Latina to serve as administrator to the Small Business Administration since 1997; others include Aida Álvarez (1997-2001), Maria Contreras Sweet (2014-2017), and Jovita Carranza (2020-2021). In addition to these four Latinas, Hilda Solis served as secretary of labor from 2009 to 2013 under President Barack Obama. No Latinas have been major-party candidates for president or vice president, leaving the nation’s top offices a site without Latina representation. However, Latinas have run as third-party candidates, including Rosa Clemente who was the first Afro/Black-Latina to run for vice president on the Green Party ticket in 2008.
Latinas have made notable gains in both U.S. population and political representation over the past decade. Still, Latinas remain significantly underrepresented at all levels of office. The 2022 election provides an immediate opportunity for increasing Latina representation across levels of office, but the work of Latina political empowerment must continue beyond a single election cycle. Our organizations and others like ours will continue to grow Latina political power and we invite others to join us in:
To learn more and to join in these efforts, visit Latinas Represent and the Center for American Women and Politics, follow us on social media, and sign up for our newsletters.