Josefina’s special relationship has been built through mutual respect, compromise and commitment over the years.
In the midst of a busy Chicago agenda, Josefina Vazquez Mota met with students from the different graduate schools at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. The event was the first of the several that Latin American Matters, a student association at the Harris School of Public Policy, is organizing with the candidates seeking their parties’ nominations for the Mexican presidency.
During the event Josefina talked of her vision to improve Mexico. In order to promote economic growth, she favors developing the internal market while strengthening the rule of law to increase Mexican labor productivity. In education she looks to build a direct relationship with teachers and professors to better their performance and improve the quality of children’s education. As for security, she believes in continuing to rebuild trustworthy police forces and encouraging local governments to ‘clean up’ their troops and assume responsibility. Josefina’s speech was concise as always, and her ability to win over the crowd was notable, as she transmitted an encouraging confidence during her proposal which displayed her chances of becoming the first woman elected to the Mexican Presidency.
The meeting took place at the Instituto del Progreso Latino, where she also held a rally with various immigrant associations after the students’ event. Notwithstanding her performance with the students, what stroke me most was the incredible acceptance she received from the Mexican immigrants living in Chicagoland. There is one especially moving story that illustrates her long lasting commitment towards the Mexican community in the United States–the story of Juan Salgado, the President of the Instituto del Progreso Latino. Today the Instituto is an elite academic facility with a multi-million dollar budget and teaches thousands of children during the morning and hundreds of adults during the evening. It’s a pillar of the Latino community of Illinois.
During its thirty years in existence, the Instituto has contributed to its community through its multitude of programs. However, it was not until this year that the new Instituto building was constructed. The ten year-long journey in the pursuit of the new building was full of obstacles and adversity. Juan recognizes the key role Josefina played in the project. He tells the story of his meetings with Josefina throughout the last couple of years, and remembers how she always encouraged him to keep fighting. She suggested different routes towards achieving the goal. Today, the Instituto’s new building is a reality. Juan believes Josefina’s support is the reason why he and other Mexican leaders in the immigrant community see her as inspiration for what can be, of what can be achieved. And- from what Josefina mentioned in her speech- the respect and admiration is mutual.
Juan Salgado’s story is one of many that illustrates why within the Mexican immigrant community in the United States Josefina holds an edge over the other candidates. Unlike them, she will not be visiting to meet the community and ask their leaders for support. Josefina already has a direct relationship that goes back several years, and it is independent of the political party or its intermediaries. Josefina’s special relationship has been built through mutual respect, compromise and commitment over the years.
Several comments have been made about the lack of impact of the votes of the Mexicans living in the United States, which are expected to be at the most one hundred thousand. Underrating the power of the immigrants’ federations, clubs and networks of support in Mexico is a mistake, and the candidate that wishes to get elected should be on their side. I believe Josefina understands this, to the degree that she declared that if elected to the Mexican Presidency, she will be willing to include in her cabinet a Mexican immigrant. Josefina has earned the heart of the Mexican immigrant community in the United States. Given next year’s scenario, it is expected that her relationship will continue to be ‘very’ special…
Mauricio Mora – MPP Candidate ’13