AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez is one of the top candidates running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in Texas. Tzintzún Ramirez is the founder of Jolt, a Latino civic advocacy organization, and she sat down with State of Texas host Josh Hinkle to talk about her campaign.
Tzintzún Ramirez said she was asked to run for U.S. Senate by the people who ran Beto O’Rourke’s campaign. She said it took them two months to convince her to run. She was reluctant because she has a two-year-old son at home.
“Look, it’s not the right personal time for me but it’s the right time in our states history for a woman, for a Latina to run, someone like me that’s the daughter of a Mexican immigrant,” Tzintzún Ramirez said.
Tzintzún Ramirez has worked with and led voting and civil rights organizations in Texas. She said the people of Texas want somebody who’s a fighter and understands what they go through.
“I know how to make real change and solve people’s real life problems,” Tzintzún Ramirez said. “I know that in Texas we work hard. But you sure wouldn’t know it by looking inside our pocketbooks, and that’s what I want to change.”
In 2018, Tzintzún Ramirez helped lead an initiative through the Texas Youth Power Alliance that registered one in five Texas voters in 2018. She said they saw a 500% increase in the youth vote, and a 250% increase in the Latino vote.
Jolt was founded the week after the November 2016 election when Tzintzún Ramirez was six months pregnant. The organization mobilizes young Latino voters, and Tzintzún Ramirez said making sure young people’s voices are heard makes her proud.
“I know real democracy will be a threat to people in power,” Tzintzún Ramirez said. “We are going to get more young people, more people of color out to vote, more lowing come people, and that’s how we build a democracy, an economy and a country for everyone.”
When it comes to gun control, Tzintzún Ramirez said she was the best shot in her family growing up and supports protecting the second amendment, but she said she also supports mandatory gun buybacks.
“I’ve been waiting my entire adult life to see Congress do very basic things like pass universal background checks, banning assault style weapons and instead we’ve been teaching a generation of young people to play dead in their classrooms,” Tzintzún Ramirez said.
There are nearly 120,000 Texans who are affected by DACA. DACA goes before the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Tzintzún Ramirez said despite the outcome, she believes work needs to continue need to protect the rights of dreamers and to get comprehensive immigration reform “for the millions of people who have long worked and contributed here, especially in Texas, to our state’s economy.”
Another one of her key issues is health care. Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the country with one in six Texans not having healthcare. Tzintzún Ramirez supports Medicare for all for that reason.
“In the richest nation in the world, I think every person should be able to go to the doctor when they’re sick and have the highest quality healthcare when they need it,” Tzintzún Ramirez said.
The 2020 U.S. senate race is a year away, but the Texas Primary happens in less than four months. Tzintzún Ramirez is in a crowded Democratic field. She believes she’s the one who can unseat incumbent John Cornyn.
“John Cornyn does not represent the Texas of today,” Tzintzún Ramirez said. “He represents the Texas of the past. We need someone who’s willing to fight for working families and middle-class families. I am that candidate.”