Patricia Campos Medina is the new president of LUPEPAC, a non-partisan political action committee dedicated to increasing the participation of Latinas in elected office in New Jersey. While Campos is a long-time member of LUPEPAC, she was elected into her leadership role on Friday March 18.
“I have been working together with… some of the founders of LUPE since the early 2000s to address the lack of Latinas,” Campos told PolitickerNJ. “It is just an exciting time that all my colleagues felt it was the right time for me to take on the lead.”
According to Campos, under her leadership, LUPEPAC will continue to strive for more representation of Latinas in politics at the local level and “protect” incumbent Latinas like Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz. Diaz is currently the only serving Latina mayor in New Jersey.
“We need to create a pipeline at the local level so that when opportunities come up at the legislative level we have Latinas who are ready to step up,” Campos said. “Also, we have to be able to raise money. We have had some very successful events in the last three years that have basically improved the ability of LUPEPAC to raise money and fund some of the Latinas who get into competitive races or for those Latinas we have to protect and help them stay in office.”
Campos said that one of the main goals of LUPE under her leadership will be to drive Latina issues into the State House with the election of the next governor in 2017.
“Our goal is, by the next gubernatorial campaign, that the issue of Latina women and our concerns will be a priority for whoever is running for Governor next year,” Campos said.
Additionally, Campos said that the group’s priorities are to continue “identifying and training” those who might run for office at the local level for offices like city council, freeholder or schoolboard and working with compatible organizations to embolden women to run for politics.
“We want to work with other likeminded organizations that are doing the work to empower women in elected office,” Campos said. “Organizations like the Women’s Political Caucus, Emerge that is doing training. We do a lot of training through the center of American Women and Politics. We need to continue building coalitions that give us resources to train more Latinas.”
In addition to Campos taking on her new role, LUPEPAC also announced three new board members including Analilia Mejia, the state director of Working Families.