¡Juntos Se Puede!: Beto and Huerta hold tejano focussed event in San Antonio

Malaki Lingg, Assistant Web and Social Editor

On Sept. 18, Activist Dolores Huerta and gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) made their final stop on their ‘¡Juntos Se Puede!’ (Together we can!) tour in San Antonio at the Venue Villita in the historic district in downtown, La Villita. The tour was organized with Tejano culture and civil rights in mind, featuring speakers such as Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro, Cristela Alonzo and Huerta herself. In their presentations, the speakers highlighted their personal experiences with the pressing issues that impact Texans, aiming to inspire and empower Hispanic voters.

Alonzo, an activist and comedian, spoke out about the attitude Republicans have towards Latino immigrants and women like her. Alonzo discussed how those in power like Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) fear the voting power marginalized groups hold within the state of Texas. 

“I represent what people think are the problem[s], see I am a Latina woman who speaks Spanish,” Alonzo said. “And guess what? I know my rights, and boy do they hate when they know your rights.”

The next speaker, Castro, gave his thoughts on the safety of Texans if Abbott is reelected. 

“Reelecting Greg Abbott is dangerous to the safety of Texans,” Castro said. “When a governor cannot keep the lights on or the heat on in a snow storm, he is hazardous to your health. When a governor can watch people die in Sutherland Springs and 23 people who had gone shopping at Walmart in El Paso, and [make] it easier, not harder for dangerous people to get dangerous weapons in their hands, he is hazardous to your health.” 

Next, Dolores Huerta came on stage. Huerta discussed the issues women are facing throughout the country following the overturning of Roe V. Wade and after the “extreme” abortion ban was implemented by Abbott.

“I am the mother of 11 children, my daughter, Anita … So I respect my daughter’s choice [to not have children], and she respects mine,” Huerta said. “So this is what we have to say to the Governor — women, we have a human right to decide how many children we’re going to have or not.” 

The last speaker to take the stage was O’Rourke, who began by recounting the winter storm that affected Texas in Feb. 2021. 

“The lights stopped working, the heat wouldn’t run, the water stopped flowing because it was frozen in the pipes in your house, which soon burst and flooded your home … mold was racing up your walls and onto the ceiling, more than 10 billion dollars of damage done to the people of Texas,” O’Rourke said. 

He then discussed the mass shootings that have taken place in Texas over the past few years and his plan to curb them going forward. 

“The leading cause of death for children and teenagers in the state of Texas today is gun violence. It is mass shootings, and it’s those shootings that take place each and every day in your communities,” O’Rourke said. “16 weeks, and not a thing has changed, for my kids or yours to make it less likely that they will meet the same fate as those in Uvalde, those at Santa Fe High School, where he promised after that shooting in ’18 that he would do something, after 23 [were] killed in El Paso, eight murdered in Midland-Odessa the next month. This is on all of us until we do something about it.” 

“When we win, we bring Republicans and Democrats to the table; we raise the age of purchase of an AR-15 to 21, at a minimum; we have a red flag law so we can intervene before it’s too late, and a universal background check on every gun purchase in the state of Texas,” O’Rourke said. 

He ended with a hopeful message for the future of Texas politics. 

“Solutions [are] born of our experiences, listening to Republicans and Independents and Democrats alike coming to the table with solutions,” O’Rourke said.