Deb Halaand is on track to be the first Native American woman to serve in Congress after her Democratic primary win in New Mexico earlier this month!
Deb grew up in a military family and moved frequently throughout her youth. Her mom served in the Navy and her father was a Marine for three decades. He was awarded the Silver Star Medal during the Vietnam War for saving the lives of fellow Marines, and he is now buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Deb graduated from the University of New Mexico with both a bachelor’s degree and a J.D.
She is a member of the Pueblo of Laguna, a federally recognized tribe of Native American Pueblo people in west-central New Mexico. Deb has been active in tribal administration and protection, and advocated for earth-friendly business practices for the Laguna Development Corporation. She led the divestment from Wells Fargo by the Democratic Party of New Mexico as a result of their investments in for-profit immigration detention centers and in the Dakota Access Pipeline. She traveled to the Dakotas to stand with the people of Standing Rock to protest to pipeline.
Deb served as the state party chair for the Democratic Party of New Mexico, and was the first Native American woman to chair a party at that level. She led the state in the effort to flip the New Mexico State House from red to blue. She authored SB 482 in 2005 which gave members of New Mexico Indian tribes access to in-state tuition regardless of their state residency. In 2017, she partnered with civil rights leaders to pass a ban on Conversion Therapy in New Mexico for LGBTQ individuals. She is an advocate for investment in education and is also a single mother with one daughter.
Of her run, Deb has stated, “I’ve always fought for women like us. Women of color. Single moms. Lesbians and transwomen. Military Families. Any woman who has ever been assaulted or harassed. Yet there’s never been a Native American woman in Congress. Now is the time to be fierce and demand change. I’m Deb Haaland and I approve this message because Congress has never heard a voice like mine.”
Go, Deb! I can’t vote for her, but I can donate!
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