by Efrain Nieves
Lupe Valdez’s accomplishments can be called anything but easy. Because of her incomparable career in law enforcement, she became one of the most successful Latinas across the country. Valdez lectured at the McAllister Fine Arts Center on October 12th about her experiences of criticism and racism. Valdez’s strength and aspiration deserves the time of any Latino blogger who is encouraged by positive stories.
Lupe served in the United States Army and held the rank of Captain. She later became a jailer for county and federal prison. She was an agent for the General Services Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Customs Service. She finally became a senior agent for the Department of Homeland Security before retiring in 2004 to run for the Dallas County sheriff’s office. When she was elected on November 4, 2004 she became the first Latina and female sheriff of Dallas county.
During Valdez’s campaign for sheriff, she publicly came-out stating “Yes, I’m a lesbian, and what’s the big deal? Don’t 35 years experience count?” When she went into office she worked with those who criticized her sexuality and ethnicity to change their outlook. “We have to look beyond our hurt egos,” advice many of us can use in today’s quick reaction, big tempered society.
Lupe is a Democrat, lesbian and Latina, but over all she is a person who broke many barriers to make history. Pa’lante!
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