Houston met Hamilton yesterday when Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Grammy, Tony, and Emmy winner came into town to stump for multiple candidates.
With less than three weeks to go before Election Day, candidates are pulling out all the stops to ensure robust turnout. Miranda came on behalf of Latino Victory Fund, a political action committee that backs progressive Latino candidates.
Miranda started off the day at a reproductive rights conversation with Rochelle Garza, who is running to unseat indicted Attorney General Ken Paxton. The conversation also included Luz Towns-Miranda, Lin-Manuel’s mother, who is a psychologist and a board member of Planned Parenthood Action Fund. She blasted the Texas abortion ban and praised Garza’s candidacy. “It will make a huge difference in sustaining the lives of women in Texas,” she said.
Towns-Miranda noted that she grew up in a time before Roe v. Wade, when many feared pregnancy. “Texas is back to the terror that I grew up with,” she said. She also relayed a moving story about being pregnant with her first child just two years after overcoming cancer and three months after Roe was ruled by the Supreme Court in 1973. Towns-Miranda said she went to Planned Parenthood and told them it was her choice to continue with the pregnancy.
Towns-Miranda also spoke about the mental health ramifications of forced parenthood. She also mentioned the dismal state of maternal mortality in Texas, especially for women of color. “This [abortion] ban is now contributing to worse outcomes and really endangers the health of women.”
At the same event, Garza acknowledged that abortion has been at the forefront of her campaign because it is so central to the future of all Texans. Garza very proudly stated that she won both a primary and a runoff by being a Latina and talking about abortion.
“Latinos are pro-choice, so don’t let anyone say that we’re not and the data reflects it,” said Garza. She also states that she was running for her six-month old daughter, and for others in the state.
Lin-Manuel Miranda said that candidates like Garza brought him to Texas. He stressed that Latinos could make the difference in November. “We can elect the people like Rochelle who speak up for the issues that matters the most to us,” he said.
Miranda’s next stop was at coffeeshop for a rally with Lina Hidalgo, who is running for re-election as Harris County Judge. Recently, the Houston Chronicle endorsed Hidalgo’s rightwing opponent with a rambling and not particularly coherent editorial.
Hidalgo highlighted her leadership through several catastrophes that faced Harris County since she took office in 2018, including the COVID-19 pandemic. At a barnburner of a speech, she said that after Dan Patrick told her to “sit down and shut up,” she then turned to Miranda and said she didn’t have his eloquence with words and simply retorted to Patrick, “No you shut up.”
From there Miranda went to the University of Houston for a youth voter panel with Next Gen America. Miranda encouraged the students to get out for the midterm election. He ended the night with a rally for both Garza and Beto O’Rourke.
Early voting begins October 24.
A longtime writer and journalist, Jessica was thrilled to join the Texas Signal where she could utilize her unique perspective on politics and culture. As the Features and Opinion Editor, she is responsible for coordinating editorials and segments from diverse authors. She is also the host of the podcast the Tex Mix, as well as the co-host for the weekly SignalCast. Jessica attended Harvard College, is a onetime fitness blogger, and has now transitioned to recreational runner (for which her joints are thankful).