Catherine Cortez Masto: She’s America’s First Latina Senator

October 4 - On The Dot

Some of the best advice I’ve ever heard came from Venezuela-born fashion designer Carolina Herrera, who shares what her 70-plus years have taught her: To combat the struggles of life, one better have a sense of humor. Isn’t that the truth? When was the last time something absolutely terrible or ridiculous happened, so terrible or ridiculous that you literally laughed out loud? The Mayo Clinic claims LOL’ing actually improves our immune system and relieves physical pain. I guess laughter really is the best medicine.


In On The Dot’s first year of publishing stories of inspiring gals, we shared the success of Christy Haubegger, the wonderful founder of Latina Magazine. One difficulty she faced in launching her publication was getting advertisers to let go of their stereotypes and understand that Latinas make up a growing consumer sector and deserve to be spoken to with dignity. In fact, it’s a demographic that will soon have even more buying, educational and political power. According to The Nielson Company’s Latina Power Shift report, by 2060, Hispanic women will likely account for 30 percent of the U.S. female population, so it’s about dang time their opinions are valued and their voices are widely heard.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Catherine Cortez Masto, First Latina U.S. Senator

When women were fighting for suffrage, one of the haters’ favorite arguments was that most women didn’t want to vote, that they just didn’t have the energy or mental capacity to care about politics. Sheesh! What a load of early 20th century horse manure! Since those hard-fought days, women have been using our voting rights to speak up and effect change. Today’s pioneering Woman to Watch is improving on that progress, continuing to reshape American politics in a truly unprecedented way. Her name is Catherine Cortez Masto, and she’s making history as the first Latina elected to serve in the United States Senate.

Prior to representing Nevada in the Senate, Catherine worked her way from assistant county manager of Clark County, aka Las Vegas, to that state’s two-term attorney general before earning the title of U.S. senator—the first Nevada woman to stake that claim.

Catherine, the granddaughter of a Mexican immigrant, took office as a U.S. senator in January 2017, and isn’t wasting a moment resting on her laurels. In addition to focusing on drug crimes and protecting seniors, Catherine is serious about advocating for women and kids. While working in Nevada, she helped pass a bill that established sex trafficking of children and adults as a felony crime, also giving victims the right to sue their traffickers. Such change-making objectives remain at the heart of her mission in Washington, D.C., ensuring even more positive change is to come.

Though a classy lady, Catherine has had to deal with her fair share of sexism in politics, with one male colleague even telling her she had “great birthing hips.” Even in that appalling moment, instead of giving the dude a well-deserved smack, she acted as a role model, firmly making clear his comment’s inappropriateness.

It isn’t easy being a history maker, but Catherine makes it look easy. We’re excited to follow her career in the Senate as she continues to make America a better place for women and girls.


Today’s quote comes from our Woman to Watch, Catherine Cortez Masto, a lovely role model for Latina girls everywhere. In referring to her path to the U.S. Senate, she said:

“The most important things are the incredible Latinas that I’ve met along the way, and young girls who are so excited when they meet me and they know that I’m the first Latina. For me, that tells me that they’re looking at me, saying, ‘Oh my gosh, if she can do it, I can do it too.’ And that’s what I want them to think.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

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