Palm Desert Proclaims Friday, March 12 as Latina History Day
PALM DESERT — Joining the cities of Los Angeles and Riverside, the City Council here has Proclaimed Friday, March 12 as Latina History Day in recognition of Latinas’ contributions to the economic, political, civic, and historic contributions to California and Palm Desert. Karina Quintanilla, who made history in 2020 as the first Latina elected to the City Council, initiated the Proclamation.
Quintanilla told Uken Report she initiated the Proclamation as a member of Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), “in support of an organization that is shaping the future of California by growing future leaders, giving us the tools to run for office, join boards, commissions and make meaningful impacts for women, families, children, and all Californians.”
Held annually on the second Friday of March for nearly three decades, Latina History Day® is the only conference in Los Angeles that is designed specifically to meet the needs of Latina professionals; offering resources, skill development, and networking opportunities to advance their careers.
The Latina History Day conference, for which Latina History Day in California was created, draws approximately 1000 women each year to celebrate the historic and current achievements of Latinas. Attendees participate in forums on career advancement, current community issues and financial empowerment. HOPE has been instrumental in securing local, county, state and congressional officials to declare the second Friday in March (during Women’s History Month) as Latina History Day. Latina History Day consistently garners the support of the Mayor of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles City Council.
Through an unparalleled reach into the Latina community, HOPE is able to showcase Latina talent throughout the conference, according to Latinas.org. HOPE secures Latina keynote speakers whose personal and professional experiences resonate with participants and inspire them to strive toward new possibilities. Concurrent workshops are led and moderated by Latina executives, elected officials, academics and other experts in a host of fields including but not limited to finance, corporate culture, philanthropy, community development, education, and health.
“HOPE demystified the political process for me and showed me that I already had what it takes to be a successful community leader and get elected one day,” Quintanilla said.
In 2015 the culminating session included attending the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Public Policy Institute and she had the privilege of speaking with Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vermont, Quintanilla said.
“We also met Secretary of Housing (Julián) Castro and had an amazing experience that let me truly feel for the first time that this country TRULY is for everyone,” Quintanilla said.
“THIS was powerful,” Quintanilla said. “THIS is where I felt the magnitude of having grown up in Tijuana. I know what it’s like to live without running water, and this country is just as mine as anyone else alive today and who came before me.”
Quintanilla was one of two people who sued the city in June 2019 saying Palm Desert was not in compliance with California’s Voting Rights Act with its at-large system. Quintanilla and co-plaintiff Lorraine Salas agreed to two voting districts in a settlement with the city to get the issue out of court in time for the November election. But Quintanilla has vowed to continue to fight for five districts similar to Palm Springs, Indio and Cathedral City.
Quintanilla represents District 1, known as the Civic Center Core District – the smaller of the city’s two voting districts.
Of Palm Desert’s 52, 124 residents, 25.5 are Hispanic or Latino, according to Data USA.
- Karina Quintanilla: Facebook
- Latina History Day: Latinas.org
- Latinas: Shutterstock