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Candidate Wendy Davis talks equal pay at Café Mayapan

Amanda Guillen
Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, speaks about economic inequality. To her right is El Paso Sen. Jose Rodriguez and to her lift is El Paso Rep. Marisa Marquez, both Democrats. Volunteers for the Davis campaign stand behind her.

Gubernatorial candidate Texas Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, spent Wednesday morning speaking to media and volunteers at Café Mayapan, in El Paso, Texas. She focused her discussion on gender and economic equality.

El Paso Sen. Jose Rodriguez and Rep. Marisa Marquez, both Democrats, introduced Davis.

Davis spoke about Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, and wage disparities within his office.

“When he was first asked about it two weeks ago, he dodged the question,” Davis said in her speech. “He seemed to say that he supported the concept of equal pay, but I’ve never heard of a concept that could pay the rent or put food on the table or put gasoline in your truck.”

According to Davis, women in Abbott’s office make 74 cents for every dollar that a man earns for the same position. This is less than the state average pay difference for women—who make 79 cents for every dollar a man earns.

State statistics show that Hispanic women, earn even less: 45 cents for every dollar a man earns according to the Center for American Progress.

Davis believes current Texas laws do not protect women and minorities from inequality and said Abbott has not supported laws such as the federal Fair Pay Act of 2009 and the Texas Equal Pay bill.

“This is the very legislation that would help his employees address the fact that they’re getting paid less than co-workers for doing the same message,” Davis said.

After the speech, Davis addressed questions regarding voter ID laws, immigration reform and women’s health.

In an interview after Davis’s speech, Marquez said this was an opportunity for El Pasoan’s to express concerns.

“It’s an opportunity for us to express ourselves as a community and say ‘these things are important to us and we’d like to see these types of changes in the governor’s office, in the state and to support those things,’” Marquez said.

Marquez said she and Davis came into the state Capitol the same year and have worked together on legislation having to do with women who were incarcerated and women’s health.

“We have a history with Wendy here on the borderland, working with her on issues and we want to continue to support her in her campaign for governor,” Marquez said.

Davis’ speech moved Isabel Haight, senior pre-business major, to tears.

Haight stood behind Davis on stage during the speech representing the College of Business Administration, the Women’s Business Association and the Small Business Association at EPCC.

Haight hopes to move policy makers to further economic development in El Paso. She is concerned with equal commerce and access for women.

“I talked to her (Davis) about women’s issues, how a single mom suffers when everything is shut down,” she said. “Social responsibility is not addressed as it should.”

Gubernatorial elections take place November 4. An early March poll by Rasmussen Reports shows Abbott leading by 12 points.

Jasmine Aguilera and Maria Esquinca may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Jasmine Aguilera
Jasmine Aguilera, Editor-in-chief
Jasmine is a senior multimedia journalism major with a minor in anthropology. She began practicing journalism as a high school student when she joined the Tejano Tribune, El Paso Community College’s student newspaper. During her senior year she became the first ever high school student to become editor-in-chief of the Tribune. She moved on to join The Prospector team in the fall of 2011. Jasmine has covered national politics, immigration, poverty, human trafficking, refugees and more in her time holding various editorial positions at The Prospector and as an intern reporter at the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire and Gannett News Service, both in Washington, D.C. She aspires to become an international reporter and tell stories that do not receive the attention they deserve. Until then, she spends her time following the news and guiding a very talented team in reporting for a student audience and the El Paso community. She also enjoys a good book, art, music and the occasional Netflix binge (House of Cards and Breaking Bad remain her favorite).
Amanda Guillen
Amanda Guillen, Editor-in-Chief
Amanda Guillen is a senior multimedia journalism major with a minor in women's studies. She was born and raised in El Paso, Texas and graduated from El Paso High School in 2011. She has been a part of The Prospector since summer 2013 and is currently Managing Editor. She has always had a passion for journalism and plans to become a television news reporter upon graduating from UTEP. In addition to being a full-time student and reporter, she is a part of two honor societies on campus, Alpha Lambda Delta and the National Society of Leadership and Success where she participates in community service regularly. Amanda also interns for KVIA Channel 7 the El Paso affiliate of ABC. Her love for the city of El Paso is something that led her to choose UTEP as her school of choice. She has enjoyed her past 3 years at the university and looks forward to an eventful school year.
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Candidate Wendy Davis talks equal pay at Café Mayapan