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By Juanita Balenger
Beyond the traditional Hispanic battlegrounds in states like Florida or Texas, a new and largely untapped constituency has emerged in the northern Virginia suburbs in recent cycles.
Sizeable Hispanic and Latino communities from Arlington to Alexandria to Fairfax and beyond—often representing the second-largest demographic in those cities and predominantly made up of Central American immigrants—have the potential, and indeed, the likelihood of swinging solidly blue districts towards common sense candidates like Karina Lipsman.
A Ukrainian-born, first-generation American who rose up from poverty in Baltimore City to become a 14-year veteran of the national security and intelligence communities of the United States, Karina represents the epitome of the American Dream.
As such, her policy positions reflect that unique immigrant experience shared by the growing Hispanic communities of Northern Virginia and have a broad bipartisan appeal to those whose main concerns are feeding their families, providing their children with quality education, and keeping their communities safe and free of crime.
As a Hispanic resident of Northern Virginia myself, Karina Lipsman’s focus on kitchen-table issues deeply resonates with me and other members of my community. Karina’s focus on inflation reduction, slashing taxes and regulations through her celebrated Taxpayer Protection Pledge, and incentivizing American manufacturing finds broad support among the entrepreneurial-minded and hardworking Latino communities of Northern Virginia.
In the same vein, Karina’s vocal support for vocational and technical alternatives to traditional educational pathways helps to foster that innovative spirit that is emblematic of the Hispanic immigrant ethos.
Like in other tight-knit immigrant communities throughout the U.S., Hispanic culture places a great emphasis on the value of education and more importantly, the rights of parents to know and choose the quality of classroom instruction their child deserves.
I know the value of school choice and the potency of high-quality public education, an issue Karina Lipsman has so tirelessly advocated for in her bid to become the 8th district’s next advocate on Capitol Hill. Her commitment to putting students and parents first is not only a broadly agreeable position among Latinos—it often offers the widest range of opportunities for minority children to improve their socioeconomic status in this country.
Hispanics’ strong and unwavering sense of family values also extends to their perceptions on public safety and policing. Latino communities nationwide overwhelmingly support increased police funding and an improvement in relations with police.
Indeed, in Virginia’s neighboring 7th district, voters overwhelmingly nominated Salvadoran-American former police officer Yesli Vega to challenge incumbent congresswoman Abigail Spanberger—largely driven by a broad Hispanic concern over law and order issues in the Richmond suburbs.
Similarly, Karina has pledged to address constituent concerns about rising crime in the 8th district by significantly funding and equipping local police forces with the tools they need to keep our communities safe.
As a Hispanic-American, it is clear to me why Karina Lipsman is the only appealing choice to be Northern Virginia’s next Member of Congress. She cares about what her Latino constituents— and indeed, what any reasonable voter—cares about heading into the 2022 midterm elections.
Karina’s common sense solutions to inflation, crime and public safety, and quality education, enjoys broad support from northern Virginia’s burgeoning Hispanic communities, whose very livelihoods and family fabrics are being threatened by the gross economic mismanagement of President Joe Biden and his local enabler, Congressman Don Beyer. It is time for Northern Virginia’s Latinos to make their voices heard, their dissatisfactions addressed, and their elected representatives to be held accountable. It is time for Hispanics to cast a vote for Karina Lipsman.
Juanita Balenger is a long-time grassroots leader and activist in Northern Virginia. The daughter of a Cuban mother, Juanita was born in Washington, DC. Juanita’s maternal grandparents were placed under house arrest by the Fidel Castro regime. Juanita is active in her community as President of her Community Association; President-elect for the Rotary Club of Bailey’s Crossroads; and a member of the Fairfax County Citizens Police Academy Association.