LUPE PAC History

The history of LUPE PAC is connected to the history of LUPE (Latinas United for Political Empowerment), an organization founded in 1999 when several New Jersey Latinas collaborated with the Hispanic National Bar Association to organize a national training event for Latinas interested in running for public office. The experience organizing the event demonstrated a need to organize a women’s organization in NJ that would focus solely in helping Latinas engage in the political process and gain political power. Officially launched in 2001, LUPE began offering training and network opportunities for Latinas, eventually partnering with the Center for Women in American Politics (CAWP) at the Eagleton Institute at Rutgers University to launch Elección Latina, a non-partisan political training for Latinas to learn the nuts and bolts of running for office, running a campaign, or positioning themselves for appointments to Boards and Commissions. After 10 years of successfully graduating many Latinas from campaign training, it became clear that LUPE needed to expand its work beyond training and networking opportunities and in 2009, board members of LUPE decided to start a new effort that would allow them to support Latina candidates who were ready to run for office. Hence, in 2009 they left the LUPE Board and launched a political action committee, LUPE PAC. LUPE PAC began and continues to be a non-partisan political action committee focused solely in providing financial support to progressive Latinas who decide to run for office.  LUPE’ original mission of training Latinas to seek public service still continues today through the work of our sister organization, The LUPE Fund, a 501 ©3 non-profit organization.  For more information on their program visit their website.

LUPE PAC’s work is rooted in our mission to increase the number of Latinas in elected and appointed office and to advocate for issues that impact Latinas in New Jersey. The Board of LUPE PAC works with our many partners to identify, train and invest in progressive Latinas who are interested in running for local, state and federal office. Join us in our efforts to develop Latina leadership in politics and in government by making a contribution to LUPE PAC today. All contributions to LUPE PAC are not tax deductible.

Fact Sheet

Latino Population

  • NJ’s population is 19% Latino, or about 1.7 million Latinos.1
  • There are 831,000 Latino eligible voters in New Jersey-the seventh largest Hispanic statewide eligible voter population nationally.2
  • 52% of eligible Latino voters in NJ are Latinas.

Latina Representation in NJ Government

According to the Center for American Women and Politics, Latina representation in NJ government is the following.

Out of 120 seats in the legislature, only 8 Latinas occupy those seats:

Out of 137 County Freeholder seats, only 4 Latinas occupy those seats:

Out of 65 County Constitutional Officers in NJ, only one Latina serves in those seats: Bernice Toledo (D-Passaic). Out 74 cities with population over 30,000 residents, only one Latina serves as Mayor: Wilda Diaz, Perth Amboy. No Latina from New Jersey has ever served as a U.S. Congresswoman or US Senator.