JoCasta is the leading voice on pragmatic, sound, pro-immigrant, pro-Latino policy in the legislature and is paving the way for Wisconsin’s fastest growing constituency, the Latino community, by advocating for the following legislation:
1. Championing the public safety bill: This bill would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s cards to help people get to work, school and improve safety on our roads. She has continually authored legislation which would allow one to operate a vehicle if they can prove who they are with a number of different documents and pass all DOT driver’s tests. This will ensure that all who are driving on our roads are licensed and competent to do so, and strengthen our economy by making sure that Wisconsin’s large and growing Latino population can get to work and school like everyone else.
2. Fighting for “Tuition Equity”: This would allow dreamers, undocumented young people brought to Wisconsin through no fault of their own, to pay in-state tuition rates at UW schools and Wisconsin technical colleges if they have lived in the state for at least 3 years and have graduated from a Wisconsin high school. Repealed by Republicans in 2011, JoCasta has fought to re-instate tuition equity to put the possibility of a higher education within reach of these young Wisconsinites, who were brought here through no fault of their own and want a chance to achieve the American dream.
3. Calling for “Equal Pay for Equal Work”: Studies have shown that Latinas earn just 55 cents for every dollar paid to their white male counterparts. JoCasta cosponsored the “Equal Pay for Equal Work” bill, which restores a worker’s right to take employers to court if they feel they’ve been discriminated against through lower pay due to their gender or age. Governor Walker and the Republicans in the Legislature repealed the original law in 2011. Wisconsin is just one of six states in the nation, and the only state in the Midwest, without a law on the books banning wage discrimination.
4. Working to establish a state holiday to honor Cesar E. Chavez: Cesar E. Chavez was the grandson of immigrants, a U.S. Navy veteran, and legendary labor leader whose work improved the lives of millions of Latino immigrants and citizens in this country. Official holidays indicate what people and what values, a state holds dear. JoCasta recognizes that with Wisconsin’s fast growing Latino population, our state’s culture needs to reflect that fact.
As the grand-daughter of a migrant farm laborer who now has the honor of representing the most heavily Latino district in the state, JoCasta understands the unique challenges that the Latino community in Wisconsin faces. Their families often deal with the challenge of helping new family members who have immigrated here adapt to life in Wisconsin, while also helping family members who were raised in this nation chase their own American Dream. She’s fought against anti-Latino legislation in the Assembly and Senate in order to help recent immigrants integrate into and enrich our communities, and supported legislation which would help the Latino community’s strong entrepreneurial and small-business communities.