WA Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self gives message on National Hispanic Heritage month

Lillian Ortiz-Self
Representative Lillian Ortiz-Self,
D-Legislative District 21

My mother left Puerto Rico when she was 18 and came to the United States by herself in search of a job. This was an option as Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the U.S. and all Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens. I still remember her stories of how hard it was to leave all she knew. I was in awe of her courage. She talked about her desire to be able to support herself and to help her family. My mom would downplay her story, reminding us of the many others who left everything behind seeking a better life and now make up this country, America.

As I got older, she shared the story of families she had met from other countries that she viewed as truly courageous because they left for survival, facing life and death situations.   My mother could return to her island anytime she wanted to and did many times; she knew others never had that option.

The story of the Latino community and all immigrants is as varied and diverse as this country. However, the things that we have in common are far larger. Regardless of where you stand on the issue of immigration, may we all find commonality in our humanity. May we never stop looking into each other’s eyes and see the pain, love and hope that we all share.

I am the first (and only) Puerto Rican Legislator in the State House.  My district saw my differences as an asset and saw the desires we share for our families and communities, as the common ground.  It is such an honor and privilege to serve such a wonderful district.  May we all celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by staring into each other’s eyes. When we see each other’s humanity, fairness and justice will abound.

Mario Lotmore

Mario Lotmore is originally from The Bahamas and for the last seven years has called Mukilteo, WA his home. Having lived in every region of the United States has exposed him to various cultures, people, and approaches to life. Lotmore created the Lynnwood Times to represent the character of a diverse and growing Lynnwood. The launching of the city’s free community newspaper will only help bring neighborhoods together. Lotmore was an industrial engineer by trade and proven success implementing and managing lean accountable processes and policies within his eighteen years of operations excellence, strategic development, and project management in the aerospace, manufacturing, and banking industries. Over his career he has saved and created hundreds of union and non-union jobs. Lotmore is the President of a Homeowner Association, an active Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics volunteer in his community, and former Boeing 747 Diversity Council leader. Mario’s talent is finding “that recipe” of shared destiny to effectively improve the quality of life for others.

Mario Lotmore has 604 posts and counting. See all posts by Mario Lotmore

One thought on “WA Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self gives message on National Hispanic Heritage month

  • September 13, 2019 at 3:16 AM
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    I am so excited you are the first Puerto Rican representing the district. I like your mother left Puerto Rico as a young adult via military service. It was in the military that I learned to communicate in English. I new to the area and I feel so happy to be in this progressive area where we can feel welcomed. It is not perfect but so much different than other regions. I am currently a graduate student at Seattle Pacific University and hoping to be more active in our community.

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