Jennifer Hernandez

Phoenix Union Ward 5

Jennifer Hernandez Rita is an activist and organizer with Poder in Action. A child of immigrant parents who crossed borders over 30 years ago, she grew up in a mixed status family that lived undocumented and afraid. She was raised in Maryvale and because of the lack of resources for Spanish-speaking families, her parents struggled to navigate support systems for her mental health issues. In 2013, they moved to Buckeye, and she quickly realized that school and city funding makes a huge difference for vulnerable students. She realized she was never the problem in her education and that she was worthy of investment. As a teen mom, she experienced mental, emotional and verbal abuse while being pushed out of the system. For the past 5 years, she has been organizing youth, parents, and teachers to make sure vulnerable students have the chance to succeed. Being in a position of power and advocacy is where the real change happens. She is running to change the conditions of schools in PXU Ward 5. She will advocate for additional mental health support, a sex education curriculum that models healthy relationships and contraception education and access, an end to the criminalization of students (particularly students of color), and more bi-lingual resources for Phoenix Union families.