Jessica Cisneros who is challenging incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar, is the first 2020 primary challenger to receive the group’s endorsement.
LAREDO, TX — This morning, Sunrise announced their endorsement of Jessica Cisneros, Democratic candidate for Congress in Texas’ 28th District. Cisneros is challenging 15-year incumbent Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar, who voted nearly 69% in line with President Trump overall last Congress.
Cisneros is the first 2020 candidate to receive an endorsement from Sunrise, due to her support of the Green New Deal, a 10-year plan to mobilize American society toward 100% clean and renewable energy. The plan would guarantee good paying jobs to all members of society, including the members of her community who have historically relied on the fossil fuel industry for work.
"Just this past week, Texans have seen firsthand the devastating consequences of climate change,” said Cisneros. “We know the need to address this crisis grows more urgent every day. We aren’t willing to watch our communities suffer because Congressman Cuellar refuses to stand up to his corporate backers and fight for pro-environment policies like the Green New Deal. Sunrise gives hope and momentum to the youth-led movement we’re building nationally and in South Texas, and I’m proud to have their support.”
Jessica Cisneros on energy policy
“Henry Cuellar represents all that’s wrong with Washington,” said Sunrise Movement Executive Director Varshini Prakash. “Even though he calls himself a Democrat, he rakes in campaign contributions from fossil fuel CEOs and Wall Street and joins with Trump to do their bidding in Congress. Young people like Jessica Cisneros have seen the impacts of these failed policies for our entire lives. In 2020, we’re going to turn our generation out in historic numbers in TX-28 and around the country to boot out failed Democratic leaders like Henry Cuellar who have failed to fight for us.”
Rep. Cuellar has received nearly $780,000 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry during his tenure. Meanwhile, his anti-environment voting record has directly impacted the residents of Texas’ 28th district. In 2018, he voted against methane pollution safeguards, rolling back clean air protections in a district already suffering from high rates of asthma and air contamination. He also voted to fund construction of the border wall in his own district, disregarding critical environmental protection laws and threatening the health and safety of surrounding communities.
Sunrise is a youth-led environmental justice movement that aims to “make climate change an urgent priority across America, end the corrupting influence of fossil fuel executives on our politics, and elect leaders who stand up for the health and wellbeing of all people.” Sunrise has two active hubs in the region, McAllen and San Antonio, and hubs across the state, of all which will mobilize to help elect Cisneros.
Cisneros is a 26-year old immigration and human rights attorney born and raised in the border town of Laredo. Her campaign has been featured in The New York Times, Laredo Morning Times, Vox, CNN, Huffington Post, VICE/HBO, Vogue, MTV, and more. Cisneros has also been endorsed by Senator Elizabeth Warren and Justice Democrats, the grassroots organization that recruited and helped elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th Congressional District.