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Workers Defense Action Fund Endorses Sheila Jackson Lee and Joaquin Martinez for Houston Mayor, City Council

For Immediate Release
Contact: Christine Bolaños, (512)466-9258,

HOUSTON, TX Today, the Workers Defense Action Fund announced its endorsement of U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson for Houston Mayor and Joaquin Martinez for Houston City Council, District I. The endorsement follows a diligent process led by immigrant and working Texans in Houston, Dallas, and Austin. 

The endorsement process at Workers Defense uplifts immigrant and working families to support candidates who will fight to advance their communities. The organization’s stakeholders were involved in every stage of the endorsement process, including establishing criteria to evaluate candidates used to determine final endorsement based on in-person conversations with candidates, in-depth questionnaires, and policy analysis. 

Workers Defense cited Rep. Jackson’s longtime advocacy of underrepresented communities and valiant plans to defend the rights of immigrant and working families. The organization emphasized her commitment to fighting abusive state preemption, her support of enhanced library cards and identification, eliminating arrests for minor offenses, and bold pro-union and pro-worker policies. 

“Sheila Jackson Lee is a people’s leader – including immigrant and working Texans and of underrepresented communities from all walks of life,” said WDAF Movement Politics Director Bricia Garcia. “She is serving her 13th term as U.S. Congresswoman, and has never wavered from her commitment to help lead Houstonians toward prosperity. This is the leadership we need in a dynamic city where residents are in need of an economy built around working families and policies that center workers over corporations.”

Workers Defense supports Joaquin Martinez, a longtime public servant, because of his bold vision for a future Houston that centers the workforce to ensure that the people, not corporations, reap the benefits of the economic boom. The organization specified his immigrant community advocacy, including prioritizing enhanced library cards and identification, fighting for local autonomy, civically engaging underrepresented communities, and eliminating arrests for minor offenses. 

“Joaquin Martinez is committed to uplifting the voices of immigrant and working Texans just as we are here at Workers Defense,” Garcia said. “He will fight for economic opportunities that benefit the people of Houston over greedy corporations and address local crises such as affordable housing and criminal justice. We are confident that if he wins Joaquin will help lead Houstonians toward a more prosperous and just future.”

The organization’s decision to endorse these two candidates reflects the high stakes of the election and the growing momentum of underrepresented communities in Texas, a battleground state for several election cycles. 

“Immigrant communities and working families in Texas have endured severe abuse and discrimination from their employers, from lawmakers and their racist, bigoted policies, along with the deadliest working conditions in the country,” Garcia said. “In response, our communities are emboldened to make their voices heard and take action made palpable by their endorsements that will most certainly have a deciding force in the 2023 Houston elections.”

About Workers Defense Action Fund

Workers Defense Action Fund is a statewide political organization dedicated to empowering workers and immigrants across Texas to support candidates and pass policies that address injustices in their communities. Since 2014, Workers Defense has endorsed local and state candidates across the state and reached more than 177,000 people through field programs.