Our View: Choose the candidate that cares, Tatiana Matta


The Runner Staff

Don’t vote for congressional race candidate Tatiana Matta because she’s a woman of color and can bring some much needed diversity and representation to the U.S. congress, vote for her because she cares about the district she wants to represent. 

Born in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, Matta has since embraced Kern County as her home. 

She is a business owner, a member of the Muroc Joint Unified School District School Board, the wife to a U.S. Air Force Cpt., and member of the Military Spouse Advocacy Network Board of Directors.

Matta has been endorsed by the California Labor Federation, California Teachers Association, and the National Education Association. 

For contrast, Congressman Kevin McCarthy is endorsed by the California Pro-Life Council because he wants to defund Planned Parenthood. It’s unsettling how he feels entitled enough to take a side in a decision that wouldn’t affect him in any way. 

Women need more women who understand their struggles and issues to speak on their behalf so decisions like that aren’t being made by someone who would never even have to consider having a pregnancy terminated.

There’s no way around it, McCarthy is a Bakersfield native, and the city’s community wants to support one of their own into the White House. But the people of the district he’s been elected to represent are not being spoken for, and we desperately need a change. While McCarthy has claimed to have made so many gains for the district and the country, the truth is homelessness in this community has reached alarming rates.

On Thursday, Oct. 18, Matta went head-to-head with McCarthy in a debate broadcasted by Bakersfield’s KGET news station.

It’s been made clear by his absence from town hall meetings that he’s too busy rubbing elbows in Washington to hear the voices of the common people.  

When asked about his reluctance of meeting with Latinx community members, McCarthy said “I do telephone town halls when I’m in D.C.”

Matta rebutted that “people want to see the representative in person because that creates accountability. However you vote in congress, you have to come back and talk to the people of the 23rd district.”

Attending town hall meetings and listening to the voices of the people is important because that’s the most direct way for a representative to understand the concerns of their people.   

This election season, immigration is a hot-button issue. McCarthy proposed $23 billion of taxpayer money to pay for Trump’s wall in hopes that that will deter crime. The wall is unnecessary, if some big drug trafficker really wanted to get into this country, they will find a way.

However new to politics, Matta understands that such a complex issue deserves more than a one-dimensional solution. 

“We need more people with different experiences out there legislating and making sure we have other voices, because immigration isn’t something that’s easy,” Matta said.

Steven Mayer, a reporter for the Bakersfield Californian, wrote in an article, “Matta has a massive hill to climb if she is to mount a serious challenge against McCarthy.” 

When voting, it’s understandable that a new candidate is a scary choice. Some people are afraid of change, but that’s exactly what this district needs. McCarthy was once a new candidate as well but people put their trust in him in 2006, and should now put the same trust in Matta. Times and values have since changed, and it’s about time we elect a woman into congress that will reflect that.