Lina Hidalgo knows the value of growing up in a safe place. Since she immigrated to the United States, she has had the fortune of living in neighborhoods where crime was not a daily presence. But she knows too many people live in neighborhoods where they feel just as unsafe as her family felt in Colombia during the drug war.
Lina Hidalgo worked throughout Southeast Asia to support journalists and promote transparency because she knows that information is power. For one, information helps us keep government accountable. There are also brilliant people in our County who could help us come up with better ideas but cannot easily access information about what County government is doing.
Lina Hidalgo’s own experiences have shown her disadvantage comes in many interconnected challenges. From her work with the Texas Civil Rights Project and as a medical interpreter, Lina saw the way a lack of mental health infrastructure derails people’s lives and lands them in the criminal justice system. Lina would be a completely different person had various things not conspired together: A safe neighborhood, her parent’s ability to have a good job, and an opportunity to earn scholarships that allowed her to go to school. She wants other families to have a fair shot, like she did.