You've heard a lot of would-be politicians talk about what they'll do on Day One. Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto made good on her promise: As America's first-ever Latina senator, she gathered all the Latinas in Congress to discuss their obstacles and advancement, Cortez Masto tells Alicia Menendez in the seventh episode of Latina to Latina. She wanted to learn.
"I wanted to understand: What were the barriers?" Cortez Masto says. Quickly, she learned that a big one was not being able to afford an unpaid internship in D.C., one of the most expensive cities in America. "The first thing I did was create a scholarship in my office," she explains. "Where we can find those people, and bring them in."
Before she walked the halls of Congress, Cortez Masto served as Nevada's attorney general for two terms. Things were different there, Cortez Masto tells Menendez — faster, for one. "What they do here is a lot of networking," she says. "It takes patience. And it could take years to get something done."
Menendez and Cortez Masto also talk about what it means to learn the language of wealth and power when you grow up middle-class, why Cortez Masto refuses to read any articles about herself, and what it was like growing up between cultures.
Latina to Latina is a new Bustle podcast where Alicia Menendez talks to remarkable Latinas about making it, faking it, and everything in between. Starting April 10, every Tuesday there will be a new episode of Latina to Latina that will center on the challenges of existing, and then thriving, as women of color.
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You can read the full transcript of the episode here.