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FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA Congressional Candidate Wenona Benally Baldenegro, who seeking the Democratic Party's nomination in Arizona's First Congressional District, issued the following statement on Wednesday in response to the US House of Representatives passing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), without key tribal provisions:
Congressional Candidate Wenona Benally Baldenegro
"I am very troubled that the House of Representatives has passed this version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), without any of the key tribal jurisdictional provisions intact.
The Tea Party extremists have been working to do everything possible to roll back decades of progress for our nation's women. They have voted to defund Planned Parenthood, redefine rape, and block access to contraception. Yet, this is still not enough. They have now weakened the legal recourse available to Native women who are victims of domestic violence.
Justice is long overdue for Native women who have become victims of sexual assault and domestic violence on our reservations. This is unacceptable.
Our grandmothers, mothers, aunts, and sisters deserve the same level of protection as non-Native women living off-reservation. All women should be treated and protected equally, under the law."
Baldenegro is the first Navajo woman to ever run for Congress. The primary election will be held on August 28. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she also has a Master's of Public Policy degree from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and a second master's with a Master's of Law from the University of Arizona.
Even though she is equipped with such impressive credentials, Baldenegro has not forgotten her roots. She grew up in a single parent household on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Kayneta, Arizona. Her humble upbringing taught her the value of perseverance and of hard work.
posted May 17, 2012 7:20 am edt
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