Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto

Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto


Victoria is Assistant Dean at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and a contributor to MSNBC and Telemundo. Her areas of expertise in the domestic policy landscape include immigration, Latinos, women and childcare, and economic equity. more→


Victoria brings an interdisciplinary lens to understanding policy development and its intersection with institutional and political contexts. Underlying her academic work is the applicability of rigorous research to on-the-ground policy realities.

Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto
Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto

Recent Media

This post originally appeared on NBCLatino.

The Lone Star state jumped into the spotlight this week – a movie-worthy filibuster by Wendy Davis, a flood of demonstrators taking to the capitol, and a ramped up war of words between Texas Republicans and Democrats.

At the root of all of this drama is a Republican sponsored abortion bill.  If passed, the bill would make Texas one of the most restrictive states by outlawing abortions beyond twenty weeks of fertilization, decreasing the number of abortion clinics from thirty-seven to five because of prohibitively costly building requirements, and tightening the guidelines for the administration of abortion drugs.

The restrictions on abortions are just the latest in a series of measures shrinking the availability of healthcare for women in Texas.  In 2011 the Texas legislature pulled funding from any clinics that had ties to abortion services or providers, even though public monies would not go to funding such procedures.  The 2011 legislature also went a step further by cutting the funding of non-abortion affiliated clinics.  These measures ended up closing 56 of the 117 women’s health clinics around the state, clinics that were the most likely to provide well-women care to low-income women.

Then, to add icing to the cake, Governor Rick Perry has rejected additional Medicaid funds under Obamacare.  In other words, the state of Texas has decreased the availability of healthcare options for women while making these fewer options more costly for lower income women.

Texas has become the latest battleground on the larger Republican War on Women.   However, because of the state’s demographics Latinas are disproportionately in the cross-hairs of this war. (more…)

The 90’s was the year of the Soccer Mom, the last decade’s elections were about Security Moms, Hockey Moms, and Wal-Mart Moms. Well, this year, the 2012 election will be about Latina Moms…

Soccer moms were the go to gals in the 1996 Presidential election. Eight years later George W. Bush again looked to the ladies, zeroing in on security moms. In the last presidential election a hockey mom herself was put at the top of the ticket. And leading up to the 2012 election women Wal-Mart moms are the political date of choice.

The different “moms” of the last couple of elections have changed names, but they remain generally similar in terms of demographic characteristics – white, middle class, and suburban. These moms vote and they are moved by tangible day-to-day concerns related to the well-being of their family. Campaigns are smart to target these women, but would be unwise to do so to the exclusion of the growing population of mamás—Latina moms. (more…)