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Theresa Morris: Long-Time Latina Legislative Aide endorsed by the LC Democratic Party, for Toledo City Council

By La Prensa Staff

 

Theresa Morris has always left the door open to enter politics herself someday, but the longtime Latina legislative aide to Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur has always maintained it has to be the right time and the right elected office. It appears that time is now and that right elected office is an open seat on Toledo City Council.

 


Theresa Morris

The Lucas County Democratic Party recently endorsed Ms. Morris to fill the unexpired term of District 6 council member Chris Delaney, a retired Toledo police officer. He recently took a full-time job elsewhere and resigned his seat last month.

 

In Toledo, like in many citizens, an endorsement from party colleagues is as good as gold, because Democrats hold a majority on city council, which will choose Delaney’s replacement.

 

Six people submitted applications for the open seat.

 

“I am very happy the party has the confidence in me to uphold the ideals of the Democratic party,” she said. “Even when I was younger, I would work on campaigns with my mother.”

 

Word of her endorsement prompted several heartfelt congratulatory messages on social media for the prominent member of both the Lucas County Latina Democratic Empowerment Club and Latina Women’s Democratic Caucus.

 

“So proud of my sister Theresa Morris for throwing her hat in the ring for Toledo City Council,” wrote her brother Joel Castellanos on her Facebook page. “Through her ACTIONS, rather than political rhetoric, she has proven to be a true servant to the public.”

 

Once Ms. Morris is appointed, she would have to run a special election during the citywide primary Sept. 14, 2021 to keep the seat. Toledo City Council was scheduled to vote on the appointment Tuesday afternoon, just after press-time. She will become just the second local Latino elected officeholder, joining long-time Lucas County Auditor Anita López.

 

“Many times, I have been one of the few diverse voices in the room. I don’t like it. I would love to have more diversity in our public service,” she said. “It has helped me to build a remarkable career. It’s a noble cause. It’s a noble calling. I hope it sparks others into public service.”

 

While she has kept a low profile since her endorsement, Ms. Morris admitted to LaPrensa in a 2018 interview that she had aspirations to one day run for local office. She cited the fractured political climate in Washington as a reason to start local and not seek a bigger political stage. Her original intent was to one day run for the Toledo Public Schools board of education, but then her home council district seat became available.

 

“I’ve lived in my district my entire life, short of stints going to college. This is my ground zero over here and I’ve just always thought it would be a natural extension to serve my community,” she said. District 6 is a working class section of Toledo, which spans from Point Place across Alexis Road, and takes in much of North Toledo and parts of West Toledo.

 

Ms. Morris is most known for working as Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur’s aide, a post she’s held since 1993. But she plans to retire after 27 years of federal government service to devote her full attention her city council duties.

 

The Start High School graduate received a Distinguished Hispanic Ohioan award from the Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs in 2018 for her longevity as a Congressional aide—perhaps holding the distinction as the longest-serving Latina on Capitol Hill in that capacity. At least that is what the current research shows.

 

“I’ve always heard a call to service. I think you should always work to make your community a better place,” Ms Morris told LaPrensa in a 2018 profile. “I enjoy it. I enjoy especially meeting people of different cultures, in different communities. It doesn’t get tiring to me. It’s still about learning about other people and other places in the world and what’s going on.”

 

Locally, Ms. Morris has served on the boards of WGTE Public Media where she once worked and Team Recovery, after losing a loved one to a drug overdose.

 

Ms. Morris earned her bachelor’s degree in 1993 from Alma College in Michigan, with a focus on Spanish Language and Latin American Literature. She later earned a Master’s degree in organizational leadership from Lourdes University in 2014.

 

Her family’s back story is a bit different than that of the typical Northwest Ohio immigrant who started as a migrant worker. Her grandfather came directly from México to work on the railroad during World War II, but sent money back home when his mother needed surgery. He had formerly worked in the silver mines of México after growing up in the small town of Taxco in the state of Guerrero.

 

Both of her parents broke new ground in Toledo. Her father became a Toledo firefighter at a time when there were few Latinos in the department. Her mother trained to become a union electrician in the 1970s when few women held the career. Both of her parents are now retired.

 

“Between the two of them, they certainly gave me a strong foundation of fighting hard for what you believe in, even if you’re different,” said Ms. Morris in 2018. “I’ve had a wonderful foundation from my parents. I can’t say enough good things about them.”

 

 

 

 
Copyright © 1989 to 2021 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04/20/21 13:30:01 -0700.

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