TIME has named Lina Hidalgo as a leader in one of the top 100 most influential people in the country.
TIME magazine has just released their annual TIME100 Next list – one that highlights the publication’s top 100 emerging artists, phenoms, advocates, innovators, and leaders in the United States. Houston’s very own, Lina Hidalgo, County Judge of Harris County – the third most populated county in the country – featured as a leader, with an essay penned by Beto O’ Rourke. [Featured image: @POOL / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP]
Hidalgo was born in Bogota, Colombia. When she was five years old, her family moved to Peru and later Mexico City, before landing in Houston Texas when she was 15 years of age.In 2013, Hidalgo graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Political Science. After working for an international non-profit in Thailand on a fellowship program, Hidalgo returned to the US to work as a medical interpreter in Houston.
Meanwhile, Hidalgo volunteered for the Texas Civil Rights Project before pursuing advanced degrees in law and public policy at New York University and Harvard.
Following the election of 2016, Hidalgo decided to run for public office. In 2018, she was elected as the County Judge of Harris County, becoming the first women and Latina person to do so.
“Lina Hidalgo’s persistence, tenacity and intelligence were clear from the moment I met her on the campaign trail in Texas in 2017,” O’Rourke wrote in his essay. “At the time, she was running for Harris County judge, and I was running for the U.S. Senate. I soon realized that she also had an extraordinary level of humility that is rare to find in somebody pursuing public office.”
“Now 29, she is doing an incredible job as judge, as evidenced by her efforts to quickly respond to COVID-19—Harris County announced a mask mandate in April 2020, but a statewide policy didn’t follow until July—as well as to expand her constituents’ access to the ballot box. Early-voting sites offered by the county nearly tripled last year.”
Hidalgo was among 22 public figures featured in the Leaders aspect of the article. Others include climate activist Vanessa Nakate, Georgia Senator, Raphael Warnock, and Maryland Governor, Adam Kinzinger.
Other names to feature on the list include Dua Lipa, John David Washington, Amanda Gorman, Trevor Lawrence, and Tristan Harris.
“It’s hard to imagine a tougher set of circumstances to confront in your first term in office, but she has really distinguished herself and makes us proud—not just as Democrats but as Texans. That’s what leadership looks like,” wrote O’Rourke.