Palermo Galindo Reflects on the Women Who Inspired Him to Participate in Civic Engagement

Palermo Galindo Reflects on the Women Who Inspired Him to Participate in Civic Engagement

Palermo Galindo
Community Liaison-Manager of Community Relations, City of Fort Wayne

In 1915, Hermila Galindo created a magazine called La Mujer Moderna (The Modern Woman) in Mexico City. At the time, Galindo’s views on sex education and women’s sexuality were considered to be extremely radical. Her approach in seeking equality and women’s rights was seen as controversial. The newly elected Mexican, President Venustiano Carranza, hired her as his private secretary; she was a champion of women’s rights in Mexico. As the women’s suffrage movement made progress in Great Britain and the United States, there was a similar movement brewing in Mexico.  

Ms. Galindo submitted a proposal for women’s equality to the Mexican Congress in 1917. But the item was striked from the final agenda. Gabriela Cano, historian, reported that, “it was the first time that, in Mexico, a woman contended as an electoral choice.” According to records of March 2, 1917, she took matters into her own hands and filed as a candidate for Deputy of 5th constituency of Mexico City. Galindo won a majority of the votes. The Electoral College rejected her results, claiming that they were complying with the law forbidding women. She accepted the rejection but made it clear that her purpose had been to show publicly that women could be elected and should be allowed to hold public office.

In 1923, Galindo attended a Feminist Congress in the State of Tabasco and organized several revolutionary clubs in Campeche, Tabasco, Veracruz, and Yucatán. She married later that year and ended her political involvement. On August 18, 1954, the 34th anniversary of suffrage for women in the United States, Galindo passed away in Mexico City. She was a woman considered ahead of her time by many and was celebrated by Google Doodle in 2018.

Even though we have the same last name, I have no family relation or association with Ms. Hermilia Galindo. I grew up in Mexico and lived in a very humble household in the state of Morelos, located south of Mexico City, with my mother Cristina Aguilar and grandmother Felix Pérez. I experienced first-hand a resilient spirit and an everlasting “can do” attitude from both of them, even in the hard times. Without any doubt, mamá and abuelita were my Hermilias, and with that in mind, I always try to exemplify their unwavering determination to make the best of any situation.

The importance of voting was also important for my mother; she always made sure she went to vote and updated her voting card until she was not physically able due to Parkinson’s disease. When I became a US citizen, it was significant to me to keep my voting information up to date and go vote because I knew Mom would be proud each time I did.

I have voted in each election since becoming a citizen. I vote as a person of color and engaged citizen. Over the years, it has become a point of  pride to exercise my right to cast my vote. Civic engagement made me want to get involved in local politics, run for office, and I have served or volunteered at many levels in my community. I know that many women fought for the 19th amendment, and just like the important women who influenced my life, and now because of my children, I continue to go to my polling place (or currently due to the pandemic) request an absentee ballot.

Today, I am as present as the first time I was introduced to civic engagement by mother, Cristina. I will never underestimate the freedom and power to cast my vote and proudly represent all who sacrificed so much and fought until the end to rightfully earn this right. I encourage you to register to vote and go vote in November for the upcoming election and the elections thereafter. Make it a day with your children or relatives. Yes, it is that important!

Please receive my heartfelt thanks and happy 100th Anniversary of Suffragette Victory!  ¡Sí se Puede!


Palermo Galindo