Patricia is one of nine children from a Catholic farming family that migrated from Bohemia to Nebraska in the late 1800s.
Through a friend during a college internship, she was exposed to migrant workers who worked the sugar beet and apple harvest. She learned about the U.S.’s bracero program which relied on Mexican workers’ labor while the American labor force was away at war. She also met people from Central America and learned how U.S. foreign policy and intervention into other governments led to people fleeing for their lives.
As an elected official, City Council Member of Seminole, FL, Patricia thinks of immigrants in leading our flag salute. Patricia says, “We do not say ‘liberty and justice for people who look like me, talk like me or pray like me’, we say simply ‘for all’ because every person in America is to be treated with liberty and justice. Anything less could be dangerous for any one of us.”
The Mexican-American friend who first exposed Patricia to farmworkers is the same person who enabled her migrating from Nebraska to Florida. “I am so grateful to her as this has redirected and enriched my entire life.”