Jenni Rivera fought for Women, Immigrants and LGBT Youth.


In Vern’s recent article entitled “What Next for Districting in Anaheim?” one of the commenters posted the following in response to Vern’s dismissive remark “Nobody remembers the name of the Latina who ran”  …

  1. jose

Posted December 4, 2012 at 11:47 PM

Jennifer Rivera is the answer.  I remember it because it sounds like Jenni Rivera, a very well know Mexican singer.

On Sunday December 9,  the singer, Jenni Rivera, died when the plane in which she was traveling crashed outside Monterrey, Mexico, after a performance.

Jorge Rivas, from, wrote about her significance.  The following is an excerpt from his article:

“The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Rivera was born and raised in Long Beach, California.   She was fluent in Spanish, English and Spanglish and had fans on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

For many Latinos she was a symbol of successfully straddling two cultures.  She grew up in a Spanish-speaking home with Mexican traditions and attended Long Beach Unified School District schools that taught in English.  And she believed that both the English and Spanish language were equally as important.

…Rivera gained notoriety singing a traditional style of music usually reserved for men and was successful in both Mexico and the United States.  She was a judge on Mexico’s version of “The Voice” and most recently signed a deal with ABC to star in her own television show on the U.S. network.  Rivera was supposed to star in the show as a “strong, middle-class, single Latina woman working to raise a family” while fighting the cultural perception that she needed a man to do it.

Rivera was someone who stood up for what she believed in.  She never held back and oftentimes she found herself in the center of controversies.  Most recently a divorce and a very public flight with her oldest daughter made headline news.

But Rivera also stood up for several causes that were close to her heart, most notably the rights of those who have experienced domestic and sexual abuse.

While attending Long Beach Poly High School, Rivera became pregnant with the first of her five children, and eventually married the child’s father, José Trinidad Marín in 2006. Marín was later convicted of raping Rivera’s daughter and a sister-in-law.

That experience lead her to champion the rights of single mothers, young mothers and those who have experienced sexual violence. Her songs became anthems for many women.

On August 6, 2010, Jenni Rivera was named spokeswoman for the National Coalition Against Battered Women and Domestic Violence in Los Angeles.  “In her life, Jenni has fought for women’s rights, for protection of children subject to abuse, and had dedicated herself to the empowerment and protection of battered women everywhere,” read a press release announcing Rivera’s appointment.

That same day, the L.A. City Council officially named August 6th Jenni Rivera Day in honor of her work in the community.

Rivera was also outspoken about other political issues.

She was one of the first celebrities to call Arizona’s SB1070 law “racist” and attended marches in Arizona.

“[SB1070] is an injustice, it’s discriminatory, it’s hate, it doesn’t respect humanity and it’s racist,” Rivera told reporters at a 2010 march in Arizona. Rivera marched with immigrant rights groups for five miles in 110 degree heat and would end up in an emergency room that night as a result.

To express her support for LGBT youth and to stand up against bullying Rivera participated in Spirit Day in 2011.  GLAAD points out Rivera performed in a purple dress at the Billboard Awards for Mexican music to honor those young people who lost their lives to suicide and to take a stand against bullying.

…After a 2003 car accident, Rivera wrote a song titled “Cuando Se Muere Una Dama” which translates to “When a Lady Dies.” The song is about how she would like to be remembered.

An excerpt from “Cuando Se Muere Una Dama” is below:

Jenni in 2003 (OC Weekly)

I want one last celebration at my funeral
all those who loved me will have to celebrate
remembering my smile and the way I cry

I was a strong guerillera
I fought hard for my children
Remember well that in life
Your mother didn’t break
With my head held high
With honor say goodbye”

Another OJB  commenter expressed her sorrow:

    • Nick Ceci

Posted December 9, 2012 at 8:20 PM

Odd you mention Jenni Rivera. She died today. RIP.

Jenny Rivera, Que en Paz Descanse (QPD)

(Gustavo at the OC Weekly:  Jenni Rivera Had Ovaries of Steel.)


About Ricardo Toro

Anaheim resident for several decades. In addition to political blogging, another area of interest is providing habitats for the Monarch butterfly.