Each year at this time, I remember my great-grandmother Betty Alexander. She was a house slave in Wheelock, Texas in the mid-1800s. This resolute woman was one of the hundreds of thousands of people informed of their freedom by arriving Union troops on June 19, 1865. This week, we celebrate that date as Juneteenth. The day of celebration was the beginning of a centuries-long struggle for this country to live up to its founding promise of justice and equality for all. We have made great strides. My great-grandmother Betty, no doubt aware of laws against teaching slaves to read and write, believed that literacy, and education, equaled true freedom. She made sure my Mother, Katheryn, went to college. In turn, my Mother and Father supported my education when I went to Howard University, and then to law school. Today as a Representative in the New Mexico legislature I have a hand in making laws. And I recognize the importance of my seat at the table. I will continue to march, fight, and vote for the more perfect union we deserve – from classrooms and courtrooms, to housing and health care, to the workplace and the ballot box. There are many ways to commemorate Juneteenth, but if you're looking for one, will you join my fight for more equitable communities? My great-grandmother, Betty Alexander, and I, thank you.