It’s important that kids are encouraged to shoot for the stars when it comes to their dreams. But nothing can replace the impact of seeing someone, especially someone similar to them, making those dreams come true. This is the impact that Mar Galcerán is having now that she’s been appointed to a position on the Spain parliament. This makes her Spain’s first parliamentarian with Down syndrome.
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Galcerán entered the political world at 18 years old by joining the conservative People’s Party (PP). Ever since then, she’s worked hard to make a positive impact. In doing so, she’s proven to be a viable candidate for parliament.
In May, the PP created a list of ranked candidates with Galcerán in 20th place. With this ranking, and with a former parliamentarian stepping down to take on a new role, this made way for the Galcerán to make history.
This isn’t the first time someone with Down syndrome has taken on a political role in Spain. In 2013, Ángela Bachiller became the country’s first city councilor with this disability. Even still, Galcerán’s new role is said to be a first for all of Europe.
Mar Galcerán Makes History With New Role in Spain Parliament
“It’s unprecedented,” Galcerán says. “Society is starting to see that people with Down’s syndrome have a lot to contribute. But it’s a very long road.”
While the 45-year-old is happy to share that she’s received lots of support, she also doesn’t shy away from acknowledging those who question her ability to do her job.
“You find all sorts on social media,” she says in regards to the kinds of reactions she’s received. “There are people who support me. But there are also others who think I’m not capable. But these are people who don’t know me or my background.”
Between Galcerán’s inspiring attitude and her determination to make positive changes in Spain, she’s sure to also leave a lasting impact on others who have disabilities, serving as a reminder to what is possible.
“I want to learn how to do it well, for Valencianos, and more importantly, for those of us who have different abilities,” she shares, adding, “I want people to see me as a person, not just for my disability.”
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