Elizabeth Lavin photographs Acuña near I-30 in early September. Zac Crain

Politics & Government

Rebecca Acuña Is the Most Helpful Subject I’ve Ever Profiled

It's always good to write about people who work in communications.

I’m going to immediately undercut the headline of this post by mentioning that when I first reached out to Rebeccca Acuña to see if she would let me write about her life and career, notably her then-fresh hiring to head up Joe Biden’s Texas campaign, it took her a week to get back to me. When I finally got her on the phone, Acuña said that she was a little uncomfortable being the focus of the piece I had planned. She didn’t have anything to hide, and she realized she had a powerful story to share: a woman who came to Texas from Mexico, went to UT as an undocumented student thanks to a new law, eventually became a U.S. citizen, and would vote in a presidential election for the first time this year, while she was helping run one candidate’s campaign. It just felt like like it would look like she was showing her work instead of actually working.

But once she signed on, I couldn’t have asked for a better subject. She sent me dozens of photos, all annotated with little stories, which was enormously helpful. She made time for a Zoom call while in El Paso visiting her mother. And she tromped through mud and scrubby weeds — in high heels, no less — for our photo shoot, then stood on a fairly uncomfortable angle for those photos.

Here is the result of that help, which is in our October issue.

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