CV News Feed // Spain elected the first parliamentarian with Down syndrome, making history as the first country to elect a representative with this type of disability.
In September, Mar Galcerán, 45, was elected to serve in Spain’s regional parliament. With her victory, she became the first person with Down syndrome to serve in a European Parliament.
“It’s unprecedented,” Galcerán told the Guardian. “Society is starting to see that people with Down’s syndrome have a lot to contribute. But it’s a very long road.”
The victory comes after an already successful career in local politics. When Galcerán turned 18, she registered as a member of the conservative People’s Party. Over time, she worked her way up the party’s ranks, becoming more and more involved.
While there have been multiple people with Down syndrome serving in local politics across Europe, Galcerán is believed to be the first person with the disability to serve at the national level.
“We haven’t heard of anyone else,” said Agustín Matía Amor of Down España. “It’s a huge step forward and an example of real inclusion.”
Over the course of her political career, Galcerán has been a major advocate for those with Down syndrome and other disabilities, fighting for greater inclusion. She sees her position now as a great responsibility.
“I want to learn how to do it well, for Valencianos, and more importantly, for those of us who have different abilities,” said Galcerán.
However, she hopes to do more than just advocate for people with disabilities; she hopes to be able to represent all the people who elected her.
“I want people to see me as a person, not just for my disability,” said Galcerán.