Nelly Jordan is a Chilean-born proud American citizen. “I think many of us who’ve lived in other countries appreciate the American system with a passion,” she said. “We see the United States with what I call ‘a third eye’ and understand how fragile freedom is.”
In April, Nelly was elected vice chair of the Delaware State Republican party. In June, after John Sigler resigned as chairman, Nelly filled in until the party elected the new chairman Charlie Copeland. “I learned a lot in two months,” she said, but she lost a little time in pursuing her main objective: bringing more people into the party. She’s making up for it now.
“As a party, we’ve been labeled a lot of things,” Nelly said. She believes that because of misinformation and political propaganda many people have the wrong impression of the Republican Party.
“We are the party who wants to see people succeed, to inspire hope, to build a strong economy and to offer real opportunity,” she said.
“I am a living example of the changes that have taken place in our party; a Hispanic woman elected to the second highest position, ever, in the Delaware Republican party.”
During her forty three years living and working in Washington, DC, and Delaware, Nelly has observed the breakdown of the American family, our struggling schools and the disparagement of religion.
“It seems like we’ve become a Godless country,” she said. “The economy has become God and laissez faire living is the norm. No Republic can survive that.”
She likened the lack of moral standards to a soccer field without boundaries and lines. “No-one knows where to go or when to stop,” she said.
Nelly is determined to work within the Hispanic community as well as with other minorities to spread the message of inclusiveness in the GOP. “The family is very important to most cultures,” she said. Without strong families and parental responsibility, she believes we cannot build the next generation of leaders.
“I grew up on a small farm in Talca, Chile, where my father was a wine maker.
We all had responsibilities and took care of each other,” Nelly said. When she moved to Washington, DC, she studied at university and met her husband Tom. “Tom and I both had jobs besides owning a small printing company. We worked long hours so that our children could have a good education.” And they had rules. “As a parent, you have to be willing to say ‘No’ and mean it.”
Nelly travels throughout the state working with churches, schools and organizations to encourage them to teach English to immigrants. “No-one really integrates within a society until they learn the language and its history,” she said.
It was while working as Senior Housing and Credit Counselor for the District of Colombia Housing Finance Agency that she began to see problems with the system.
Partly financed by HUD (Housing and Urban Development) and private funds, the organization sought to help those on welfare transition from public housing to home ownership.
“It wasn’t working because the people had gotten used to the monthly subsistence money, food stamps, public housing and free utilities.”
According to Nelly, the program was flawed.
“As soon as people started earning enough to remove themselves from welfare, they saw their government benefits cut off.
Many decided it wasn’t worth it—they chose dependency rather than the struggle to improve. In my years working there [2001 to 2006], I saw that the program wasn’t helping anyone.”
Nelly is a strong advocate of the work ethic.
“Over near the coast we see hundreds of Eastern European employees; they are excited about having work—any work.
Many of our young people nowadays are averse to menial work,” she says.
“They want to start out with big jobs and big salaries.”
Nelly is hopeful but she’s also honest and determined.
“We need to change some things within the Republican Party,” she said.
She believes the party is too much of a top-down organization controlled by too few at the top. “Many Republicans are trying to be ‘Democrat-lite’—and so we don’t stand for anything. I want to see that change.”
“I envision America as a place where anyone who wants to can learn English and become part of society; it can be done. I know so many people that worked and went to school at night to improve their lives.”
Nelly communicates with church leaders and parishioners in an effort to help minorities. She is a compassionate and open-hearted woman. But she’s also a realist.
“All Americans have to grow up; we need to keep our values, work hard and keep families together. This is a great country and we want to keep it that way.”