Ángel Picón / Bilingual Weekly Guest Columnist
So the elections are again upon us. Many Latinos in the central valley are asking who do we vote, and how do we decide who is the best candidate that supports our issues?
Let me use this analogy so I can better explain the current state of affairs for Latinos. A candidate would ask, do we shake them or do we keep them asleep? This translates to keep us from participating in the electoral process.
A few weeks ago in Nevada a campaign ad appeared that went as far as saying to the Latinos to “don’t vote” this is ridiculous since the promoter of the ad was trying to yield the benefit, of Latinos not voting, for a member of his own party.
Two years ago there were promises of a possible immigration reform, and the passage of the Dream Act, an act that would had allow undocumented students with good moral character and volunteer to go to the armed forces, setting them on a path to legal status. Had these bills passed, this would have benefited our Latino immigrant population in the Central Valley. All failed. These matters are very important to the Latino community but yet no one bothered to inform Latinos. So, again, we are here dealing with and conundrum of the situation. So what are Latinos to do?
Back to my analogy – do we shake them or do we keep them asleep (the Latino Voter)? Essentially this is a question that candidates asked themselves and perhaps it will work and perhaps it will not. There is a danger to keep the Latino voter in either position for the candidate. Perhaps a political consultant said to the candidate ‘don’t bring up the “I” word, it could back fire and it would not be good. But how to you isolate the Latino voter with all the social media outlets among us, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace etc. and thanks to the television coverage of the Arizona debacle with the anti-immigrant sentiment that started in that state. Many of us remember prop 187 in California it’s just too hard not to miss any of it. I think that there is, still, a notion that Latinos only care for their novelas and beer. Wrong. Latinos do care for what’s going on in our country. Latinos have reached and continue to move upward in the levels of concern with their children’s education and other issues that are very important to our U.S. population. We care for what we eat, breathe and take into our minds. This translates to knowing how our country operates hence the number of registered voters has increased. The sentiment is very evident in a resent Hispanic Pew Center research done leading to the 2010 mid-term elections- that while the numbers hold strong for the Democrats- the Latino voter lack motivation. As an upward voting group, candidates wondered why- we are so important, or not. November 3rd a day after the election we will wake up and see the many surprises and the outcomes and we will ask many questions about the outcome. In any matter whether you are a Republican or a Democrat you have and must participate in our electoral process. It is the only way we will see the changes we seek for the betterment of our country.
- Poll: Latino voters more enthusiastic (politico.com)
- Just Reverting to Form? (talkingpointsmemo.com)
- Latinos to Barbara Boxer: ‘You’re No Friend’ (prnewswire.com)
- Poll: Latino voters less energized (politico.com)
- Telling Latinos, “Don’t Vote” is screwed up (chicagonow.com)
- Obama to Latinos on Univision: “Punish” Your “Enemies” in the Voting Booth (fireandreamitchell.com)
- The 2010 Midterm Elections: A Latino Perspective (eon.businesswire.com)
- “Whitmanâ€™s Investment in Latino Outreach May Not Pay on Election Day” and related posts (latinopoliticsblog.com)
- GOP’s Latino woes not immigration (politico.com)
- Obama: Fate of immigration reform hinges on election (thehill.com)