art by Favianna Rodriguez
“ Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ” – Paulo Freire, Educator
Today marks the definitive rise of the Latino vote. In article after article, the media is reporting that Latinos voted in record numbers and played a historic role in U.S. politics. Turn out alone is huge victory and is forcing top Republicans to admit, "We have a Latino problem that just cost us a (Presidential) election," GOP strategist Mike Murphy.
At the heart of this sea change are the issues we all care about. For example, CNN reported that over 65% of voters favor a pathway to legalization.
Thanks to your efforts and despite multiple barriers, Latinos in Pennsylvania and Nevada turned out in record numbers and increased their total vote share by 6% and 2% respectively. You raised your voice against voter suppression and helped stop a GOP contractor in Nevada who was threatening to shoot a Latina registering voters, and you called for billboards in Pennsylvania misinforming voters in Spanish-speaking neighborhoods—to be taken down. Your actions, the work of local groups like PLAN in Nevada, groups in Pennsylvania and the determination of the Latinos in those states ultimately succeeded.
Thousands of you signed and shared pledges to vote, petitions fighting intimidation, and donated time and money to inform voters about candidates dangerous to Latinos. We even had Presente.org members phone banking all day to defeat anti-immigrant extremist Representative Francisco Canseco in Texas. And it worked—he lost!
Latinos helped win this election for President Obama, and now we must use our collective power to help him end the terror that millions of Latino and other immigrants are living under. The first months of his second term are the most crucial days for him to act. President Obama told Univision that his biggest failure was that he hadn’t “gotten comprehensive immigration reform done yet.” So, we must make sure he acts to provide immigrants some immediate relief!
We will continue fighting for the issues that matter to you and calling out politicians who enact policies that hurt us. We will remind those in office that Latinos showcased their political power this election and we expect real action in return.
Let’s do this.