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“All About Our Vote” by Mi Familia Vota Opens a Much-Needed Space to Inform and Energize Latino Voters

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There are many questions about the turnout of Latinos for this election, but something that is clear is the huge amount of work multiple organization have been executing on the ground to mobilize the Latino vote. Mi Familia Vota has been one of the leading organizations in reaching out to Latinos where they are: at their doors, in their neighborhoods, and in their virtual spaces including TV, radio, and on social media.

Two weeks away from Election Day, Mi Familia Vota organized “All About Our Vote”, a Facebook Live chat where seasoned journalist and former news anchor of Univision, Maria Elena Salinas, joined journalist and America’s Voice California State Director Adriana Ruggiero to talked to Latino voters about every aspect of the upcoming election.

They were joined by 28-year-old Mi Familia Vota team member, Antonio Garza, who is a new citizen and will be a first time voter. The hour-long conversation went from very basic information about the elections to covering more concrete issues like what matters to Latinos in specific states.

Maria Elena Salinas spoke about working with the Hispanic audience for so many years, explaining and reminding voters why the midterm elections are so important and what is at stake, and how it is critical for Latinos to participate in every election cycle. “Even though we are the biggest minority group, we usually don’t vote if it’s not a presidential election, but these elections are crucial because the balance of power is up for grab,” she said.

Not only the “why” was covered during this live conversation, but also the “what”, starting from what positions are been disputed for Congress and what seats by state, and also diving into what propositions are and how they could affect people’s daily lives.

“There are multiple topics that are for discussion on the ballot that touch our lives and the lives of our loved ones. These are called propositions and they vary per state, but a good example of how personal these are is Proposition 10 in California. This proposition will decide on the rent control in the state. What can be closer to us than a measurement that will affect the roof over our heads?” Adriana explained.

The power of young Latinos was another subject that was well represented by Antonio, who shared how after being a resident in the US for many years, now he felt compelled to take action. “I am very excited because it’s the first time I will be able to vote. I became a citizen only a couple of months ago and I am very proud of doing the work I’m doing with Mi Familia Vota to get out the Latino vote because it’s a very difficult time for immigrants and Latinos in the country, so I feel that’s my duty to do something about it,” Antonio said.

The Facebook Live, which was conducted in Spanish, was also an opportunity to tackle the issues that concern Latinos the most in the country. And even though there are common topics across the country, like immigration, environmental problems, and health care, issues by state were discussed while asking viewers to share their location and the main subjects they cared about.

These are the state issues highlighted and discussed during the Facebook Live:

  • Arizona: education (#RedForEd); immigration (sanctuary city, border wall); healthcare (ACA); voting rights.
  • California: immigration (sanctuary city law, border wall); environment (cleaner car & clean-air standards, contaminated tap water); healthcare (access, costs).
  • Colorado: economy (taxes,  jobs); immigration; healthcare (costs, quality); environment (renewable energy).
  • Florida: gambling; property taxes; health care (prescriptions drug prices, medicare-for-all); economy (wages, unemployment, wealth gap); school safety (weak gun laws); and the environment (climate change, development, water quality).
  • Nevada: health care (pre-existing condition, medicaid expansion, prescription drug prices, medicare-for-all); immigration; economy (jobs).
  • Texas: healthcare (costs, quality); immigration (SB-4); border security (border wall); political corruption/leadership; education; health care; gun control/violence.

The Facebook Live (which you can watch here) offered an opportunity to Spanish-speaking Latino voters to ask questions about where and how to vote or register, a clear example of how much education and information the electorate still needs. In these cases, viewers were directed to the Mi Familia Vota web page from where they will be directed to their specific state/county election sites.