During election years the Latino vote is often talked about in mythical terms. We are called sleeping giants or swing voters and allegedly make or break the outcome every election cycle. Of course, there is no one Latino vote. Latinos are diverse and complicated. We come from many countries, speak many languages (not just English and Spanish) are multi-racial, and multi-ethnic. There is no one Latino issues no matter how racialized politics in this country tries to tell us differently.
It’s complicated. When a Latino who is eligible to vote doesn’t register or chooses not to vote they are written off as apathetic or uneducated. Thus, even in our own communities, our political power becomes a commodity fought over not just by traditional political parties, but by a non-profit system that actually puts a dollar amount on every voter form and body at the poll.
Which topics are important to you? I vote and use as many platforms at my disposal to talk and write about my life as a Latin@. Not to be cliched but politics is personal so I care about immigration (yes even as a U.S. citizen Puerto Rican). I care about education as someone who still wants to finish my undergraduate work and who has two children in the public education system of this country. I care about healthcare as one of the millions of uninsured Latin@s in this country. I care about the way mamis are portrayed and talked about instead of being listened to and supported. I care about access to food and work as a person struggling economically. While so many want to speak about us and for us – we need to give ourselves our own voice and honestly we have. Tonight a media town hall gives another possibility.
Premiering on nuvoTV on Aug. 19 at 8PM, that’s tonight, the We Decide Latino town hall special will be moderated by award-winning journalist Natalie Morales and will feature a panel of high-profile experts who will engage with a live audience and other virtual participants connecting through social media platforms. The hour-long program will explore how the presidential candidates are addressing issues specific to Latinos in the United States, including unemployment, healthcare and education.
You can tune in tonight, join in and represent via Facebook, or follow the #WeDecide hashtag on Twitter.
Remember, every action and yes even not participating sends a message, is media. Communicates and reflects.
Disclosure : This post is compensated in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and nuvoTV.