The Census Bureau estimates that Latinos will grow by 63 million people or a stunning 48% of total growth and make up 25%of the U.S. population by 2050. The 2010 Census places Hispanics at 16.3% or 50.5M. Currently Latinos are the majority minority and in many communities the majority. Latinos will continue to grow exponentially and contribute to the strength of this nation.
These estimates can be very alarming to Latinos and others who until the 2008 Presidential elections had not seen the power of the Latino political vote. As the majority ethnic population, Latinos have a responsibility to be engaged in the future of our country and shape our future by voting and bringing positive solutions for change.
Latinas represent 50% of the Latino population and will help guide our community to winning economic, social and political battles that are necessary if we are to thrive and grow.
Our Latina priorities continue to be defined, but what is clear is that our children are at the center of our lives and their future is a priority. We must secure their future.
Working together we will guarantee our rights under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. We will work for equal rights for women and children under the law, champion civic engagement, help elect officials that are aligned with our values and beliefs; create healthy environments for children; fight bigotry, racism and discrimination wherever it exists and end violence and hatred of our Latino community and our children.
The following are the eLatinaVoices issues important to our community:
Latina Leadership : A recent poll conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center revealed …national Latino leaders are invisible. In the study, one Latina woman is mentioned as one of the most significant leaders in the country. . . U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. We must work hard to identify and support our contributing Latina leaders beyond their regional or state boundaries and help them onto the national stage of influence.
Public Policy: Latinas will use their collective voices to influence public policies that are in the best interest of children, women and families. We will also fight against legislation that places children, women and families in harm’s way by engaging and taking political actions that will favor the rights and well being of children.
Education: Eliminate education inequities and disadvantages faced by Latinos in the United States by encouraging the public and private sector to invest in the education of children; identify education programs that deliver educational results; promote the participation of Latinos and their families in acquiring a formal education; eliminate barriers to accessing education; work to improve parent participation in their children’s education; and change public policies that hinders all children from getting an education.
Citizenship rights for children: All children born on American soil are protected under the Constitution of the United States. We will continue to fight for children’s rights since they cannot speak for themselves. Equality under the law can be lost at any time when you have elected officials who are willing to sacrifice children’s rights to guarantee their own political gains.
Economic equality: eLatinaVoices advocates for a wide range of economic issues affecting Latina women; from job opportunities, education, wage disparities, business growth opportunities, housing, social security, lending laws and financial stability. These issues will become critical to a young, thriving and growing Latino community. The progress made on issues of equality are still elusive to Latinos and we will strive to continue the guarantees made under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other fair treatment laws that guarantee fair play and equality for all. Our future can be lost at any time because the advances made depend on state and federal legislation which can be repealed and eliminated by state elected officials or by Congress.
Bigotry, Racism and Discrimination: eLatinaVoices condemns the racism and bigotry that inflicts a total society and results in race and sex discrimination against Latinos and other groups. We are committed to fighting against those barriers to equality and justice that are imposed by racist tactics against Latinos and other communities. Living in united, supportive healthy communities is critical to a healthy society. Many of the members of eLatinaVoices have a history of engagement in the struggle for civil rights since the early 60’s and they understand what is at stake. We intend to raise the level of awareness among young Latinas and our communities about racism and how to deal with those who practice racist tactics to oppress total communities and keep them from exercising their rights.
Violence and Crimes Against Women and Children: eLatinaVoices will take action to emphasize the need to address the issues of domestic violence; crimes against children; human trafficking of women and children; sexual harassment and assault; hate crimes against women; protection of victim survivors of violence and the role that poverty plays in subjecting Latinas to increased harm. We will review the many facets of our economic, political and social systems that are biased and work with similar organizations to find solutions.
Voter Awareness and Action First, democracy is strongest when citizens participate. Historically, Latinos have not been full participants, but that is about to change. The best way to get political leaders to pay attention to our issues is to demonstrate that Latinos are a viable constituency that can be mobilized to vote. By increasing the number of Latinos voting in a big way, issues affecting our community will be addressed and politicians will take our community opinions seriously.
Latinas will vote and make a difference. Many Latinas have been disconnected from the political system. Some felt disillusioned and disempowered within the political process and did not vote. Now, our children are under attack and we have no choice but to engage. eLatinaVoices will inform and reach out to Latinas nationwide with the aim of creating political awareness and preparing for election year 2012.