This commentary was originally published in El Semanario: https://www.elsemanario.us/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/the-weekly-issue-el-semanario-october-27-2022-digital-edition.pdf
"As people of color, we have a potent power – and a responsibility – to change events around us, not just professionally, but spiritually and politically as well.”[i] Those words from activist, Michelle Herrera Mulligan, carry a lot of weight this election season, as the midterm elections are upon us.
This November is our opportunity to use our power and responsibility to make transformational change in Colorado. This is our opportunity to protect our civil rights and civil liberties, when we can no longer count on our federal governmental systems and elected leaders, to do that for us.
In a survey commissioned by ACLU of Colorado in August, Latinx voters said voting is important for making change.
However, in the 2018 midterm elections only 44 percent of eligible Latinx voters turned out. If the turnout rate is the same this year, that means more than 410,000 eligible Latinx voters will not cast their vote by Election Day this November. 410,000!
According to our survey, 68 percent of Latinx voters are more likely to turnout for Presidential elections than Congressional elections, despite the fact they said they are more hopeful and motivated by state and local politics.
Our Latinx communities have made it clear, they are concerned about the rising cost of living in Colorado, and they want more done to address the affordable housing crisis in our state that is leaving so many people and families unhoused. They were among the top concerns identified by Latinx survey respondents.
These issues are on the ballot and our vote is our power to address these urgent concerns!
State Proposition 123 will help increase and maintain the number of affordable housing units across the state. According to our survey, most voters in Colorado support this affordable housing measure.
In Denver, Initiated Ordinance 305 will keep more Denver families in their homes by ensuring access to free legal assistance for renters, so they are not unfairly evicted.
In order to make real change, Latinx voters must vote in these midterm elections. You will send a clear message on issues that matter most to you, as well as make sure that candidates who support these issues are elected.
If there are questions whether our votes can make a difference, this year’s election is where our collective power will make the changes we seek.
Our votes matter.
In the words of philanthropist, Juan Sepulveda, “There are two forms of power in the world: money and bodies. We didn’t have as much money…. but we had a lot of bodies.”[ii]
410,000 bodies carry a lot of power.
Let’s show up strong this election season.
We have the power.
We are the vote.
We can be the change we want to see.
[i] “19 Inspirational quotes from Latinx leaders,” (2017, October 11), Jopwell (The Well). https://www.jopwell.com/thewell/posts/19-inspirational-quotes-from-latin.... Retrieved, October 20, 2022.
[ii] “19 Inspirational quotes from Latinx leaders,” 2017), Jopwell (The Well). https://www.jopwell.com/thewell/posts/19-inspirational-quotes-from-latin.... Retrieved, October 20, 2022.
Original issue of El Semanario can be found below. See page 6 for Deborah Richardson's commentary.