By: Luz Collective
According to the Latino Victory Project:
54 million Latinos live in the United States, comprising 17 percent of the population. However, just one percent of the nearly 500,000 elected officials in federal, state and local governments nationwide are Latino.
You read that right. 1% of a half million elected positions across the country are held by Latinx. And this doesn’t even break down the male/female distribution which if you said to yourself, “I’m sure is disgustingly low,” you’d be correct.
So how much representation do 28 million U.S. Latinas get?
4 Statewide Executives
(like Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, and other statewide offices)
And 1 U.S. Senator
And a partridge in a pear tree. While the numbers are dismal and the list sounds like a really bad version of the 12 days of Christmas, the progress is indeed coming, slowly but surely. TODAY, election day in the U.S., gives us the opportunity to elect a record number of Latinas to elected office at all levels of government, from local offices all the way to Governor and the U.S. Congress.
But what does it matter if Latinas are elected to office? Well first and foremost, do we want rooms full of mostly white men making decisions and passing laws that affect everything from our healthcare decisions, to the sales taxes we pay (ummm, hello, heard of the pink tax?), to the languages that are offered on voting ballots?
Pretty sure we can all agree that the answer to this is a resounding and forceful, HELL TO THE NAH. By virtue of population alone, 28 million Latinas deserve to have our perspectives and our needs represented at all levels of government. We pay our taxes just like everyone else so why shouldn’t we have our voices and perspectives heard?
Today you can do just that.
Is a Latina on your ballot today? Do a quick google search to see if they align with your values and beliefs. Figure out if you support their political party affiliation. And go out and cast your vote if you think that person deserves it.
If you don’t think you are informed enough to vote for every single person or item on the ballot, that’s OK! You should still vote for the ones that you do feel informed enough about. It’s not a requirement to vote for every single item on the ballot.
But whatever you do, don’t sit this election out. We deserve representation and only we can make that happen. Find your voting location here.