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Change keeps changing

January 29, 2021

President Biden’s Administration has important issues to address regarding Latinx.

One of the most important one – if Democrats want to secure a sizable (and predictable) Hispanic vote poll in the future – is establishing a fruitful dialogue while knowing that in battleground states, the amount of Hispanics grew more than other racial or ethnic group as a share of eligible voters.

However they never seem to materialize at the polls. 

With 32 million Latinx eligible voters, another presidential and senatorial election has come to pass, and as far as the Latinx vote goes, the results were perceived as somewhat frustrating. It shouldn’t be a surprise. We have been hearing the same discourse election after election for decades, as if Latinx did not act as expected. But what exactly was “expected”? Or to put it more bluntly, how can politicians predict our behavior? We feel like the surface of who we really are, what our core concerns, dreams and our expectations are has not been scratched yet.

Yes, campaigns may be aware of the fact that “Hispanics are not a monolithic group”. 

Let’s unpack this for a bit. There are beliefs, behaviors, languages, practices and expressions that are unique to the Latinx from the Bronx, and differ from the Miami-Dade Latinx and in turn from the ones in South Central Los Angeles Add to that layers of the country of ancestry, dialect, number of people in the household, length of time in the country, and so on for each Latinx group and subgroup identified in the US voters map. Knowing how each of these groups engage with their own identity is the key to the heart of the Latinx community.

What we hear over and over from the people on the street is that the Latinx community feels like a political tool that only comes handy when needed. Moreover, (for reasons we’ll discuss in upcoming articles) many communities feel their vote doesn’t count, so they don’t bother to go out and vote. This lack of sense of political empowerment has deep consequences. 

 “If you’re invisible in the data, it’s hard to make you visible to a campaign,” Carlos Odio warned. There simply wasn’t enough polling data on Latinx voters to figure out how to reach them, understand their motivations, or strategize ways to draw them to the polls.”

 Politics should not be transactional. It shouldn’t just be getting a vote by going after a vote. 

 A new reach effort should have a 2 two-pronged approach: Connect with Hispanic leadership and engage in meaningful outreach to local communities to mobilize these voters.

 But how to achieve this “meaningful outreach”? 

President Biden’s administration will have to invest heavily in understanding and responding to the diversity among Latino voters, build a coalition and start engaging with key decision-makers, so these elusive voters will be present at the polling centers for years to come.

In today’s socioeconomic and political landscape, things have to change. 

The Biden campaign did earn a solid majority of Latinx votes, and now his administration will have to show a strong commitment to addressing not only their most pressing demands, but also the misunderstandings and the mistrust.

 As a diverse group of Latinx, we at Moira are familiar with the challenges we all have to face as Hispanic Americans, and how different our world view can be, even among ourselves. This disparity is part of who we are, the same as diversity is part of the richness of the Latinx contribution to the American culture.

We all know that as a society, we are not out of the woods yet, but our determination to give a voice to every single Latinx and face the challenges involved, is as strong as ever.

 

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