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La Liga de Las Americas

Developing a Culture of Voting For Latinos

The Mexican-American community in Toledo and across the state has a great opportunity to start laying the groundwork for a major voter registration and turnout campaign for the presidential election in November of 2008.

Developing a healthy culture of voting for our gente takes years if not longer, but that could change starting now!

While we do have a history of voting, most research shows that Latino voters across the nation are so small that we mostly guess and sometimes embellish our turnout numbers as to not to look so insignificant in political discussions when compared to whites, blacks, women, and the elderly.

Some high profiled organizations such as Pew or other elected or appointed opinion leaders have criticized election results that show Latinos, primarily Mexican-Americans, at the lowest end of getting out the vote charts, but the reality is that our gente are just not coming out to vote when compared to other groups mentioned. Our leaders make more excuses for our shortcomings but can’t seem to find “one” good reason why we are not voting at the 70 or 80 percentile.

Already, the Ohio Americans of Far Eastern background, including Arabs, Pakistanis, Muslims, etc., are putting Governor-elect Ted Strickland on notice that they need to be considered and placed on the over 180 commissions and boards, at the state level.

Have we ever done this? How many of our gente do you think serve or will serve on these boards and commissions? These appointments are primarily represented by whites and will determine, for example, the kind of quality of education and dropout prevention support our niños will receive and also the kind of job training and hiring of our Mexican-American adults will get now and in the future.

Do you think those whites and the few African-Americans appointed to these boards and commissions will be looking out for our best interest in any significant way?  ¡Tas loco!

The need to start something, anything! That will take us away from living like satisfied slaves needs to start today. Developing a culture of voting for Latinos is one sure way of passing a better life and future to our children and the following generations.

Start preparing a voter registration and turnout plan today and not mañana!


Ramón Pérez
Toledo, Ohio        






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