By: Elisa Montoya-National Latino Outreach Director, Obama for America
On November 4th, Latinos will go to the polls and make their voices heard, many of them for the first time, in one of the most important and historic elections of our generation. I believe that Latinos should give that vote to Senator Obama.
Senator Obama’s message of hope, opportunity and bringing real change to our country is one that strongly resonates with Latino voters. We have been disproportionately hit by the current economic crisis and the failed economic policies of the past eight years. With a nearly eight percent unemployment rate and one of the highest home foreclosure rates, Latinos understand just how critical this election is. Many of us have worked so hard, taking on extra jobs but are still falling further behind.
Latinos believe in the American Dream – whether you are a recently arrived immigrant or your family has been here for generations. But the sad truth is that the American Dream – El Sueño Americano – has become more elusive as our families struggle just to make ends meet. Our country is going in the wrong direction for too many of us – and Senator Obama’s policies will put us back on track to make sure the American Dream is still accessible to us and to our children and grand children for many generations to come.
Latinos are so inherently optimistic. We have faith in God, our families, and the hard work we do each and every day to provide for all of those we love. Senator Obama’s message is based on that kind of optimism. The strength of this country was built on the notion that there is nothing we cannot achieve if we work together in pursuit of our common dreams and common purpose. We are a country that was founded on the notion that if we work hard and play by the rules, that the American Dream is attainable for all of us. Yet George Bush, with John McCain at his side, has not been on the side of the middle class and has put that dream farther and farther out of reach for too many. He has been on the side of big corporations while the working class and the middle class have been forgotten.
As President, Senator Obama will make sure that the next four years don’t look like the last eight. He will put the working class and the middle class first, by providing meaningful tax relief and by creating jobs. An Obama administration will also cut taxes for the vast majority of small businesses and support policies that will enable minority entrepreneurs to take that first step to running their own business. He will also provide immediate relief to homeowners who are facing foreclosure or struggling to make mortgage payments by enacting a 90 day moratorium on home foreclosures for homeowners who are making a good-faith effort to make their mortgage payments and re-negotiate their mortgages. Senator Obama will give hard working people the breathing room they need to get back on their feet during this time of crisis.
One out of three Latinos does not have access to good health care. A Barack Obama administration will make access to health care a priority so that mothers no longer have to go to bed worried that they cannot afford to care for a sick child. And he will fight for better education in our public schools to ensure that a good education, which is the pillar to a brighter future, is accessible to all our families regardless of where they live or how much money they make.
In short, Barack Obama and Joe Biden will not only put the American Dream back within our reach, but also will provide Latinos and all Americans with the tools they need to give their families, and their children and grandchildren a better, brighter future.
And I do believe that this is a compelling enough reason for all of us to vote on November 4th.
Elisa Montoya is currently serving as National Latino Outreach Director for the Obama for America Campaign. Ms. Montoya has a broad political background. She was director of technology and economic opportunity policy for the Kerry/Edwards presidential campaign in 2004. She also served as Legal Counsel to Senators Ken Salazar (D-CO) and Senator Harry Reid (D-NV). She received her J.D./M.A. in 2000 from the University of Southern California Law Center and the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication.
We would like thank Elisa Montoya and the Barack Obama for America Campaign for participating in our guest blogger series. We commend them on their continued efforts to reach out to the Latino community.