Saturday, May 18, 2024

Labor Unions Join Effort to Get Latino Voters Out to Polls

Labor unions have played a key role in turning out Latino voters in these midterm elections in everything from donating to voter registration campaigns to sending in their main muscle, their members, to knock on doors tomorrow to remind people to vote.

With Latinos voters poised to become the deciding factor in several key races across the country, candidates and their parties are spending millions trying to sway them, while Labor groups are targeting Latinos more than ever before.

In Nevada, the National Education Association (NEA) recently held a Latino Vote Early Day in an East Las Vegas Senior Community Center that resulted in 333 citizens voting for the first time.  With the portion of Latino students in schools increasing at a high rate, the union hopes that Latinos will also increase their presence at the polls to ensure the educational needs of the group, which will make up a large portion of the labor force in years ahead, are met.

Other labor groups are also mounting campaigns targeting Latino voters.   The AFL-CIO announced it will send members to knock on the doors of approximately 4 million voters, in addition to sending more than 10 million pieces of mail to voters this week.

When all is said and done, Latino voters will undoubtedly make an impact on who comes out on top in states such as Nevada, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is facing a threat to his Senate seat.

Efforts to get Latinos to the polls have been underway for months in this state.   The NEA supported The Hispanic Institute’s “2010 Latino Voter Registration Project,” which announced just last month it had reached its goal of registering 10,000 new voters in the state.

The race between Reid and Republican Sharron Angle had been considered too close to call but now many are saying the Latino vote is giving the edge to the Democratic candidate.  This is just one example of how Latino voters could tip the scale to decide key races in battleground states.

“Latino voters have the potential to tip the balance in the Reid-Angle race,” John Tuman, associate professor of political science at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, said.

In another key race in the country, California’s hotly contested gubernatorial seat, members of the United Farm Workers Union joined other union groups across the state to campaign for the Democratic candidate Jerry Brown.

“We are encouraging Latino citizens to vote by educating them on the process and creating conscientiousness about the power to vote,” Efren Barajas, vice president of the local United Farm Workers chapter, said.

Americas Voice Online

Washington Post

The Californian