By the 2012 presidential election, I believe that we can achieve a 60% Latino voter rate in the state Texas. We have just under five hundred days to mobilize a little more than 1,000,000 Latino voters in ten key cities. It can be done.
Although there is some concern about “problematic Hispanic Texas legislators” who currently are seeking to mobilize this full spectrum of Latino voters, what should be of greater concern to all parties is that communities with burgeoning Latino populations throughout the state will soon produce not only a critical mass of Latino voters but, more importantly, vastly increased representation as public office holders.
This, despite protestations by angry Texas Tea Party activists. At a meeting in downtown Austin late last week, an outraged Latino elected official exclaimed that it was time to mobilize 60% of the Latino vote in ten major Texas cities in direct response to the xenophobia and bigotry:
“If you want to know why we can’t pass legislation in Texas it’s because we have 37, no 36, Hispanics in the Legislature. All of the states that have passed legislation have a handful and I mean literally, some of them have no Hispanic legislators, well, maybe 3 or 5 or something. So that’s, umm, part of our problem and we need to change those numbers. Um, we need to do something about that…”
This is what mobilizing 60% of eligible Latino voters in ten key cities in Texas would look like:
We must work together to mobilize eligible voters in our communities, but it is time that today’s Latino elected officials and community leaders encourage and support the coordinated development of a new generation of viable Latina/o candidates across local, state, and national elections.
In the months that remain until our next major election cycle, let’s combine our efforts to increase the pool of registered voters as well as to promote our local community leaders to pursue public office. What do you think would be the best way to mobilize Latino voters in your particular community?
Joseph P. A. Villescas, Ph.D. is an independent consultant, writer and instructor. He conducts extensive investigations on Latino and other multidimensional populations that explore trends in their educational development, media consumption, internet usage, voting behaviors, racial categorization, organizational capacities and readiness for future leadership roles in community settings. He is also the founder and owner of Villescas Research, Media & Instruction, LLC.