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8 million Latinos eligible to vote
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On November 2 an unprecedented number of new citizens will flood the polls to make sure that their voices are heard. Democratic and Republican candidates are aggressively courting the Latino vote. One in nine people living in America was born in another country, making new citizens, especially Latino and Asian/Pacific Islanders, the fastest-growing segment of our population with increasing electoral clout.





Latinos recognize that voting is the only way to effectively change the political system and make real changes for our families and communities on issues like: education, the economy and immigration. Today, there are 8 million Latinos eligible to vote in states that will decide these elections. States like Florida, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado have significant Latino populations that will help to decide who will become the next president.





In the elections of 2000 more than 5 million Latinos voted and the number of Latinos registered to vote is quickly growing in states like Colorado * there are 8,000 new Latino voters in the rocky mountain state.


Latino voters are sophisticated and we recognize that candidates need to do more than just utter a couple words in Spanish to win our votes. We want action and not just empty words and broken promises.





Thanks to grassroots coalitions like the New American Opportunity Campaign and its Immigrant Vote 2004 project, immigrant communities are building political power and strength in our democracy through increased civic participation and vigorous voter mobilization efforts.





We can’t just register to vote, on November 2 we must head to the polls and vote for candidates who will support our community with policies that improve the lives of our families.





While the important subject of immigration reform has been noticeably absent from the presidential candidates’ platforms, issues like health care, education, jobs and the war in Iraq are the centerpieces of the 2004 campaign, as these are the critical concerns for immigrant and American-born voters alike.





With the presidential race in a virtual tie, immigrant voters now have the potential to be the deciding factor in one of the most potent elections ever.





For this reason there is a contagious energy to participate in these elections; more Latinos recognize the importance of their vote and what that vote means for themselves and their families.





The desire of our community is the same as the issues important to the rest of the country * good jobs, a good education for our kids, health insurance and a safe place to live.





By empowering immigrants to exercise their right to vote and demonstrate the strength of our democracy, new citizens can reach the American dream: for their families, their communities and the future of this great nation of immigrants.





Eliseo Medina, V.P. SEIU

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