Con Ellas Se Puede: Philadelphia Latina Alliance and Philatinos join to mobilize Latina voters
A panel of Philly’s Latina leaders gathered virtually to discuss the power of the Latina Vote. Photo: ALAPHL
Harianned Chaurel moderated a virtual event, hosted by Alianza Latina Philadelphia and Philatinos, called “The Latina Woman and the Vote: Con ellas se puede!”
She was joined by Leity Rodriguez-Largo, Nieves Sosa, Mary Marques, Carmen Febo San Miguel, and Leticia Nixon.
“According to the Pew Research Center, in the United States there are 32 million Latinos eligible to vote this year, a 13% of the total electorate. In comparison, Black voters constitute 12.5% of the electorate,” Chaurel said.
However, Latina participation is much lower than other demographics, Chaurel said. This, while the Latino population has seen the most growth over the last 10 years, but the number of voters has not increased at the same proportion.
“In 2016, less than half of Latinos eligible to vote did so,” Chaurel continued.
That is why it is important to specifically connect to Latinas. The power of the Latina vote in the 2020 election could have tremendous impact, but only if they vote. Following a record-breaking midterm turnout in 2018, Latinas are one demographic to look out for.
As in past midterms, women turned out at a slightly higher rate than men. Additionally, they are more likely to vote Democratic.
Not only that, but Latinas have the power to mobilize more voters on a micro level. The role Latinas play in their own communities, is no small thing. The role of a matriarch is real, and the role has tremendous influence within families.
But there are still barriers Latinas will have to overcome leading up to the November election, from voting, to continuing to navigate a pandemic that disenfranchised Latinos above all other demographics.
“What impacts me the most, and what my patients talk about, is that they’re scared. Scared to go out. It’s no secret that we need to be careful when we leave our homes, but we need to face life moving forwards,” said Sosa, a recovery counselor and therapist.
“There are many ways to vote, and we need to go out and do that, despite the fear,” she continued.
Panelists also raised issues of voter suppression, and constant disinformation put forth by the Trump administration, all efforts with the goal of putting the Latino vote at a disadvantage.
“But there is also the issue of not feeling part of the process, and we need to change that,” said San Miguel from Taller Puertoriqueño, especially in terms of voters in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania is the largest battleground state in the nation. A multitude of Latinx identities spanning dozens of countries of origins make up nearly 1 million residents, 650,000 of which are eligible to vote.
That’s why the Latina vote is extremely important, added San Miguel, because unlike any election in the past, we have the potential to tip the scale in a race that is too-close-to call.