From the Economy to
Education, Latinas Care About a Diverse Set of Issues this Election Season
Friday, October 31, 2008
By Ingrid Duran & Catherine Pino, Co-Founders D&P
It has been fascinating to watch, and participate in, the
presidential election cycle and to hear all the political pundits talk about
the Latino community and what is or isn’t important to us as though they are
the experts, even though they themselves may not be Latino. How can they even
begin to understand our experience?
Latinos make up 8.9% of the eligible electorate, and Latinas
make up 50.8% of Hispanics eligible to vote. Hispanic women have been mobilized
to participate in this election cycle like never before. We have seen them
volunteering for campaigns, making calls, walking precincts and helping with
There is a myth that the only issue of importance to Latinas
is immigration. It is true that this is indeed an important issue and one that
we strongly believe should be addressed in a comprehensive way.
However, as Latina small business owners, part of the
fastest-growing segment of business owners in this country, we care about other
issues as well. During these economic times, Latinas are extremely are
concerned about the global crisis, the frozen credit markets and a loss of
confidence in the world’s financial systems. We worry how the bailout of Wall
Street will or will not help the economy and what will be its impact on our
business and our families. We wonder if the infusion of funds into the American
banking system will restore confidence in lending and what all this will mean
for the future.
Will we lose most or all of our retirement savings? What
about the state of our education system and the ability of our children to be
competitive with their counterparts? Will they be given the same opportunities
to compete, attend college and succeed in the workforce, or will they continue
to receive substandard education because they live in poor school districts
that cannot afford the basic tools, like new textbooks and state-of-the-art
computers, necessary to compete with students attending better-equipped
We also care about many other issues including the rising
costs of health care, the housing crisis, the cost of living, education and the
We are deeply concerned about what the future of this
country will hold for us, our parents, our siblings and our children. Like
other Americans, our parents have worked their entire lives paying into the
social security system. Will it be bankrupt when they need it? What about the
rising costs of health care? If something terrible happens to the people we
love, will they be able to afford treatments, surgery and other care? Will
they be able to afford caretakers or assisted living once they reach an age
where they are no longer able to care for themselves?
So much is at stake this election and the contrast between
the candidates of both parties is so great we believe this election is the most
important of our lifetime.
The US census bureau has predicted that by 2050, Hispanics
will make up 29% of the US population, and that tells us that we as a country
need to do better to prepare the next generation of all US children, including
Hispanic children, who will be the next generation of leaders.
Latinos, like all Americans, wonder where this country is
headed and what the future holds for all Americans. This election is too
important to sit on the sidelines and not participate. There is too much at
stake for all of us.
Ingrid Duran & Catherine Pino are Co-Founders,
D&P Creative Strategies, LLC
D&P Creative Strategies is a boutique consulting firm
based in Washington, DC that focuses on government relations and philanthropic
advising. Duran and Pino are also alumnae of the National Hispana Leadership
Institute’s Executive Training Program.
Ingrid and Catherine can be reached at email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
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