Have you ever been to a birthday party in which you, your family members, and everyone invited registered to vote as part of the celebration? Me neither. But it sure sounds like a terrific idea, especially considering that the upcoming elections will be the first time Latinos are expected to surpass African-Americans as the largest minority electorate with 13.3% of the vote.
Many quinceañeras around Texas are taking part in a movement launched by Jolt Initiative, a Texas-based non-profit founded by Cristina Tzintzun that encourages Latino youths to register to vote and hit the ballots in any and all of the upcoming elections. This particular movement, called #PoderQuince, seeks to involve young women in Texas about to celebrate their 15th birthday and use the opportunity to raise awareness about voting rights and civil participation.
@jolt_actionJolt is actually a broad and active movement looking to organize the Latino community across Texas in order to push a progressive agenda pertaining to issues that affect Latinos directly, such as: education, economic justice, democracy and voting rights, and immigration and racial justice, as per their site.
They have identified an important problem: voter turnout among Latinos is low. According to this study, every presidential election since 1996 has had more Latinos who didn’t vote than those who did. But the 2020 presidential elections will be special for a number of reasons. First, non-white votes will make up a third of the entire elections. That’s the highest rate ever. As we’ve said before, Latinos will be the largest majority voting, so it’s important to get as many Latino votes as possible.
“You have the power to build a stronger democracy in Texas and the country. While the demographics alone are not destiny, increasing civic participation of your community through your quinceañera will create a new tradition that many can follow,” says their webpage, where they also encourage young women “to defend [their] family and community by voting.”
@jolt_actionThere’s also a generational difference: Gen Z voters might make up 10% of the electorate. This generation is the most diverse ever, with 45% of them being non-white, of which 21% is Hispanic. Bear this in mind, when the elections come up for every vote counts and every vote can make a difference, if only we could get every young voter to hit the ballots! It’s not too late, register to vote, know who your congressmen and women are the issues that are closest to you.
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