Culture

She Wanted Her Quinces Party To Be Special So She Added Voter Registration To Fight For Her Future

NBCNews.com

If you’re a Latina, you probably spent years dreaming of your quinceañera. Questions of the song you’ll come out to, what your dress will look like, and who will escort you into womanhood dance around so many of our heads until the moment we hit the actual dance floor.

Chances are, however, you never considered how to incorporate the current political sphere, freedom and voting rights to your big day.

Quinceañera Aleida Ramos decided to have an innovative addition to her recent quince: voter registration.

Twitter / @NBCNews

On the Houstonian’s big day, she invited Jolt Initiative — the Latinx Youth Advocacy group. Their goal is to register as many Latinx voters as possible. For Ramos’ party, the organization set up Poder Quince booths to assist guests with voter registration.

In between thanking friends and family and celebrating her quince, Ramos encouraged guests to visit the Poder Quince booths. Her father, Marco Ramos, Jr, joined in on urging guests to register to vote. The pair focused on the impact that the Latinx vote can make in the 2020 election and elections to come.

Community was a big focus of this push. Ramos’ motivation for inviting Jolt Initiative was to pay back the community that has supported her and invested in her these past 15 years. Undoubtedly, even this small gesture can have huge outcomes.

“Our vote ensures we continue to protect our community and those who matter to us most,” the quinceañera told her party goers.

With Poder Quince, Jolt has made it their goal to reach potential Latinx voters through quinceañeras.

Twitter / @joltinitiative

The Texas-based advocacy group started their Poder Quince initiative in May of 2019. Thanks to the huge Latinx population, quinceañeras have become mainstream in the Lone Star State. By Jolt’s estimation, around 50,000 quinces are held each year.

With this in mind, these quinceañeras prove to be an untapped resource to connect with Latinx voters. Jolt — which is a non-profit association — recognizes that in order to mobilize a community, we need to be part of the community. Their presence at quinceañeras helps accomplish this.

Ramos’ quince is the first in Harris County to invite Jolt Initiative.

Twitter / @NBCNews

Harris County — which includes the city of Houston — has the second largest Latinx population in the country. At over 2 Million, it’s second only to Los Angels’ nearly 5 Million Latinx population.

Harris County set a new historic turn out record during the 2018 elections — no doubt helped by their large Latinx and Millennial vote. This turnout officially changed the county blue in the traditionally red state.

According to Jolt’s spokesman, Antonio Arellano, Texas is a crucial focus for voter turn out.

As he shared with NBC News, “That’s why we are so focused on energizing the Latino vote in Houston. The Latino vote lives here, and we have to mobilize them and there is so much riding on them.”

While Ramos is still too young to vote, she was intrigued by the other quinceañeras who welcomed Jolt to their celebrations.

NBC News

Ramos shared with NBC News, “I liked their stories and what they said about everything. I wanted to do something that would help us — trying to make a difference in things for our community. It inspired me.”

Her father — who doesn’t consider himself political — has voted in every election since he was 18. His example also heavily influenced Ramos’ decision to incorporate Jolt into her quince.

Ramos shared with NBC News the wisdom that her dad has passed on to her.

“My dad tells me I have to be educated to vote and have to know what I’m voting for and about the person,” she explained. “When people ask you why you are for that person, you don’t stutter. You know because you are educated.”

Jolt also provided a photo booth for the quinceañera and her guests.

NBC News

Guests of Ramos’ quince reported that they enjoyed the presence of Jolt at the celebration. Younger guests had fun with the props and Instagram-able opportunities. Similarly, voting-aged guests appreciated the chance to register and update their personal information.

Ultimately, it was a quince that her guests won’t soon forget. Altogether, it might make a difference in Ramos’ community and ultimately our own.

He’s Been Open With His Struggles And Comes Through For His Community When They Need Him

Entertainment

He’s Been Open With His Struggles And Comes Through For His Community When They Need Him

officialdannytrejo / Instagram

Danny Trejo is one of the most recognizable Latino faces in the world. He is a common feature in Hollywood films, where he often portrays antiheroes. Among his films, we can think of the classic Heat, Con Air, and Machete, the last with frequent collaborator Robert Rodriguez, the Texan director he considers a sort of creative brother. Trejo was born in Echo Park (doesn’t get more L.A. than that!) on May 16, 1944. He is a true example of the American Dream: he survived a rough upbringing and life in prison to become a successful and reformed individual who dedicates big chunks of his time to helping others. He creates jobs through his multiple business ventures and often speaks to youth about the importance of staying out of trouble, particularly if you belong to an ethnic minority.

He is the face of tender “bad hombres” (we just can’t get over this terrible moniker POTUS placed on Mexican men!)

Credit: officialdannytrejo / Instagram

As Daily Breeze recalls, he got a second chance in life after being to prison and suffering from addiction early in life: “Influenced by a young uncle, Trejo was off to a life of crime from an early age and did time in juvenile camps before eventually landing in Soledad and San Quentin state prisons for drugs and other crimes”. Rehabilitation is possible! You can’t judge a book by its cover (hear that, gringos racistas?) and the tough-looking Trejo is proof of that. 

He is an entrepreneur at heart, the symbol of Latino hardworking individuals.

Credit: officialdannytrejo / Instagram

Trejo has opened a taco shop, a doughnut shop, and many other business ventures. The Daily Breeze says about Trejo’s many talents: “He’s a successful restaurateur with a growing taco and doughnut empire that shows no signs of cooling down. And even though he doesn’t drink, he’s got a beer out, too, a Mexican lager of course”. 

He even has a new beer brand even though he is not a drinker.

Credit: officialdannytrejo / Instagram

This is what Daily Breeze said about Trejo’s cerveza: “Because even though he doesn’t drink alcohol, there really is nothing Trejo can’t do. But surprisingly, while Trejo is pretty much the toughest looking man in all of Los Angeles, his 4.7% ABV straw-colored beer is really smooth with an almost sweet taste, which means you can drink a few and still be able to take Machete in a fight. No, who are we kidding — Machete would destroy any of us”. A rave review in our books! Can you imagine sipping this brew with good old cevichito as you look at the Californian sunset?

He talks about men’s health in an open, frank way.

Credit: officialdannytrejo / Instagram

As The Sun reported, Trejo is on a mission to get dudes talking about their health, including erectile dysfunction. He is quoted as saying: “Every man on earth has experienced this, and if you say no, you’re lying and I’m calling you a liar. So there you go, Danny Trejo, called you a liar and now you don’t have to hide it.” He is even a bit funny talking about the trials and tribulations of not being able to rise to the occasion: “You can be 25-years-old and if you’re tired, you’ve been working all night, it’s late – sometimes it’s not going to happen. But especially in the Latino community where I’m from, men don’t talk about these things – because we’re supposed to be the hunter-gatherer or some sh*t. Well, I hate hunting”. Preach, Danny! 

He is funny as hell on social media.

Credit: officialdannytrejo / Instagram

Really, he is like any Latino dad, uploading every single meme or viral trend he finds in a very dad joke kinda way. 

He has been able to get meatier roles as the years have gone by: a true underdog story.

Credit: officialdannytrejo / Instagram

Trejo’s acting career has gone from being an extra to having better roles that sometimes play with his badass persona. He told The Guardian: “They Would Always Say, ‘Get That Mexican Guy With The Big Tattoo. I’d Show Up And Have One Line, Like, ‘Kill ’em All!’ Or Somethin’.”

He has one of those faces that just sparks creativity.

Credit: officialdannytrejo / Instagram

Just look at this wonderful piece of street art in Brazil. Trejo’s wrinkled face tells a thousand stories, it is a roadmap of a life that has encapsulated so many experiences that it could fill a hundred lives. Trejo us a symbol of second chances and of the many forms that Latino masculinity can take. 

At 75 years of age, he shows that elderly doesn’t mean you can’t work out.

Credit: officialdannytrejo / Instagram

Any 20-year-old flojo would envy Trejo’s sculpted body. He told NY Daily News back in 2007: “I look at the script. If I see a part that says shirt-off, then I go to the gym”. Well, he hasn’t stopped working out by the looks of it (by “it” we mean his badass muscles). 

He is a living example of how you can kick ass fighting addiction.

Credit: officialdannytrejo / Instagram

Trejo is now clean, but there was a time when he didn’t know if he would live a long life. He certainly didn’t expect to reach 70. The Guardian conversed with Trejo in 2018: “I didn’t even think I’d make it out of the 1960s. I picked the wrong role model. I picked my uncle, who was a drug addict and an armed robber. But he was the greatest guy in the world as far as I was concerned”. He experienced heroin for the first time when he was just 12-years-old, so the road to redemption was steep.

He is a caring Latino dad.

Credit: officialdannytrejo / Instagram

He has two children: Danielle and Gilbert. He often shares messages for them on social media. He has also helped his son on his own path towards rehabilitation from addiction.

Getting clean is something he did with his son.

Credit: officialdannytrejo / Instagram

He has travelled the path of staying clean with his son and has even collaborated with him in a film project where the young Trejo directs him. 

He is super approachable for fans.

Credit: officialdannytrejo / Instagram

Don’t think twice: if you ever see him on the street or a fan convention, ask for a selfie. 

He participates in most Latino projects, including the new movie version of Dora la exploradora!

Credit: officialdannytrejo / Instagram

Can you think of a better actor to give voice to Dora’s monkey, Boots? Neither can we. 

He supports young female boxers and aspiring musicians. Did you know that? 

Credit: officialdannytrejo / Instagram

Trejo Music is his new passion project! As he told Daily Breeze: “Everything good that has happened to me has happened from helping people, and I started this record label to help people. Let’s hear you and if you can fit, you’re on”.  The label’s first album: Danny Trejo Presents Chicano Soul Shop Vol. 1. Can we please get it, like tomorrow. He is also a boxing manager and promoter and supports champion Seniesa Estrada. 

And, of course, he gave us Machete, an icon of resistance against inhumane border policies.

Credit: officialdannytrejo / Instagram

Before the Trump era kicked in, Trejo was already kicking ass at the border by embodying Mexican ire against racist politicians and gringo vigilantes. 

READ: People Are Freaking Out About The High-Pitched Character Danny Trejo, AKA Machete, Voices In The New “Dora The Explorer” Movie

After Tiffany Cabán’s Big Win, The Aspiring District Attorney Faces A Recount Nightmare

Things That Matter

After Tiffany Cabán’s Big Win, The Aspiring District Attorney Faces A Recount Nightmare

For months leading up to the Queens District Attorney Democratic primary election, all eyes were on a young defense attorney named Tiffany Cabán. The 31-year-old had no prior experience in politics, even though her job is very political, which meant other veteran candidates had a better shot of winning this election. Cabán’s main opponent was incumbent Melinda Katz.  On the evening of June 25, election day, it looked like Cabán’s hard work and months of campaigning had paid off after she had been declared the winner. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the victorious win that the young Latina, and her supporters, had hoped for. Cabáns opponent, Katz, refused to bow out of the race after she had claimed mail-in votes remained to be counted prompting a push for a recount.

Now, weeks later it looks like Cabán will have to wait to see if she still holds the position.

A judge has declared that all votes in the recent election must be manually counted, now Melinda Katz ahead of Tiffany Cabán by 16 votes.

There has been a lot of back and forth from both camps. Some argue that 114 ballots, others say that only 16 votes separate them, but a judge ruled all must be recounted. The original count, on June 25, which declared a victory for Cabán reported her the Democratic DA candidate after she won by nearly 1,200 votes over Katz, but she contested those numbers. She then took over the lead after 4,000 paper ballots were included.

There’s no doubt that every vote should be counted, and both women adhere to a full recount.

However, there’s no denying this isn’t how Cabán thought it would go after her victory speech on June 25. Back then she told the crowd at her victory party, “We have built the most powerful, the most diverse, the most beautiful coalition that a borough-wide race has ever seen. From formerly incarcerated folks to sex workers to undocumented immigrants to community-based organizations & activists to local & national elected officials.”

Now, the Puerto Rican attorney is being forced to switch feet.  On July 5 she tweeted, “Thanks to our tireless supporters who are pouring their hearts and souls into this campaign. With a full recount coming up, there’s more work to be done. Help us make sure every valid vote is counted!”

The recount is supposed to start today and Cabán wants to ensure that every vote is counted and verified properly.

There’s no doubt that voter fraud exists in this country, but more so than that, election fraud is also possible, which is why Cabán’s team is asking for people to sign up to make sure legal people are present when votes are being counted. “Here is the updated link to sign up to observe the recount on behalf of the Cabán campaign! Please circulate widely to your lawyer friends/legal networks!!!” a Cabán supporter tweeted.

Queens County Democratic Chair Gregory Meeks is trying to ease tensions between both Democratic camps — and their supporters, saying according to a local CBS News affiliate, “We’re here today because we want to support this Democratic process. We want every valid vote counted!”

Cabán certainly had the most buzz out of all six candidates running for Queens DA office.

 

Her campaign was endorsed by several high profile politicians including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Many cheered her on for policies that would help low-income people of color who have often been the victims of the justice system. She was also praised for a grassroots organization and campaign.

“This campaign started with just four women, sitting around a kitchen table, saying: we have to change the system,” she wrote in one tweet. “So I did what many thought was unthinkable for a 31-year-old Queer Latina public defender whose parents grew up in the Woodside Houses. I decided to run.”

During the Queens Gay Pride parade, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez openly voiced her endorsement of Cabán, which gave her campaign a huge increase in supporters.

“I am so incredibly proud of @CabanForQueens – and EVERY single person who showed up for this election today. No matter how this ends, you all have stunned NY politics tonight,” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “When people come together, we can beat big money in elections. People power is no fluke.”

Cabán was also seen as the underdog with a powerful story that would certainly break the mold of the Queen’s DA office. If she indeed wins the race, her victory would be historic for so many reasons. Her campaign statement said it all: “I’m a queer Latina from a working-class family. People like us are exactly who the system is trying to keep down.”

Paid Promoted Stories