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