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Latino Celebs Go Savage On Hateful Republicans

Twenty-three Latino celebrities and activists came together today for a single mission: to urge Latinos to not vote Republican. America Ferrera, Zoe Saldana, Dolores Huerta, George Lopez, and many more have put their name behind an open letter to the Latino community that is trying to point out the harmful and damaging rhetoric that is being spewed by leading Republican presidential candidates. “We must not, though, let Trump’s xenophobia overshadow the extreme policies being pushed by every single one of the GOP’s leading presidential candidates.” Grab the popcorn, because this gets good.

Latino celebrities and activists from American Ferrera to Dolores Huerta have a message for Latinos: don’t vote Republican.

The celebrities, including guitarist and musician Carlos Santana, call for all Latinos to vote in favor of strengthening the Latino community and Latino families.

Of course, civil rights icon Dolores Huerta offered some insight like only she can. #SlayQueen

Even the “Jane the Virgin” abuelita, Ivonne Coll, offered her name and voice to the cause.

Credit: @ivonne_coll / Twitter

“From Donald Trump comparing Mexican immigrants to rapists to Marco Rubio portraying all immigrants as potential terrorists, I know that our communities will stand up against their attacks by using our voting power in 2016,” Coll said in the press release.

And the letter itself did not hold back when it came to publicly shaming each of the candidates for what they have said about Latinos.

Rocking the #MinnieMouse today! #manicmondays #LivebyNight #workingmom

A photo posted by Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) on

Credit: @zoesaldana / Instagram

“The candidates cannot come back from these hardline stances,” the open letter proclaims. “Trump is certainly an outlier for his racist remarks. But the rest of the Republican presidential candidates went off the deep end with him.”

READ: This Latina Actress Was Asked A Ridiculous Question About Voting And Fired Back With Perfect Shade

“Marco Rubio said that ‘we must secure our border, the physical border, with a wall, absolutely,'” the letter reads. “He’s ruled out any path to citizenship or legal status during his term(s) as president if elected.”

Taking questions from the press on the flight to South Carolina this morning.

A photo posted by Senator Marco Rubio (@marcorubiofla) on

“Jeb Bush’s unapologetic use of the term “anchor babies” aligns with his belief that undocumented immigrants here in the U.S. should not have a path to citizenship,” the letter states. “His statement that ‘we should not have a multicultural society’ is indefensible.”

I'm running for President of the United States. I will run with heart. I will run to win.

A photo posted by Jeb Bush (@jebbush) on

Chris Christie suggested that immigrants should be tracked like FedEx packages.

Happy Birthday to my partner and my best friend Mary Pat. I am one lucky guy to have her by my side throughout this crazy ride. #MPC

A photo posted by Governor Chris Christie (@chrischristie) on

Check out the full letter below:

An Open Letter to the Latino Community:

In this year’s 2016 Republican presidential primary, the candidates crossed a line. In trying to win the nomination, every one of the leading candidates dug themselves into a deep hole pandering to the anti-immigrant base of the Republican Party that idolizes Donald Trump.

There’s no coming back from this. We’ve seen clearly that all the leading Republican candidates have sided with the far-right at the expense of the Latino community. They’re capitalizing on negative stereotypes and inaccurate information about our community in order to win votes from the GOP base.

Of course, this downward spiral began with Trump. From accusing Mexicans of being rapists to kicking Jorge Ramos out of his press conference, Trump has spent the entirety of his presidential  bid stoking unfounded anti-immigrant fears and deeply offending our communities.

We must not, though, let Trump’s xenophobia overshadow the extreme policies being pushed by every single one of the GOP’s leading presidential candidates. Latinos should understand that Donald Trump embodies the true face of the entire Republican Party. Sadly, he speaks for the GOP’s anti-immigrant, anti-Latino agenda.

Candidates – including supposed “moderates” like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio – used dangerous, divisive rhetoric and proposed harmful policies in their efforts to win over Trump’s radical supporters. Jeb Bush’s unapologetic use of the term “anchor babies” aligns with his belief that undocumented immigrants here in the U.S. should not have a path to citizenship. His statement that “we should not have a multicultural society” is indefensible. Marco Rubio said that “we must secure our border, the physical border, with a wall, absolutely.” He’s ruled out any path to citizenship or legal status during his term(s) as president if elected. Chris Christie suggested that immigrants should be tracked like FedEx packages.

The candidates cannot come back from these hardline stances. Trump is certainly an outlier for his racist remarks. But the rest of the Republican presidential candidates went off the deep end with him.

Our communities have the power to decide who wins in the 2016 election. We hope that power is used to vote for candidates who support our community, share our values, and will fight for working families. Neither Trump nor any of his fellow Republican candidates meet that standard.

Even if the eventual Republican nominee backtracks on his or her anti-immigrant sentiments, we must not forget that we’ve now seen that in the face of bigotry, the Republican candidates have chosen to turn their backs on our community. The current slate of GOP candidates has proven to us that they’ve joined and embraced the party of Trump.

Signed,

Yancey Arias

Esteban Benito

Benjamin Bratt

Peter Bratt

Raúl Castillo

Ivonne Coll

Wilson Cruz

Giselle Fernandez

America Ferrera

Mike Gomez

Lisa Guerrero

Dolores Huerta

Eva LaRue

George Lopez

Rick Najera

José-Luis Orozco

Aubrey Plaza

Steven Michael Quezada

Judy Reyes

Zoe Saldana

Miguel Sandoval

Carlos Santana

Lauren Vélez

What do you think about this open letter to the Latino community? Share this story and get the message out that our vote is going to make a HUGE difference!

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Puerto Rico’s Gubernatorial Race Is Neck-And-Neck With Many Ballots Still Uncounted

Fierce

Puerto Rico’s Gubernatorial Race Is Neck-And-Neck With Many Ballots Still Uncounted

More than one year after former Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló was ousted after a Telegram scandal, the people of the Caribbean archipelago have voted for a new leader – but ballots in the crowded election are still being counted.

Puerto Rico’s gubernatorial race looks similar to the U.S. presidential election: two leading male candidates neck-and-neck.

Unlike President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, however, the leading Puerto Rican contenders, Pedro Pierluisi and Carlos Delgado Altieri, are both Democrats. What drastically separates the two candidates are their local political parties: Pierluisi is the nominee of the New Progressive Party (PNP), which advocates for statehood, and Delgado Altieri is the pick of the Popular Democratic Party (PPD), which wants to continue as a commonwealth of the United States with limited self-government.

With 95% of polling stations reporting, the latest numbers put Pierluisi, at 32.4%, ahead of Delgado Altieri, who has 31.4% of the votes.

While ballots are still being counted, Pierluisi, an attorney and lobbyist, declared himself a winner on Tuesday night during a victory party.

Delgado Altieri, the former mayor of the northwestern municipality of Isabela and current president of the PPD, called the declaration “irresponsible” and noted that all the votes need to be tallied. If their difference reaches less than half a percentage point, there would be an automatic recount, Bloomberg reports.

Overall, Puerto Rican candidates faced a dwindling voter base. According to U.S. News & World Report, eligible voters dropped from 2.87 million in 2016 to 2.36 million in 2020, largely due to emigration following multiple economic and climate crises. Even more, with a voter turnout of 51.32%, compared to 55% in 2016, voter participation is also down, likely due to a distrust in Puerto Rican government amid back-to-back political scandals. 

Regardless of which candidate wins, the election is a historic one.

It’s the first time in recent history that either of Puerto Rico’s two main parties failed to secure more than 40% of the overall vote. Puerto Ricans, largely young voters who grew up amid a financial crisis that has since been compounded by the disastrous Hurricane María as well as recent earthquakes, have found themselves disillusioned by both the PNP and PPD parties and have voted in significant numbers for pro-independence and new party candidates. Alexandra Lugaro of the Citizens’ Victory Movement and Juan Dalmau of the Puerto Rico Independence Party have received 15% and 14% of the vote, respectively. It’s the first time since the 1950s that pro-independence parties have reached double-digit support.

Puerto Rico-based journalist and political analyst Jonathan Lebron-Ayala told NPR that rebuilding a decimated Puerto Rico has motivated many young islanders to think outside of the archipelago’s two-party system. “We’re going to see a major change not in this election but maybe into 2024 or 2028 because the numbers in the general demographics with these two old parties are very, very weak,” Lebron-Ayala said. 

In addition to the general election on Tuesday, Puerto Rican voters were also presented with a nonbinding referendum that asked, “Should Puerto Rico be admitted immediately into the union as a state?”

While more than 52% said yes, it must be noted that many Puerto Ricans, understanding that the referendum holds no weight, skip the question altogether. U.S. Congress would have to approve of any changes to Puerto Rico’s political status.

As a U.S. territory, Puerto Rico cannot vote in the presidential election and does not have voting representation in the U.S. Congress.

However, Jenniffer González, Puerto Rico’s resident commissioner, which is a non-voting congressional representative, won a second term on Tuesday night. The pro-Trump, pro-statehood González is a long-time supporter of Pierluisi. 

Pierluisi, who formerly held the resident commissioner seat, briefly served as governor following Rosselló’s resignation last year. Rosselló, who is a member of the same party as Pierluisi, named the 2020 contender as the next governor without him being confirmed by both the House and the Senate as secretary of state. Pierluisi took office on August 2, 2019, but was removed days later on August 7 after the Puerto Rico Supreme Court ruled that Pierluisi was sworn in on unconstitutional grounds. 

The unelected Wanda Vázquez Garced, a former secretary of justice who is also a member of the same PPD party, has served as governor since. In August, Vázquez lost the pro-statehood nomination to Pierluisi. 

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Latina Actresses Are Pivoting to Directing and Producing In Order to Get More Latinx Stories Told

Entertainment

Latina Actresses Are Pivoting to Directing and Producing In Order to Get More Latinx Stories Told

Credit: EVALONGORIA/AMERICAFERRERA/INSTAGRAM ; KEVIN WINTER/GETTY

The numbers are bleak. Latinos make up 18% of America’s population but only 5% of the number of speaking roles in movies in 2019 according to the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.

Hollywood seems to be late to the party when it comes to Latino representation onscreen. But luckily, there are a handful of Latino artists and creators out there who are taking the fight to appear in front of the screen to behind the camera.

Take, for example, Eva Longoria, who was just announced to be directing and co-starring in the new action-comedy film, “Spa Day”

This marks the third movie the Mexican-American actress will be helming and the first Latina to ever direct more than one major studio film.

The other films on Longoria’s roster include a vehicle for her and Kerry Washington tentatively titled “24/7”, as well as the upcoming biopic “Flamin’ Hot”–a movie centered around Richard Montañez, the man who invented Flaming Hot Cheetos.

Longoria has been candid about how the decision to move into directing and producing has been a strategic one.

“One of the reasons I went into producing and directing was I wasn’t going to sit back and wait for somebody to create a role I wanted to do,” Longoria told Variety in 2018.

“You can’t just sit around waiting for [good projects], and I wanted to create that — not just for myself but for other Latinas.”

But her career transition isn’t unique as a Latina in Hollywood. She has joined the ranks of other Latinas in Hollywood who have began to produce and direct their own projects in order to finally see Latino stories told on screen.

Her peers include Jennifer Lopez (“Shades of Blue“, “Hustlers“), Selena Gomez (“Living Undocumented“), America Ferrera (“Gentefied“, “Superstore“), Gina Rodriguez (“Diary of an American President,” “Carmen San Diego“), and Salma Hayek (“Ugly Betty”).

All of these women have thrown their weight behind projects that otherwise wouldn’t be made if their names weren’t attached to them.

All of these women are creating stories that feature Latino stories and Latino talent–in front of and behind the camera.

America Ferrera explained the reason behind her conscious career pivot from acting to directing/producing: “My genuine heart’s desire is to tell stories that haven’t been told,” she told CBS This Morning. “It’s hard to get stories about people like us made. And then to get those stories told by us is very very uncommon.”

Although the endgame is to have Latinx stories greenlit without having to first be a famous singer or actress, the work these ladies are doing might be laying the foundation for an easier road for future industry players of Latino descent. Or as Longoria so eloquently put it: “If we unite and create opportunities for each other and pull each other up, there could be a lot more success for representation on TV.”

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