Things That Matter

Here’s Why These Activists Are Urging You To Use Your Voice And Vote Today

hereisgina / Instagram

Familia, it’s all going down today. If you’re reading this, there’s still time for you to get out and vote for the 2018 midterm. Vote for people who align with your beliefs and values because voting is a fundamental right. Vote for innovators who want to make college affordable to all Americans. Vote for people who see people and not “bad hombres.”

Voting in the midterm elections today is more important than ever, and these Latino bosses want you to help.

CREDIT: @news_liveworld / Twitter

Just a couple days ago, America Ferrera, Eva Longoria, Gina Rodriguez, Rosario Dawson and Zoe Saldana brought their star power to Florida to support Andrew Gillium, the current Tallahassee Mayor, for governor.

Overall, they were there for Latinos. According to Billboard, Eva Longoria came right out with it and said, “Latinos are under attack. We have the power to end Trump’s agenda against the Latino community.”

America Ferrera

CREDIT: @carmencitaloves / Twitter

Caption: “Ok, Ladies (& gentlemen), now let’s get in formation! 👯‍♀️👯‍♀️👯‍♂️Tomorrow is Election Day! Grab your friends and vote!!!! Find your voting location at Vote.org”

Eva Longoria

CREDIT: @evalongoria / Instagram

Caption: “Calling all my fellow Texans! Tomorrow is the last day to register to vote! Make a difference this November: Get out there and VOTE y’all! 🗳”

Zoe Saldana

CREDIT: @wsvn / Twitter

Caption: “We ALL have at least one reason to vote on November 6. As a Latina, I know I have to vote.I’m voting because my vote is my voice.”

Gina Rodriguez

CREDIT: @NewFLMajority / Twitter

At the rally, Rodriguez tore up the dance floor. She also got real, as seen in her Instagram videos, saying, “I get it feels scary. I get it. It feels scary. I get it. It feels like a lot. Just know that when you vote, you snatch all of that fear.”

Rosario Dawson

CREDIT: @aaroncapturedit / Twitter

Caption: “So grateful to all the folks canvassing, phonebanking, galvanizing the #vote! We need you. Without you democracy can not be realized. Thank you to each and every one of you for individually choosing to give face to the movement of hope and change. For creating community with civility, grace, passion and love. I am only one vote, but together we are many…!”

Jennifer Lopez

CREDIT: @jlo / Instagram

Caption: “They think young people don’t vote, latinos don’t vote, women dont vote, PROVE THEM WRONG!!! This election affects us ALL. VOTE. It’s so important that ALL of our voices are heard, not just a few… we live in a beautiful country where we all have a say!!! I urge all of you PLEASE get out there and vote, there are so many issues at stake these elections!! And they affect us all in our daily lives in some way! If you are frustrated by what you been seeing and hearing, you can change it!! You have the power!!! I HAVE A BUNCH OF VOTER INFO IN MY STORIES TO HELP YOU!! #GOVOTE#VOTA #ELECTIONEVE #VOTETUESDAY”

Camila Cabello

CREDIT: @camila_cabello / Instagram

Caption: “JUST VOTED IN MY STATE OF FLORIDA!!!!!!!! ELECTION DAY IS NOVEMBER 6 AND EARLY VOTING GOES TO NOVEMBER 4. GO TO VOTE.ORG TO FIND YOUR NEAREST POLLING PLACE, THIS WEBSITE’S INFORMATION IS SO CLEAR AND EASY TO UNDERSTAND. I AM SORRY FOR THE CAPITALS, I JUST FEEL REALLY EXCITED THAT I JUST VOTED BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE IM TAKING MY FRUSTRATION AT THE INJUSTICES THAT HAPPEN IN OUR COUNTRY AND TURNING IT INTO ACTION!!! EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US CAN TURN THOSE FEELINGS INTO ACTION WHEN WE SHOW UP TO VOTE. ONE VOTE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. WE CAN CONTRIBUTE AND HELP WRITE THE STORY OF OUR COUNTRY JUST BY TAKING A FEW MINUTES OUT OF OUR DAY TO VOTE!!! ALSO ITS MY GRANDMAS FIRST TIME VOTING IN THE UNITED STATES AND SHE DID HER RESEARCH AND PREPARED HERSELF AND WE ARE ALL FEELING SO GOOD !!! LETS. GOOOO. LETS VOTE! ➡️➡️➡️➡️➡️➡️➡️VOTE.ORG.”

Camila Mendes

CREDIT: @camilamendes / Instagram

Caption: “i registered to vote while in canada shooting season 1 of riverdale — and as an overseas voter, i had to vote by snail mail — and i hate snail mail. @toryburch created a limited edition VOTE t-shirt, and 100% of the proceeds will benefit Yara Shahidi’s @eighteenx18initiative to engage the next generation of voters. get your t-shirt and support the cause, but more importantly, REGISTER TO VOTE! #ownyourvote”

Justina Machado

CREDIT: @justinamachado / Twitter

Justina Machado got tagged by a friend to record a short video telling the world why she voted. This is what she said:

“I’m voting because it’s my right. I’m voting because I care about this country. I’m voting because I care about you and I care about me. I’m voting because I care about decency. I care about the American dream andI still believe in the American dream. That’s why I’m voting.”

Oh, and then she tagged her TV daughter, Isabella Gomez to share her #whyivote story.

Isabella Gomez

CREDIT: @isabella.gomez_ / Instagram

In her Instagram video, Isabella told her world, “I was challenged by my mami, Justina Machado, to tell you why I vote. I voted because when I moved to this country I was told it was the greatest country in the world. For a long time it felt that way and I believe it still can. I also voted because I know if we all vote, it will make a difference in our everyday lives and because its my responsibility as a citizen.”

Rita Moreno

CREDIT: @TheRitaMoreno / Twitter

The living legend is not the most active social media user, and still, la abuelita to all of us took the time to share what it’s like to be Puerto Rican and forgotten by the American government.

It only takes one word to respond to todos los pendejos in charge: Vote.

George Lopez

CREDIT: @georgelopez / Instagram

Caption: “To everyone who early voted #thankyou To those volunteers who have dedicated their time to a candidate #inappreciation Nov 6th is just a few days away be #chingon #chingonas And remember whatever you do DONT THROW ROCKS 🤘🏾 thank you @miss_jalexander#loveyouVote and lets help the living #votolatino #vote lets stop dwelling in the past ( the future 👏🏾👏🏾 smell your Grandmother’s hair ribbons in 6 days @betoorourke #voteforbeto”

Lin-Manuel Miranda

CREDIT: @Lin_Manuel / Twitter

Meanwhile, in 2016, we all skipped to the polls. We mean business this year, and Lin-Manuel Miranda has been active registering people to vote.

Gloria Estefan

CREDIT: @gloriaestefan / Instagram

Well, actually, her grandson. Estefan posted a video of esto muñeco lindo telling the world that he wants everyone to vote because, “If [he] was 18, he would vote.”

It’s one of the perks of being an adult. Use it.

Jessica Alba

CREDIT: @jessicaalba / Twitter

Caption: “#VOTE for my kids and the world I want to raise them in that values equality, common sense, fairness and kindness. Why do you Vote? #midterms#whenweallvote #iamavoter”

Cyn Santana

CREDIT: @Cyn_Santana / Twitter

“Love & Hip Hop” star Cyn Santana has a strong, but clear message for all of us. She ain’t playin. Neither are we.

Selenis Leyva

CREDIT: @selenisleyvaofficial / Instagram

When you play a prisoner in a private, corrupt prison system on television, it changes you. Or maybe you’re just born Latina and you’re pissed off at the world right now and that’s enough.

Dascha Polanco

CREDIT: @sheisdash / Twitter

Caption: “Vote vote. VOTE. This is no time to be complacent. If you’re mad, if you’re frustrated, we need you on Nov. 6. YOU are powerful. November is coming — it’s time to send our elected officials packing. #NoJusticeNoSeat #TakeitBack”

Jenna Ortega

CREDIT: @jennaortega / Twitter

Even baby 16 year old Jenna Ortega, the younger throwback version of Jane Villanueva, is telling everyone to vote.

It doesn’t take long and you can reference voter guides offered by some of your favorite advocacy rights organizations (i.e. The Human Rights Campaign, Voto Latino, Progressive Voter Guides, y más). No matter who you vote for, the most important thing is that you’re out there doing it.


READ: Republicans Have Made Voting In This Majority Latino Town In Kansas Nearly Impossible

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Guatemala Is The Latest Country To Have Elected An ‘Outsider’ Politician And Here’s What That Means For The Country

Things That Matter

Guatemala Is The Latest Country To Have Elected An ‘Outsider’ Politician And Here’s What That Means For The Country

@drgiammattei / Twitter

This past Sunday, voters took to to the polls in Guatemala and voted in a new leader that will surely shape the country for the next four years. Alejandro Giammattei, a right-wing former prison chief, took victory in the presidential elections in Guatemala, winning nearly 60% of the vote over former First Lady Sandra Torres, who had 42% of the vote. The election was filled with many questions  and ultimately became a contest where Guatemalans viewed the election a battle between the worst possible options. 

Giammattei faced an uphill battle during the election cycle that many didn’t see him ending up on top considering this was his fourth attempt running for President. The 63-year-old spent several months in prison back in 2008, when he was then director of the country’s prison system, due to some prisoners being killed in a raid during this tenure. He would eventually be acquitted of wrongdoing.

“Today is a new period of the country,” Giammattei told supporters Guatemala City following his victory. “Those who voted for us, those who did not vote for us, and those who did not go to vote, it does not matter. Today we need to unite, today I am the president of all Guatemalans.”

Here’s what you need to know about Giammattei and why was elected to lead Guatemala.

Giammattei was at first viewed as a long shot to win the nomination but his get-tough approach to crime and his conservative viewpoints, which includes his strong opposition to gay marriage and abortion, won him over with Guatemalan voters in a presidential runoff. He ran on a platform with a promise to bring down violence, endorse family values and support the death penalty.

There are about eight million Guatemalans who are registered to vote in the Central American country. But the nation that has been hit with by poverty, unemployment and migration issues, had about 45% turnout which suggests widespread disillusionment and lack of confidence with the political process.

Giammattei will take office in January from President Jimmy Morales, who leaves a corruption-tainted legacy. He congratulated his successor and promised a “transparent and orderly” transition.

“I hope that during this transition the doors will open to get more information so we can see what, from a diplomatic point of view, we can do to remove from this deal the things that are not right for us, or how we can come to an agreement with the United States,” Giammattei, 63, told Reuters in an interview.

What does the election of Giammattei mean for Guatemala moving forward, particularly when it comes to immigration?

 Credit:@CNN/Twitter

One of the biggest issues facing Guatemala right now are the growing number of migrants that are leaving the country and heading towards the United States. At least 1% of Guatemala’s population of some 16 million has left the country this year due to a worsening economic situation and distrust in government. About 250,000 people from Guatemala were apprehended at the border since October, according to to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

Back in July, the Morales’ administration signed an agreement with the U.S. that would require Salvadorans and Hondurans to request asylum at a port of entry in Guatemala. This was done in part to slow the number of migrants that were crossing through the country to reach the U.S. The new administration will have to figure out what to do with the agreement which could have huge ramifications when it comes to the inflow of Central American migrants coming to the U.S. border. 

This all will mean that Giammattei will need to negotiate with President Trump, who last month threatened to impose a travel ban, tariffs on exports and even  taxes on migrants’ remittances if the country did not work with him on immigration reform. But that relationship won’t be an easy task as many, including  Giammattei don’t agree with the deal. 

“It’s not right for the country,” Giammattei told NBC News. “If we don’t have the capacity to look after our own people, imagine what it will be like for foreigners.”

There are various takes on which direction Guatemala will go in with a new leader at the top. 

Credit:@mdmcdonald/Twitter

As a new era in politics takes shape in Guatemala many are reflecting on the possibilities and the economic effect the election may bring. Many in the country wanted change at the top due to the prior administration and the corruption that it was constantly wrapped in. 

“I decided to vote against Sandra Torres because of the accusations of corruption,” Rosa Julaju, an indigenous Kaqchikel woman, told Al Jazeera.”I hope Giammattei confronts the violence in our country. I voted for him for better security.”

Whatever the reason to vote, it’s clear the country is moving in a new direction that many hope will bring prosperity and more job opportunities. But that will all rest on Giammattei who is in control of a country that is just looking to get back on it’s feet after years of corruption at the top. 

READ: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Has A Theory To Help The Environment: People Should Poop Every Other Day

Progressive Latina Organizer Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez Is Running To Unseat A Republican In The Senate

Things That Matter

Progressive Latina Organizer Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez Is Running To Unseat A Republican In The Senate

cristinafortexas.com

In Texas, Latina organizer Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez has launched her campaign for US Senate with the hopes of unseating Republican John Cornyn in 2020. The 37-year-old contender joined the crowded Democratic primary race on Monday. In her launch video, the Austin-based activist alluded to this month’s mass shooting in El Paso, where a white supremacist gunman shot and killed nearly two dozen Latinxs during an attack at a local Walmart. 

Tzintzún Ramirez says hateful rhetoric coming from the White House and conservatives in her own state has allowed “people to feel like they can target us on the streets of our community.”

The candidate is running on a progressive platform that supports Medicare for All.

She is also pushing for the Green New Deal, “massive divestment from Immigration and Customs Enforcement” and rejecting all corporate PAC money. Recently she announced plans to create a “bold” immigration proposal that would “protect the rights of immigrant workers and families.”

“They have refused to deal with immigration reform in a state where one in 10 workers is undocumented, where the economic boom in this state has literally been built on the backs of undocumented workers,” Tzintzún Ramirez, the daughter of a Mexican immigrant mother and Irish-American father, told the Houston Chronicle. “We have to acknowledge states like Texas — and our country — depend on immigrant workers.”

The long-time organizer has more than a decade of experience working directly with immigrant communities.

 In 2006, she co-founded the Workers Defense Project (WDP), an Austin-based immigrant workers group focusing its efforts on the construction industry, which is the largest employer of undocumented laborers in the state. Tzintzún Ramirez served as the WDP’s executive director from its start until 2016. The following year, she founded Jolt, the largest Latinx civil rights organization in the state, which works to uplift the voice, vote and issues impacting the vast demographic in Texas.

“I’m not a career politician, I have not previously run for office,” she told The Intercept. “I was recruited to run by folks that I think really wanted to have a candidate that represents the ordinary Texan and to advocate for their interests, to protect their rights and fight for them.”

Tzintzún Ramirez will depend on that experience to help her unseat the three-term GOP incumbent.

 She says her team will be able to defeat the establishment by mobilizing the kind of voters that the political system has “underestimated and discounted,” particularly young folk and people of color. While the executive director of Jolt, a position she stepped down from to embark on her campaign, the group helped drive unprecedented voter registration and turnout in 2018. Jolt knocked on the doors of 40,000 Latinx voters, many of whom had never voted before, and also registered voters during Latinx cultural events, like quinceañeras and fairs, as well as on college campuses.

She says her campaign’s Latinx outreach strategy will be even “more grounded in cultural community events,” with a deeper focus on young people on college campuses.

“I know how to speak to the diversity of this state,” Tzintzún Ramirez told the Houston Chronicle.

According to The Intercept, Tzintzún Ramirez is the fifth serious contender to join the Democratic primary race and has serious challengers in candidates like M.J. Hegar, an Air Force veteran who lost a 2018 House race in a Republican-leaning district; State Sen. Royce West; and Houston City Council member Amanda Edwards.

For her team, Tzintzún Ramirez has brought along several workers from Beto O’Rourke’s 2018 Senate campaign, which challenged incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz in the closest race the state has seen in the last 40 years. 

Zack Malitz, O’Rourke’s former field director and a key player on the 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign, will serve as a senior adviser. Katelyn Coghlan, former statewide deputy field director for O’Rourke, will be her campaign manager. Ginny Goldman, co-founder of the Texas Organizing Project, will be a campaign chair. Additionally, Tzintzún Ramirez is working with Middle Seat, a digital firm that helped O’Rourke raise substantial funds throughout his campaign. 

One of the first fundraising goals for Tzintzún Ramirez’s campaign was to raise $100,000 in the first 24 hours of her launch. On Tuesday, the candidate tweeted that they more than doubled that target, collecting over $200,000 in one day.

Tzintzún Ramirez believes the growing momentum around her campaign comes directly from people who are ready for a Texas that works for all Texans.

“I don’t think we have a reflection of those in power that represents the Texas we are today. I think I represent those ideals and the diversity of the state, and I want Texas to be a national leader in solving the major problems that our country faces,” she said.

Read: She’s Running: Sandra Sepulveda Could Be The First Latina On The Nashville Metro Council