Things That Matter

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

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.

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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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El Salvador’s Election Leads To Landslide Win For The President’s New Political Party

Things That Matter

El Salvador’s Election Leads To Landslide Win For The President’s New Political Party

El Salvador has held its midterm elections two years into the term of President Nayib Bukele and the president has been handed a major victory. Although Bukele’s name was not on the ballot, Nuevas Ideas candidates relied on their connection to the conservative president, and his image was plastered on campaign posters around the country.

The strong showing for Nuevas Ideas came despite allegations of voting fraud from Bukele and other party members. While, international commmentators point out that with his new supermajority, there are very few checks on Bukele’s power.

President Bukele’s Nuevas Ideas party wins a supermajority during midterm elections.

In what many are calling a first test for President Bukele’s Nuevas Ideas political party, the midterm elections delivered a landslide victory to the president and his party. With more than half the votes counted, the president’s party won a supermajority of at least 61 out of 84 seats in the country’s Legislative Assembly.

The midterm elections have completely upended the traditional political system that has existed in the country since the 1994 peace agreement. Not once has a single party had such a major victory. These elections also represent the collapse of the two-party system that has governed El Salvador for more than 25 years.

With the added votes of the GANA party, a small party that has pledged loyalty to the president, supporters of Bukele will control over 70% of the legislature, effectively removing all limits on the 39-year-old president’s ability to implement his agenda.

The election results remove any checks the authoritative president once faced.

Bukele will become the country’s most powerful leader in decades following these results, which is causing alarm among administration officials in Washington. Joe Biden’s administration has already voiced “worries” over Bukele’s tactics. These have included disobeying supreme court rulings and sending troops into the national assembly to coerce legislators into approving his spending plans.

Even before official results were in, the 39-year-old president, an ally of former US president Donald Trump, tweeted “VICTORY” over images of fireworks.

Bukele’s harsh crackdown on gang violence and his adept social media campaigns against corruption and traditional politics have made him popular with Salvadorans who are tired of endemic violence in one of the world’s most crime-ridden countries.

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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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