Things That Matter

From Governorships To Congress, These Latinos Want To Lead The Country With Their Community In Mind

It is two months from general midterm election and the primary challenges have left us with unexpected wins and losses. There are many seats in all level of government are up for grabs this year which means these midterms could change everything. Primary season is almost over and many races are set for this November’s general election. Latinos are poised to make an impact in the election race, whether its voting or running for office.

Latinos are the largest minority demographic in the country and have the power to make a huge impact this November.

More than 27 million Latinos were eligible to vote in 2016, according to the Pew Research Center. However, only about 13 million voted. This has fed into the reputation that Latinos are a low-participation demographic. Seventeen percent of the U.S. population is Latino yet Latinos make up 8.5 percent of Congress with four senators, Republicans Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz and Democrats Bob Menendez and Catherine Cortez Masto. There are two Latino governors, Susana Martinez and Brian Sandoval both Republicans.

This midterm is different as issues and policies that concern Latinos are more relevant than ever. Democratic strategist Maria Cardona told The Hill that having Latino candidates is important because it would spur political participation among recent attacks on the Latino community.

“The candidates might be able to speak about immigration from a personal perspective even if they themselves are not immigrants because what has happened is the massive insults and repeated attacks on immigrants has made all of the community feel attacked,” Cardona told The Hill.

An unprecedented number of Latinos are running for office in the 2018 midterms.

Many candidates running this year are new to politics and are using that outsider identity to benefit thier campaigns. Many Latino candidates are running on platforms based on immigration and other issues central to the Latino experience in the United States. The following Latino candidates have the chance to make a difference come November.

Jana Lynne Sanchez, Texas’s 6th Congressional District

Sanchez is the granddaughter of a Mexican immigrant who moved to the U.S. to chase the American dream. As a Texan, Sanchez believes that the success of the nation relies on the health of its citizens. As such, Sanchez is campaigning on a platform including health care for all.

“As Americans we pay more than any other developed country for healthcare and have the worst outcomes dollar for dollar,” reads her website. “We can do better for patients and for all taxpayers by building on what works in the US system and expanding it to cover everyone.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York’s 14th Congressional District

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez quickly became one of the most recognizable faces in the 2018 primary season when she pulled off one of the biggest political upsets. Cortez ran her campaign with zero dollars from corporate PAC money and is a proud Democratic Socialist. Her campaign focuses on the values of universal health care, tuition-free higher education and equal employment opportunities. The 28-year-old Cortez has led a successful campaign that has garnered more support than Republican nominee Anthony Pappas.

Catalina Cruz, New York State’s 39th Assembly District

Catalina Cruz is running for the New York state Assembly and wants to encat policies that will help people like her mother, who had to sacrifice to make ends meet as Cruz was growing up.

“It gives me the opportunity to fight in a way I haven’t been able to do or frankly had the courage to do until now,” Cruz told ABC News.

Cruz, who became U.S. citizen back in 2009, is an experienced attorney and a leader for immigration reform and workers’ rights. She is using her previous status as an undocumented person from Colombia to help connect with voters in the Queens district who’ve experienced a similar path.

David Garcia, Governor of Arizona

David Garcia is running for governor of Arizona and will be facing off against Republican Doug Ducey in the state’s gubernatorial election in November. Garcia is a fourth generation Mexican-American who previously worked in the Arizona Department of Education and is currently a professor in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. Garcia has an uphill battle in the predominantly Republican state of Arizona, but many see a blue wave of Democratic leadership on its way that may help come November.

Jésus “Chuy” García, Illinois’s 4th Congressional District

Jésus “Chuy” García is running for congress in the 4th district of Illinois after winning the Democratic nomination with 66 percent of the primary votes back in March. He will now face off against Republican Mark Lorch in November for a seat in the house. His platform is focused on health care for all, immigration and improving public transportation in low-income communities.

Lupe Valdez, Governor of Texas

Lupe Valdez has already made her mark on this election season. She is the first Latina and first openly gay person nominated for governor by a major party in Texas. Valdez is a former four-term sheriff of Dallas County and served from 2005-2017. She was the only Latina Sheriff in the United States and one of very few LGBTQ Americans serving in public office. She is running on issues like women rights, voting rights and LGBTQ equality in the state of Texas. Valdez will be facing off against incumbent Republican Governor Greg Abbott in the 2018 November election.


READ: From New York To San Diego, These Candidates Are Standing Up For Their Latino Communities

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More Than 100 New Emojis Are Dropping This Year, And Our Latinx Cultura Is Represented: Meet The Tamale And Piñata Emojis

Things That Matter

More Than 100 New Emojis Are Dropping This Year, And Our Latinx Cultura Is Represented: Meet The Tamale And Piñata Emojis

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This weekend was special for more than just the Super Bowl, it was Día de la Candelaria (aka. Candlemas). And I don’t know about you, but I stuffed my face with tamales—as is mandatory. Why is that important? Because this weekend, we also found out that more than 100 emojis will be available on Apple this year —and one of them is an actual tamale. Is it a rajas tamale? Or is it filled with mole? We’re not too sure, but what we are sure of, it that a tamale emoji is coming and we can’t wait!

Emoji is the fastest growing language in history. 

Five billion emojis are sent every day, just on Facebook Messenger. And they’re appearing in some places you wouldn’t expect. One court judge in England used a smiley face emoji   in a document to make it easy to explain the court’s decision to children —an actual fact. So it should come as no surprise, that emoji consortiums have formed to keep updating the language and including more and more elements to it.

Starting in the second half of 2020, users can insert a tamale Emoji into any conversation.

Whether you’re including it in a text conversation about making tamales during the holidays, or simply emphasizing your craving for one of the best Latinx dishes around, the option will be there before you know it.

Emojipedia confirmed the introduction of over 100 new emojis this year.

According to Emojipedia, the emoji reference website —yes, it’s a thing—this year we’re getting 117 recently approved new emojis. From a gender inclusive alternative to Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, named Mx. Claus, to a fondue, a bell pepper and a piñata emoji. 

That’s right, Latinos are getting another emoji that illustrates our culture.

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The Piñata emoji is coming in the shape of a Donkey—granted, it’s an old, clichéd reference, but hey, it’s iconic nonetheless. Get ready to dale dale dale because the paper maché burro will be available to add to your convos, this year. 

The Christmas icon is not the only gender-neutral addition, btw.

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The new emojis will also include a woman in a tuxedo, a man in a bride veil and a gender-neutral person feeding a baby. All of these emojis are also available in all skin tones.

As reported by Emojipedia, the officially approved Emoji Version 13.0 list was published last week by the Unicode Consortium

And it features 117 new emoji that will be arriving on devices like iPhone, iPad, and Mac later this year. Apple typically adds the new emoji with the next major operating system updates in the fall.

We’ll be getting a wide array of animals, household items and more foods in emoji form!

The list of new emojis also includes other foods like bubble tea and a flat bread, animals like a seal and a cockroach, and household items like a toothbrush.

The new emojis build on last year’s round of more inclusive icons. 

A hearing aid emoji, wheelchair emoji and seeing eye dog emoji were in 2019’s new batch. A gender-neutral couple and various combinations of people with different skin colors holding hands were also made available last year.

Back in February 2019, the Unicode Consortium unveiled 230 new emojis with a majority representing people with disabilities and their needs. 

They included hearing aids, prosthetic limbs and service dogs. It also included the option for interracial couples to mix and match skin tones.

New emojis are now added to the Unicode standard on an annual basis. 

These emojis are proposed by different companies like Google, Apple and Twitter, and finalized by the start of the year. This allows ample time for these platforms to include these in future updates.

The first emojis debuted in October 2010 

10 years ago, Unicode Consortium released 722 different designs, and the genre has come a long way since. In 2015, Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year was an emoji–the Face With Tears of Joy one. There’s also a World Emoji Day celebrated annually on July 17.

Is Jennifer Lopez Really The Only Latina To Be Featured On Screen In The The Past Few Years?

Entertainment

Is Jennifer Lopez Really The Only Latina To Be Featured On Screen In The The Past Few Years?

You would think since Latinos have one of the highest moviegoing rates in the United States, we’d see more of our lives and communities reflected on Hollywood’s big screen. However, that’s far from being the case. According to a report released last year by the Motion Picture Association of America, Hispanic-Latino filmgoers went to the movies an average of 4.5 times in 2017. 

Even then, a new study by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative that was published this week, shows that Latinx representation in film is significantly lagging. 

There’s something inherently wrong when the Latinx community, who represents 18% of the total U.S. population and 24% of frequent moviegoers, is nearly shut out from the big screen.

In partnership with the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) and Wise Entertainment, USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative released the report, titled Latinos in Film: Erasure on Screen & Behind the Camera Across 1,200 Popular Movies. The report looked at the 1,200 top titles at the box office from 2007 to 2018 as well as about 47,268 Spanish speaking or named characters. 

One of the report’s biggest findings, however, was that within that time frame, only two Latina lead roles were played by an actor over 45. Both were the multi-hyphenate Jennifer Lopez, and with her upcoming role in Hustlers, she’ll be breaking her own record. 

While the study by Dr. Stacy L. Smith and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative mainly focuses on the state of Latinx representation in the past decade of Latinos working on screen and behind the camera as directors, producers, and casting directors, it also focuses on how underrepresentation and stereotyping “are the hallmarks of Latino portrayers in popular movies.” 

(Photo Credit: NALIP/USC Annenberg/Wise Entertainment)

The study found that in the 12 year research period, 4.5% of all speaking or named characters were Latino, but only 3% were leads or co-leads. More findings included that in the films that were studied, 4% had a Latino director and most of those filmmakers (71% to be exact) were from outside of the U.S. And that’s not the shocking part. Out of 1,335 directors, only one of those was a Latina woman. Among producers, only 3% were Latino. 

Latinx filmmakers, creators, and actors took to Twitter to express their frustrations over the findings of the study.

One Day At A Time co-showrunner Gloria Calderón Kellett called upon Hollywood to increase the inclusion of the Latinx community by “demanding a 20% increase in representation both in front and behind the camera.” 

A Twitter user replied to the One Day at A Time co-showrunner and shared how joyous she feels when she sees Latinx folks credited in the acting and also production roles.

The Twitter user also added that we need more stories from more than one Latinx point of view as well and that “casting needs to diversify as well, since we come in all shades, hair textures, etc.” 

Actor, producer, and director Eva Longoria also took to her Instagram to comment on the story, she said: “Only 1 Latina directed a top film over 12 years & 1,200 movies. Studios, why are you erasing Latinas?”

In her caption, she also noted that Latinas are leading as grassroots organizations in many different fields but even then, Hollywood fails to notice their talent and potential. 

Latinx Actress Dani Fernandez brought up another important point that we fail to outwardly discuss and that’s agents and acting coaches allegedly telling white actors to change their last name to a Latinx sounding one. 

Twitter user Benita Robledo replied to Fernandez’s tweet and recalled a time when someone she knew told her they’d been thinking of changing their name because being “Latina is so so big rn.” 

Film critic Alonso Duralde further drove the point home about Latinx people playing a huge part of the moviegoing demo, yet still continued to be overlooked by Hollywood. 

“But studios insist on leaving this particular money on the table,” he added. 

Superstore actor America Ferrera also took to Instagram to express her thoughts on the study and its findings. 

“It’s easier to accept the mistreatment and dehumanization of Latinx people when they are invisible in our culture,” Ferrera wrote in her caption. Like Longoria, Ferrera demand that Hollywood take responsibility for the “stories you reinforce & perpetuate.” 

We hope this report shakes things up and causes Hollywood to really look closely at how it not only portrays but also casts Latinx actors, directors, and producers in the future. 

Of the report’s findings, Dr. Stacy L. Smith said in a statement that “at a time where Latinos in our country are facing intense concerns over their safety, we urgently need to see the Latino community authentically and accurately represented throughout entertainment.”