Things That Matter

Primary Elections Are Happening All Over The Country Right Now. Here’s What You Should Know About These Elections

Xochitl for Congress / Facebook / ironstache / Instagram / @Juana_B_Matias / Twitter / nelsonaraujonv / Instagram

Since President Trump won the 2016 elections, there has been a surge in Democratic people of color and women entering politics and running for office around the country for the first time. All of the candidates have focused on one thing: getting people to vote. With the primary season underway, people are putting their names and careers on the line to fight for a better future for all Americans from women’s rights to immigration rights.

While there’s a record amount of women running for office this year, there’s also an increase in Latinos running for a government seat.

Some primary elections have already taken place, and Latinos have won their respective seats (see winners below), which means there’s a great wave of change coming to Washington. However, there’s still plenty of primary elections that have yet to take place. Here’s a list of the Latinos that running this year and hope to represent all Americans.

Winner: Democrat Lupe Valdez, running for Governor of Texas.

Watch Live as Lupe Valdez accepts the Democratic Nomination!

Posted by Lupe Valdez on Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Valdez has a long career in law enforcement that started with being a federal agent and led to her being the first Latina sheriff in the U.S. She served as sheriff for Dallas County for four terms before she decided to run for governor of Texas in the hopes of being the first lesbian Latina to hold the office.

Democrat Randy Bryce, running for Congress in Wisconsin. Primary Election date: Aug. 14.

Randy Bryce is of Mexican and Polish descent and a  U.S. Army veteran, cancer survivor, and union ironworker. This is Bryce’s first attempt at a politician. He is running for Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District currently held by Speaker Paul Ryan.

In an interview with mitu, Chief Operating Officer Jessica Reeves at Voto Latino says Latinos are getting into politics because there’s a lack of representation.

“I think people are realizing that in order to have our issues heard, we as Latinos need to make sure we’re represented not only at the polls but in elected office,” Reeves said. “A number of programs like Run for Something and our own Power Summit leadership program are training and encouraging people from all walks of life to step up and start a life of public service.”

Democrat Nelson Araujo, running for Nevada Secretary of State; Primary Election Date: June 12.

These two. ❤️

A post shared by Nelson Araujo (@nelsonaraujonv) on

Nelson Araujo is the son of parents who were refugees from the Salvadoran Civil War. He was raised by his mother, who worked as a housekeeper in a hotel.

Winner: Democrat Texas Congresswoman Veronica Escobar.

Veronica Escobar is a third-generation El Pasoan. She has served as County Judge and County Commissioner for El Paso, Texas before running for Texas’s 16th Congressional District.

Winner: Democrat Texas Senator Sylvia Garcia.

Sylvia Garcia won her race with 63 percent of the vote and would join Escobar by becoming one of the first two Latinas to Congress if they win the midterm elections. Garcia is running to represent Texas’s 29th Congressional District.

Winner: Democratic  Chicago Congressman Jésus “Chuy” García.

Posted by Jesus "Chuy" Garcia on Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Jesus “Chuy” García was born in Durango, Mexico, and has severed as representative on the Cook County Board of Commissioners in Illinois. His father was a farm laborer under the U.S government’s World War II-era bracero program. Garcia is running for Rep. Luis Gutiérrez’s seat representing Illinois’s 4th Congressional District.

Democrat Juana Matias running for Congress in Massachusetts. Primary election date: Sept. 4.

According to Ballot Pedia, Juana Matias was first elected to the Massachusetts chamber in 2016. She says she’s a “product of the American Dream,” and was a raised by a blue-collar family. She is running or Massachusetts’s 3rd Congressional District.

Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham running for Governor of New Mexico. Primary election date: June 5.

Michelle Lujan was born in Los Alamos, New Mexico, and grew up in Santa Fe, and serves New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District on the House Agriculture and Budget Committees. She is currently the Chair for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Democrat David Garcia running for Governor of Arizona. Primary election date: Aug. 28.

David Garcia is fourth generation Arizonan “and an infantry marksman who was raised to value service and integrity, Democrat,” according to his website.

Winner: Democrat Alma Anaya Cook County Commissioner in Chicago.

Alma Anaya, born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, and a graduate from Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Winner: Democrat Rep. Aaron Ortiz for Illinois.

"The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (BoldProgressives.org) is a million-member grassroots organization building…

Posted by Aaron Ortiz for State Rep on Sunday, March 11, 2018

Aaron “Chuy” Garcia is a son of immigrants from Durango, Mexico. The young politician and educator is running to be the state representative of Illinois’s 1st district.

Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell running for Congress in Florida. Primary election date: Aug. 28.

Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is a first-generation American who has built a career working for numerous non-profits around south Florida. Mucarsel-Powell is running to unseat Republican incumbent Rep. Carlos Curbelo.

Democrat Virginia Madueño running for Congress in California. Primary election date: June 5.

Posted by Virginia Madueño for Congress District 10 on Thursday, April 26, 2018

Virginia Madueño is a local business owner and served as mayor of Riverbank. She running to represent the voices of California’s 10th Congressional District.

Democrat Antoinette Sedillo-Lopez running for Congress in New Mexico. Primary election date: June 5.

According to Ballot Pedia, Antoinette Sedillo-Lopez “graduated from the University of New Mexico and the UCLA School of Law. She taught law at the UNM for 27 years and remains an emeritus law professor. She serves as the executive director of Enlace, an anti-domestic violence nonprofit conducting outreach to Latino immigrant communities.” She is running for New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District.

Democrat Xochitl Torres Small running for Congress in New Mexico. Primary election date: June 5.

Posted by Xochitl for Congress on Thursday, January 11, 2018

“As a child, Xochitl heard stories about her grandmother, who immigrated here from Mexico, working in the fields to build her American dream,” her website states. “Xochitl watched her mom, who goes to school early and stays long after the last bell has rung to help her students succeed. Xochitl saw her father consistently go the extra mile as a social worker to help those who are too often pushed aside.  She learned the importance of having your neighbor’s back – something Congress doesn’t seem to care about anymore.”

Democrat January Contreras running for Attorney General in Arizona. Primary election date: Aug. 28.

ENDORSEMENT: As a K-12 product of Arizona's public schools, I am honored to be endorsed by the Arizona Education…

Posted by January Contreras on Friday, May 11, 2018

“As a Deputy County Attorney, Assistant Attorney General, founder of a not-for-profit and, most importantly, as a mother to two children, January has always been driven to protect others,” her website states.

Democrat Gil Cisneros running for Congress in California. Primary election date: June 5.

Ready for the game. @fullertonhoops #TuskUp #MarchMadness🏀 #CA39

A post shared by Gil Cisneros for Congress (@gilcisnerosca) on

Gil Cisneros is the first in his family to graduate from college, and is the son of a public school cafeteria worker and a Vietnam veteran. He attended college on a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (R.O.T.C.) scholarship, and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from The George Washington University. He is running to represent California’s 39th Congressional District.

While it’s an incredible accomplishment to have so many Latino running for office, Reeves says Latino voters shouldn’t feel obligated to vote for Latinos, simply because they’re Latino.

“At the end of the day the most important thing for a Latino voter is to elect someone that will represent their issues and values, not their ethnicity,” Reeves said.

For a full list of primary elections, visit the National Conference of State Legislatures.


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

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Latinos Could Totally Own The Democratic Primary And The Candidates Know It

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Latinos Could Totally Own The Democratic Primary And The Candidates Know It

We are less than a year and a half away from the 2020 presidential election, and while the  incumbent President of the United States, real estate mogul and media personality turned politician Donald J. Trump is already tocando los tambores de guerra by attacking the  leading Democratic contenders, his potential opponents are still attacking each other. All around the country campaign offices are trying to come up with the best strategies, and have realizes that one key demographic for 2020 will be the Latino vote. 

As Jonathan Allen argues in NBC News : “Depending on how the race unfolds, Latinos might even end up being the key to the contest. That’s a function mostly of heavily Hispanic states, including California and Texas, moving up on the primary calendar at the same time that the chances for a protracted, delegate-by-delegate fight among several candidates appear to be more likely than ever. The possibility of African American voters splitting among several candidates for the first time in several presidential primary cycles also raises the stakes for candidates in trying to get an edge with Latino voters”. 

The candidates better start brushing up on their Spanish! (but please, no terrible gringo accents, porfavorcito). As Aida Chavez states in The Intercept after the debates a few weeks ago: “The desire to connect with Latinx voters was apparent in this week’s presidential debates, when several contenders made a direct appeal to the growing electorate by answering questions in Spanish on the national stage”. 

Latinos are a big, strong, decisive voting force for 2020: there will be 2 million more eligible Latino voters than African-American voters.

Credit: @abcfamily / Giphy

Just think about this: about 32 million Latinos will be eligible to vote in the 2020 presidential election, which is about 13 percent of the electorate, according to the Pew Research Center. By contrast, African-American voters will have 30 million eligible voters. Just let that sink in for a minute. 

According to a poll released by Univision after the debates, Kamala Harris seems to be getting her message across to Latino voters.

Credit: Univision

The message to take away from this poll is that Harris was perceived as the winner of the debates over the only candidate with a recognizably Latino name, Julian Castro. Her identity as a powerful, independent, woman of color might be seeping into the Latino preference. This is an election about ideas rather than looks, and also an election about who seems better prepared to take on Trump, and if Latino voters start imagining Harris debating Trump and holding her ground, well, things might get interesting. 

And yes, the race among Democratic candidates is tight and getting tighter, with at least three clear frontrunners.

Credit: RealClearPolitics

Unless something really dramatic happens, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris will be the candidate. They are the ones polling the highest in the race for the nomination and whom Trump has directed his attacks against. 

It is clear that immigration will be the main issue in this election and Elzabeth Warren took the first step by announcing an ambitious and humane immigration plan.

Credit: Giphy

Unless a major international conflict arises before the election, immigration policies, including how undocumented migrants are treated after being detained at the border, will be the main issue. Elizabeth Warren took the first step by announcing her sweeping immigration plan.  She wrote in a post on Medium when announcing what immigration policy would look like under a Warren administration: “We must address the humanitarian mess at the border and reverse this president’s discriminatory policies. But that won’t be nearly enough to fix our immigration system. We need expanded legal immigration that will grow our economy, reunite families, and meet our labor market demands.” 

As we reported at the time: “This is a very intelligent approach to immigration, as it appeals to both those worried about the economy and how the United States can respond to the competition of global markets, and to the voters who consider current zero-tolerance policies, including ICE raids, inadmissible”. 

But others are falling far behind: enter Bernie Sanders and his big “socialist” problem among Latinos.

One of the big mistakes that many politicians make while trying to woo the Latino vote is assuming that all Latinos fall on the same end of the political spectrum. Bernie Sanders has certainly been guilty of this by failing to recognize that many Latinos, particularly powerful pockets of influence in places like Florida, actually despise left-wing politicians. As NF News argued: “Declaring yourself left-wing may be attractive among an American youth who have never lived under a socialist regime. But among Latino voters who have been exiled from left-wing regimes, this has consequences. This was demonstrated by the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, who is the co-chair of the campaign by presidential pre-candidate Bernie Sanders, Carmen Yulín Cruz, when she refused to acknowledge that she and Sanders are socialists. Both Cruz and Sanders have refused to condemn the dictatorships of Cuba and Venezuela. Instead, Cruz chose to compare the humanitarian crisis facing Venezuela with poverty in Puerto Rico”. 

This is a big misstep, as Florida in particular is a key state for this and any other election, and Democratic voters are wary of candidates who might perform poorly in the state (remember Bush-Gore anyone?). 

There are some voices of reason in Sander’s campaign, as reported by The Intercept in an interview with Chuck Rocha, a senior Sanders adviser. “: “We know that we’re going to communicate with young Latinos in English, we know we’re going to communicate with young Latinos in Spanish. We also understand the cultural differences between Latinos in Des Moines, Iowa, and Latinos in the East Side of Las Vegas.”

The no-show: Joe Biden?

The former Vice President has sent conflicting messages on how important the Latino vote is for his campaign. On one hand, as reported by NBC News, “Biden’s outreach has included a fully bilingual website, bilingual advertising and the first candidate meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus”. On the other, he has missed key appearances at events where he could reach to Latino Democrats. As reported by The Boston Globe, he was a no-show at  “an important forum hosted by the Spanish-language network Telemundo and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials that drew more than 800 of the nation’s top Latino policy makers and strategists”. Sanders and Warren attended. This lack of engagement could cost him dearly, as noted by the same publication: 

Denise Diaz, a 32-year-old city councilwoman from South Gate, Calif., said this was the second time Biden had disappointed her. The first was when he skipped California’s Democratic convention three weeks earlier.

“I have really changed my opinion in supporting him,” she said. “I am looking for someone who is relatable, has boots on the ground, and is accessible.”

You know what they say: camarón que se duerme se lo lleva la corriente. 

This Twitter User Pointed Out That the X-Men Is An Allegory For the Hate and Violence Minorities Experience In Our Society

Things That Matter

This Twitter User Pointed Out That the X-Men Is An Allegory For the Hate and Violence Minorities Experience In Our Society

With the wrap-up of Comic-Con 2019, we’ve still got comics and all things fandom on our minds. We’re, of course, big fans of comic giant Marvel. The company has long been the innovator in its industry and artists like Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Sana Amanat, and Scott Lobdell have created art and stories that push their narratives towards real-life issues. Racism, sexism, ableism and general bigotry have been addressed in the pages of their comics. They’ve made readers stop and look at the similarities between these fictional worlds and our real one.

“The X-Men,” especially, is one title that explores these concepts. At its core, “X-Men” is about taking the outcasts of society and making them superheroes via what makes them different. Still, despite their roles as heroes, the mutants of X-Men are seen as dangerous outsiders who need to hide who they are or risk being targeted by radicalized and violent bigots. Sound familiar?

This Twitter user noticed the similarities in themes between old “X-Men” cartoons from 25 years ago and our current society.

Twitter / @tyewang

Twitter user Tye Wang noticed these signs while watching “X-men: The Animated Series.” They read “Go Home!” and “Mutant Go Back To Where You Came From.” He pointed out that the observations from the cartoon — especially concerning race relations — reflect our current world.

Wang shared the dialogue that went along with the images:

“The assassin was Gambit, but ALL mutants get blamed. People are afraid, they want action, they want to protect, they want revenge.”

The scene goes on to discuss mutant laws being passed to “protect” non-mutants from “dangerous and criminal mutants.” It’s clearly an allegory for how society reacts to both migrants looking for sanctuary in our country and those who have immigrated here legally and have become citizens.

We’ve recently seen this racist trope used by the American president.

Twitter / @nowthisnews

On July 14, 2019, Donald Trump went on a racially charged Twitter rant aimed at Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow congresswomen. In the rant, the president asked of the women, “Why don’t they go back.” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Tlaib, Rep. Pressley and Rep. Omar are all women of color and are American citizens. However, since they have been vocal on many social issues that they hope to see changed, the president attacked the group — quickly latching on to a phrase that racists have long used against Black and Brown people.

During the major immigration period of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, America had open borders.

In this time, migrants came from Europe in mass quantities. The president’s own mother and father are members of this major immigration. Some of these migrants were persecuted for their mother country. Some received the same threats that today’s migrants face.

However, the focus for racist hate soon turned towards Latinx people, Black people and other brown members of society. Despite their own exodus, white Americans told Black and brown folks to go back home. Never mind that the border crossed over into native land. Never mind that Black people were brought over in chains. It was just another excuse to accuse “outsiders” for the world’s problems.

These issues are the same ones that members of the X-Men faced in their adventures.

Twitter / @SlimJim2123

It wasn’t just fighting Magneto and the Evil Brotherhood of Mutants. The X-Men also took on societal issues. Creator Stan Lee imagined the mutants to be a stand-in for minorities so it was natural that the heroes faced issues that marginalized groups experience.

Raised in Harlem and Cairo, weather-themed superhero, Storm, experienced the intersections of social injustice as a Black mutant woman. She faced prejudice from those who saw her as a dangerous mutant as well as those who saw her as someone who didn’t belong in America.

She also faced discrimination as a woman. The topic of wage equality came into the original ’70s and ’80s run of “The X-Men.” Forty or so years later and wage equality between the sexes and the races continues to be an issue; proving that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

The hate that we see in today’s anti-immigrant mentality is the same that the X-men experienced back in their origins.

Twitter / @tertiarymap

During the original run of “X-Men: The Animated Series,” the mutant Jubilee faced an unfortunately familiar sentiment. While trapped by anti-mutant extremists, the hero asked, “Why do you hate us? What did we ever do to you?” The response she got was that she was hated for being born a mutant, something she has no control over.

This is the same hate that racists aim at Black and brown people. They are not judged by their character or their actions, but on the fact that they were born different. Whether born in a different place or born a different race, just like the bigots in “X-Men,” racists only care about what makes us different. Some things never change.

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