LGBTQ Latino voters ‘show up and show out’ for 2020 election

first_img– Advertisement – According to the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, 21% of LGBTQ people are not registered to vote, 22% of registered LGBTQ voters are Latino, and 13% are Black. Familia TQLM says these numbers indicate there is a lot of work to be done when it comes to reaching trans and queer Latino communities.Familia TQLM Campaign and Organizing Director Úmi Vera told Prism that the work the organization is doing is “unique.” Familia TQLM uses direct action tactics in advocating for the abolition of ICE. As state violence ramped up under the Trump administration, Vera said the organization decided to launch Vota Jota instead of standing on the sidelines for the 2020 presidential election.- Advertisement – “I’m the state director for a civic engagement organization, but I’m also a drag performer so everything I do is with this queer lens. For me, drag has always been political and drag is another organizing tool that I can successfully use to reach young voters,” Arevalo said. “I can’t vote, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a role to play in this election.” Of increasing concern to organizers is the voter suppression that LGBTQ people of color may face at the polls this year—especially if their identification doesn’t match their gender identity. In this election, there are 35 states that have laws requesting or requiring voters to show some form of identification at the polls. Arizona has one of the strictest laws in the nation. This is why Poder Latinx has focused heavily on know-your-rights trainings.“There are layers to being a LGBTQ voter. It’s not always as simple as showing up at your polling place. This is why we want to make sure that LGBTQ people understand how to navigate this very unjust system,” Arevalo said. This is also a concern for Siembra NC. The organization is best known for its advocacy on behalf of Latino immigrants in North Carolina and for its organizing against anti-immigrant sheriffs, but the group’s new Queer Caucus aims to turn North Carolina into a place of power for queer Latino community members. Cris Batista is a member of Siembra NC’s Queer Caucus and as part of the Vota Jota campaign, she and other members have focused on voter registration and voter education, especially as it relates to the intimidation Spanish speakers may face at the polls. North Carolina is a purple state where 28% of the region’s 890,000 Latino residents are eligible to vote. Batista told Prism there is little outreach in these communities and in rural areas like Alamance County, there is an “outright anti-Latine atmosphere.” Voting as a Latino person in a hostile area gets more complicated if a person presents as queer, Batista said.“We are working hard to make people feel safe if they are speaking Spanish at the polls and are queer presenting,” Batista said. “The other goal is to really support our undocumented queer community and to let them know that we understand voting is a privilege they don’t have, and we are going to use this privilege to vote with them in mind as we fight for a better future.” QLatinx Executive Director Christopher Cuevas told Prism that in the rare instances that campaigns seek to engage Latino voters, a “blanket identity gets wrapped around the community,” one that erases LGBTQ people, Afro-Latino populations, and other groups. “We’re not a monolith. We’re very diverse—that includes our cultural practices, ethnicities, the languages we speak, and the issues that matter to us,” Cuevas said. “Latinx voters are the largest voting minority in the U.S. We have a lot of untapped power, and trying to hispander to us isn’t going to work. It’s going to take more than talking about immigration. Health care, housing, basic income, the lack of these things is killing our communities.” In Florida, QLatinx has focused on engaging Latino communities through literature drops, door-knocking campaigns, phonebanks, and text message campaigns. It’s “painstaking work,” the executive director told Prism, and so are the inroads the organization is trying to build with national organizations that focus on civic engagement. The goal, Cuevas said, is to get these organizations to go beyond “rainbow narratives” and begin to advocate more widely for criminal justice reform, access to reproductive health care, and to shift their understanding of immigration as a fundamental LGBTQ issue.The Vota Jota organizers who spoke to Prism all reported feeling uneasy headed into the presidential election, especially in light of the Supreme Court being stacked with President Donald Trump’s appointees and swirling concerns about a potential coup. Even if former Vice President Joe Biden wins the election, Cuevas said the work cannot stop. “I’m thinking a lot about where all of this momentum will go after the election. Like AOC said, there’s no going back to brunch if Biden is elected. We can maybe get some takeout, but there is no going back to ‘normal,’” Cuevas said. “Biden and Harris are not going to be our saviors. They may stop the bleeding, but this country has a lot to fix and we have to continue mobilizing our communities. We need to show up and show out—not just on Election Day, but every day.”  Tina Vasquez is a senior reporter for Prism. She covers gender justice, workers’ rights, and immigration. Follow her on Twitter @TheTinaVasquez. Prism is a BIPOC-led nonprofit news outlet that centers the people, places and issues currently underreported by our national media. Through our original reporting, analysis, and commentary, we challenge dominant, toxic narratives perpetuated by the mainstream press and work to build a full and accurate record of what’s happening in our democracy. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. This includes the Arizona chapter of Poder Latinx, North Carolina’s Siembra NC, and Florida’s QLatinx, which formed after the Pulse Nightclub massacre that took the lives of 49 people, most of whom were members of the queer Latino community. The strategies for engaging voters have varied significantly in each of these battleground states, but all seek to speak directly to LGBTQ communities. Poder Latinx has historically focused on civic engagement, but this year the organization partnered with ArizonaDrag.com as part of the Vota Jota campaign. What emerged was the Drag Voter Squad, a group of Arizona-based drag performers working in coalition to produce voter education materials. As part of these efforts, Poder Latinx has also organized webinars, know-your-rights toolkits, streaming debate parties, and phonebanking events the organization called “drag-a-thons.” The Arizona state director for Poder Latinx Adonias Arevalo is a queer and undocumented drag performer. In fact, Arevalo was the first Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient to compete in the Miss Gay America drag pageant. – Advertisement – “Our ultimate goal is to empower trans and queer immigrant folks. We want them to know how to register to vote and how to have conversations about the importance of voting with their loved ones who are able to vote,” Vera said. “The way I see it, we are integrating electoral strategy into our radical abolitionist politics.” The Vota Jota campaign does come with a list of demands: universal basic income; universal health care for all; housing; abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the police; and ending the criminalization of trans-queer workers, including sex workers, drag performers, day laborers, and service and retail industry workers, among others. “An incredible amount of people are not eligible to vote in the Latinx community because they have been disenfranchised through the criminal justice system, and our people are disenfranchised because of their immigration status, which leaves millions of our parents, family members, and beloved queer and trans siblings unable to vote,” Vera said. “Organizing around this election is just another strategy in our toolbox, and it is allowing us to strengthen our movement by building this campaign with queer and trans organizations and organizations that do civic engagement work.”- Advertisement –last_img read more

Read More →

Rooney relishing Christmas Day off

first_imgManchester United captain Wayne Rooney has welcomed manager Louis van Gaal’s decision to give his players Christmas Day off. Press Association Unlike his predecessors David Moyes and Sir Alex Ferguson, Van Gaal has instructed his players to stay at home on Thursday, even though they have a match at home to Newcastle 24 hours later. Christmas Day training has been cancelled and the players will report for duty the following morning at the AON Training Complex in Carrington. The 29-year-old is expected to play in midfield against the Magpies, with Radamel Falcao poised to continue up front alongside Robin van Persie. Falcao ended a two-month goal drought with a well-taken header at Aston Villa last weekend and Rooney hopes the Colombian will now start scoring on a regular basis. “It was great for Falcao to get on the scoresheet, and it was a great header,” the England skipper told MUTV. “I’m pleased for him and I hope he continues that into the next few games.” The 1-1 draw at Villa Park ended a run of six consecutive wins for Van Gaal’s team, who are now third in the Barclays Premier League. United will be without Ander Herrera, Daley Blind, Luke Shaw and Marouane Fellaini for Friday’s match. Chris Smalling faces a late test on his groin injury while Marcos Rojo is a big doubt due to the thigh problem that has kept him out of the last two matches. Alan Pardew will attempt to bring goals to Newcastle as he prepares for an intensely difficult start to the Christmas campaign. The Magpies travel to in-form Manchester United on Boxing Day on the back of three successive defeats, the last of them a 1-0 reverse at the hands of neighbours Sunderland, an unprecedented fourth consecutive derby loss. Just a few weeks ago, it would have been a fixture Pardew’s men might have approached with some relish having already dispensed with Tottenham, Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea. Asked if his team had saved its best performances for the Barclays Premier League’s big boys, the 53-year-old replied: “Yes and no. “Some of the top clubs, we have not played so well – Arsenal, we didn’t play well, but Spurs we beat, Liverpool we beat as well. “We can raise our game, but we don’t score a lot of goals, and that’s something that is a concern, really, going into the second half of the season, how many goals we have scored. “That’s an area we are going to have to improve on against any team. “But when you play the top teams, you can keep it tight and one goal, two goals can sometimes be enough. But not always, and we need to score more goals.” Newcastle have fared reasonably well on their most recent league visits to Old Trafford, drawing 1-1 there in November 2011, losing by the odd goal in seven on Boxing Day the following year and finally ending a 41-year wait for a victory in December last year. Pardew said: “We have had decent performances at Old Trafford, I think, in the last three. We drew, we lost in the last minute – which was a cracking game – 4-3, and then we won last year, so we have done reasonably well there. “One of the reasons we have one well there is we have retained possession well, and that’s something we are going to have to do because you can’t turn possession over to Manchester United with the quality they have got up front. “They are going well at the minute. They are on a great run, and it’s a game that every time you play them, you have to look forward to it. I certainly do and I am sure our senior players and young players will too.” Playing on Boxing Day will be a new experience for Van Gaal and five of the six players he signed in the summer. Rooney feels they will benefit from being able to spend time with their families, rather than spend the day on the training pitch. “We’re not training on Christmas Day this year because we’ll be spending it at home, which will be good for the foreign players and those of us with children,” said Rooney, who has two sons. “It must be strange for the new players to have more games than ever over Christmas, having had the time off previously. “They have to adapt and be ready for it, while being aware of the fixture list. I’m sure they’ll be prepared for the upcoming games.” The omens look good for United ahead of the match. They have only lost once on Boxing Day – against Middlesbrough in 2002 – since the Premier League began. Rooney, however, has bagged just two goals in eight Boxing Day appearances for the Red Devils. last_img read more

Read More →