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

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India will find Australia a different proposition next year – skipper Paine

first_imgBy Nick MulvenneySYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia have developed a ruthless streak in their home series sweeps against Pakistan and New Zealand and will present much stiffer opposition when India tour next year, captain Tim Paine said on Monday.Paine’s side wrapped up a 3-0 series triumph over the Black Caps by romping to 279-run victory at the Sydney Cricket Ground to make it five comprehensive wins out of five matches for the home summer.“I came into this summer expecting to win all five tests,” Paine told reporters.“I think now we’ve got a team together that is really consistent, we’ve got a number of match-winners with both bat and ball and our lesser players have improved a hell of a lot over the last 12 months. “We’ve probably become more ruthless which was something we wanted to be … We’ve got great quality throughout our side and it’s a very exciting team to be part of.”Next up for Australia in Test cricket is a tour of Bangladesh in June and July followed by what Paine described as a “mouthwatering” series at home to Virat Kohli’s India. India last visited in the 2018-19 season and, with Steve Smith and David Warner suspended after the ball-tampering scandal, earned their first series triumph on Australia soil.“We’re certainly a different side than what they played against last year,” Paine added. “There’s (also) Test championship points at stake and I think both India and Australia are eyeing off that final so every point is going to be critical.“If we can continue our upward trend, you’re potentially talking about the top two teams in the world so it’s going to be an awesome series.”The victory over New Zealand brought Australia (296) closer to India (360) at the top of the World Test Championship table with the two nations occupying the positions which will earn places in the final at Lord’s in 2021. Paine said the way Australia approached the key moments in matches had changed since India last toured, resulting in the clinical displays against Pakistan and New Zealand.“Every team wants to be ruthless,” he said.“(But) I think there were probably periods in the Test series against India we should have capitalised on, but through wanting it too much, or trying too hard, or putting too much pressure on ourselves, we let it slip,” Paine added. “When those big moments come now, we just focus on executing our roles. (BBC Sport)last_img read more

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Fireside Chat hosts a conversation with Cafe Dulce founder

first_img“We’re not here serving pastries and drinks and food — we serve people,” Choi said. “At the end of the day, the pastries that we make, the drinks that we slave over, the latte art that we pour that we’re proud of … that’s only as important as the person that we’re serving them to.” Choi said that he is primarily motivated by the belief that his hard work will pay off. Along with the support of his family, this belief aided him through the early days of running the cafe. Choi said that at the time, his mother was in remission from ovarian cancer, and neither his mother nor he had any prior experience in the baking industry. Although his mother had a business partner, Choi said the partner dropped out of the project three weeks before opening day, prompting himself to embark on the business venture with his mother. “I think the most important lessons I’ve learned from the speech is that it’s interesting to know that hospitality is the most important thing,” Msei said. “It’s not about the food, but about people and to have passion in the things you do.” “It’s not about the person … It’s not ‘you didn’t do this, or you did this’ … It’s more like the behavior you choose,” Choi said. When he was starting his first cafe in Little Tokyo, Choi said he found that engaging with the surrounding community is a key aspect of running a business. “So I put in my two weeks, left my job for the last time and I’ve been at Dulce since 2010 when I came on board,” Choi said. James Choi, a USC alumnus, opened the first Cafe Dulce in Little Tokyo in 2011. The cafe, which has a branch located in the USC Village, is a popular eatery for students. (Shaylee Navarro/Daily Trojan) Choi said the reason for Dulce’s popularity is its emphasis on hospitality, as the franchise aims to bring about positive change in the community. “The only thing you can do is just put your head down and work,” Choi said. “And I [couldn’t] afford to hire people, so I … physically [had to] do everything that I [could]. So literally from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., everyday for almost two years.” “Because we gave to the community, even though we didn’t have much to give, they were the ones that patronized us during those dark times, during 2011 and 2012 when it was really slow,” Choi said. Spark SC board member Ankur Rastogi, a senior majoring in biomedical engineering and computer science, asked Choi how he approaches his staff when they make mistakes. Choi said he tries to coach workers rather than punish them. Choi, who graduated from USC in 2005 with a degree in accounting, worked for the multinational professional services firm Ernst & Young. He then opened up Teuscher Swiss Chocolates in Palo Alto with his mother, eventually creating the first Dulce in Little Tokyo in 2011. Alicia Msei, a graduate student at the Marshall School of Business, said the event helped her realize the importance of incorporating hospitality in businesses. On any given day at USC Village, dozens of people stand patiently outside of Dulce waiting for their caffeine fix. Dulce’s popularity — both at USC and in Los Angeles — can be attributed to its emphasis on hospitality. In an event organized by student entrepreneurship organization Spark SC, Dulce founder and owner James Choi shared how he came to be the mastermind behind one of the most popular local cafes.last_img read more

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