Importance of the Latino vote discussed at panel

first_imgTo discuss the importance of the Latino vote and strategies the 2016 presidential candidates should take to get their vote, the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics hosted the event “Election 2016: Latino Voters and the Issues that Matter” in partnership with the Latina/o Student Assembly and Political Student Assembly Thursday evening in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center.The panel, the third installment in the “It’s Our Election Too” series, featured Communications and Marketing Director of First 5 LA Gabriel Sanchez, Unruh Director Dan Schnur, Multicultural Greek Council President Alexa Chande and Hermanas Unidas member Brandi Montañez comprised the rest of the panel.The panelists stressed the importance of young Latino voters and advised candidates to access both sides of the Latino generational gap.“That’s the big key which we have to tap into: how we are bridging the gap between people who are going to college that are coming out to vote and people related to them, like their parents,” Chande said. “The candidate that gets those people out there and that is able to bridge the gap will most likely find the most success.”As a Latina herself, Chande believes that older generations face different issues than their children or grandchildren. However, young Latinos and Latinas can educate their parents on the political issues that matter to them.“We have that responsibility and that very close connection with our parents to be able to educate them and help them make decisions that are ultimately going to affect them in their future,” Chande said.Sanchez shared successful creative tactics, like novellas and live comic books, used to reach the Latino audience and educate them about the importance of healthcare.“It’s not simply translation, but trans-adapting,” Sanchez said. “You have to know what a general audience is looking for and what messages are acceptable. It’s thinking about what channels your audiences [are] using.”Shifting back to politics, the panelists discussed how the presidential candidates’ viewpoints on health care will influence Latino votes.“Whichever candidate puts cultural competency in healthcare on their platform should be very important,” Montañez said.Schnur believed that the rhetoric surrounding healthcare policy needs to be simplified.“I’d say for most voters it comes back to a matter of comfort,” Schnur said. “It doesn’t matter whether you are someone who’s just arrived in this country or a sixth generation. This is a very complicated system to understand.”The panel raised the issue of the  media’s extensive coverage of immigration and how it is often portrayed as a priority for Latino voters. The panelists agreed that the education and economic opportunity are Latinos’ top concerns.While Sanchez believed that immigration was an “indicator” of  a candidate’s ethos, Schnur thought it’s a “boulder.”“It’s a really large rock in the road that prevents candidates from being heard by voters who would otherwise be willing to listen to them,” Schnur said.Sanchez asserted that the fundamental issue is that Latinos need to actually go to the polls.“Latinos nationwide need to be at the table,” Sanchez said. “That is, participating regardless if it’s for one candidate or the other. It’s actually showing up.”last_img

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