At Carlos Rosario School, one of our Washington, DC Affiliates, staffers have been working hard to register as many new voters as they can in advance of the 2016 election. Earlier this week, we shared with you responses from one of those newly registered, Jennifer Zoeller. She is also a brand new citizen who will be casting her very first vote in a U.S. election next month!
Now, in a new video, our Affiliate has produced a brand new video highlighting why other new Americans will be voting next month. Watch the video and then let us know why you vote!
New American citizen Jennifer Zoeller is excited to vote next month.
Jennifer Zoeller came to the United States from her native Colombia when she was 25. She eventually married a U.S. citizen and settled into life in her adopted home. Jennifer studied English at our Washington, DC, Affiliate, Carlos Rosario School from 2011 to 2014 and took a position at the school after graduating. Although Jennifer was eligible to become a citizen in 2013, she hesitated at first because she didn’t see the urgency. But after pressure from friends and family, she decided to start the process. Given this year’s political climate, she’s really glad she did.
This national election will be the first one in which Jennifer will cast a vote. Here she is, in her own words, about why she’s voting this year, and why you should too.
By Renato R. Rocha, Policy Analyst, Economic Policy Project, NCLR
Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC circuit decided against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), making it easier to remove the director, who serves as head of the Bureau. If the decision stands, it will undermine what the CFPB was created to do in the aftermath of the Great Recession—protect consumers—since the director could be removed by the president without cause.
A challenge to the director’s authority is a challenge to CFPB itself. Since the CFPB opened its doors five years ago, it has become clear that the Bureau is exactly what consumers needed, and consumers overwhelming support its work. The CFPB now has authority to regulate a range of industries that previously lacked transparency, including remittance transfers, credit cards, student loan servicing, and payday loans. In order for the Bureau to continue its essential work on behalf of families, the CFPB needs to remain autonomous.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported today that U.S. employers added 156,000 jobs in September 2016, down from 167,000 in the prior month. The national unemployment rate remained essentially unchanged at 5 percent. The Latino unemployment rate increased from 5.6 percent in August to 6.4 percent in September.
While much about this election season has confounded expectations, one electoral forecast is happening as predicted: The Latino electorate continues to grow rapidly, and Latino voters are poised to shape the results of contests up and down the ballot. Parties and candidates that do not seriously compete for Latino voters’ support, or whose engagement is limited and last-minute, do so at their own peril.
Despite some who insist that “Latino” means “immigrant,” we know that more than three out of four Latinos in our country are U.S. citizens. Between the 2000 and 2012 presidential elections, the number of Latinos voting grew by 89%.
Yet there is still much work to do to ensure that the Latino community’s voice at the polls is as big as our numbers and our contributions to this country. We know that in presidential elections, more than 80% of registered Latinos turn out to vote. We need to do more as a country, to reach the estimated 12 million eligible Latinos who are not yet registered. The National Council of La Raza is working with its Affiliate organizations to work on closing that gap.
During an election cycle when many in the Latino community feel scapegoated or ignored, the best response remains to roll up our sleeves and raise the community’s voice. Voting is one of the tools we have. We must use it in this and every election whether it be local, state or national wide. Casting a vote for every position on that ballot because they all affect the lives of our families, our communities, and our country.