“I am a gay Latino with an upper middle class upbringing. To be honest, I am pretty lucky to have come from a certain level of privilege, but I do know what adversity looks like. So that’s where my passion for the progressive movement comes from. I want to stand up with other like-minded individuals so that my Latino brothers and sisters gay or straight get to live their best lives and live in world where the system works for everyone equally.”
Jonathan is one of dozens of young Latinos helping inform people about candidates and get out the vote in Colorado this election season.
Colorado’s population is 21 percent Hispanic and there are 555,000 eligible Hispanic voters in our state. These numbers are significant, but they don’t tell the whole story. They don’t tell the stories of the individuals and families whose voices have gone unheard by elected officials.
For this reason, it’s vital that all Colorado communities are empowered to engage in civic processes and vote for elected officials who represent shared values. In order to get community members involved on issues they care about, Conservation Colorado is informing people on statewide environmental policy issues and getting out their votes through a coalition called “Colorado Latinos Rise.”
Colorado Latinos Rise consists of a number of progressive organizations, which have been organizing in Colorado for many years on a daily basis to elevate Latino voices on issues that are impacting us first-hand. This includes members of our Protégete team, Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights Action (COLOR), Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition Action (CIRC), Colorado People’s Action, Generation Latino Action, iAmerica, and Mi Familia Vota Action.
Colorado Latinos Rise is dedicated to lifting up the voices of Latino voters this November– and for years to come– on several issues Latinos care about. That is why it is important for communities to show up and vote as elected officials take notice and listen when we do. This will be a high turnout election, and with control of the state legislature in the balance, our community can have a key role and determine the outcome of these races.
So what exactly is Colorado Latinos Rise doing?
Colorado Latinos Rise has been on the ground, spending countless hours informing the community via canvassing, phone banking, and digital organizing to engage Latino communities throughout Colorado this year. Through the combined power of the organizations involved, we’re aiming educate 100,000 Latinos about the importance of voting this year, and hire 50 canvassers across the state.
Why is an environmental organization part of Colorado Latinos Rise?
Conservation Colorado knows how vital it is for community members to be civically engaged on the issues that are most important. Latinos are disproportionately impacted by climate change and other environmental problems. Latino children are 40 percent more likely to die from asthma than non-Latino white children. Protégete is working diligently with the coalition to encourage voters to elect candidates who will fight to protect health and quality of life for all Coloradans.
We have the voting power to create change, and this election is going to be critical when it comes to environmental issues. If we are serious about better policy on climate change, we have to show up and vote in November.
Our campaign was featured in the Colorado Independent (Check it out here: Latinos Rise in Colorado) and Denver CBS (see: Aggressive Campaign Targets Latino Millennial Voters).
To make an impact in your community for a better tomorrow, make sure to Roll Up Your Sleeves and Vote!