The Latino Voter Surge – and What it Means

vote-aqui2I’ve talked a lot recently about the Latino vote and the integral role it played in this month’s election. Latinos turned out in record numbers at the polls, claiming their spot as a political force to be reckoned with. Yesterday, Janet Murgia, president and CEO of NCLR, had a great op-ed published on this same topic.

Murgia notes that the historic Latino voter surge doen’t only mean a place at the table for Latinos, but it also signifies an opportunity to heal some of the historical tensions between African American and Latino communities.

Though our journeys in this country have been different, we have more that unites us than divides us. Both the African American and Hispanic communities have relied on hope for a better tomorrow for future generations, hope for the elimination of hate, and hope for a stronger nation for all Americans. On November 4, this hope translated to votes as President-elect Obama captured 66 percent of the Latino vote. On November 4, our common concerns and hope for the future trumped whatever tensions exist between our communities. On November 4, we came together and rose above our differences.

Throughout his campaign, President-elect Obama reminded us of what it means to hope. He energized a multitude of new voters with his call for Americans to hope for a better tomorrow and to come together to bring about change through collective responsibility. It is our obligation as Americans to not only believe in our power to accomplish this change, but to continue to turn our hope into action like we did on Election Day.

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