EDITORIAL NOTE #enAlaskasisevota Our Vote Does Count!
BY ERNESTO VARGAS
“We don’t need perfect political systems; we need perfect participation.” César Chávez
Every so often minorities, and particularly Latinos, suddenly become one of the important communities during a specific period in the United States. Quickly the Latino community has a lot of value and the media, as well as politicians who run for public office, saturate the air with their statements and speculations on our community´s ability to change the political and cultural climate and even the very foundation of society in the United States.
While many find it offensive that this degree of attention and courtship is only seen when they want our attention and vote, behind it all lies an undeniable reality: Our a vote has a lot of value, in addition, the level of our participation in each of the elections and civic life is certainly transforming this country, our communities and what happens to our families.
A great example of what happens when, as a community, we decide to organize and fight for our collective interests is the life and work of people like Cesar Chavez and the agricultural workers; or the fight of our Dreamers who recently achieved one more victory when the Supreme Court halted the Trump administration’s plans to rescind the DACA program. There are more instances where our community has organized to remove anti-Latino or openly racist officials, such as Joe Arpaio in Arizona.
The path to making sure we are always considered a strong and valuable community, a community that is courageous and should always be taken into account, and is treated with dignity, is a path of struggle and hard work. However, this work has been started by many before us, and our responsibility is to continue fighting and defend the rights of our families. It is everyone’s responsibility. Something relatively simple and very impactful is to ensure that those who are eligible to vote do so religiously in this election. Our future depends on it.
Join our virtual campaign #enAlaskasisevota. Let demonstrate that our vote DOES count!
Ernesto S. Vargas Mendoza is a community organizer and activist. He was born in Mexico City and migrated to the US in 2008. In the US, he has been part of and led campaigns, mostly with the Latino and communities of color, on environmental justice, immigrant rights and labor rights. Ernesto holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Latin-American Literature from Universidad de las Américas, Puebla.