Washington, D.C.—Today, Ana Marie Argilagos, President and CEO of Hispanics in Philanthropy, issued the following statement on Election Day results:
“This Election Day was one of the most active in decades. Amidst all of the campaign rhetoric and energy, one thing is clear: the future of our country is inextricably linked to the Latino community. There has never before been a moment in time where the issues most important to the Latino community are also the nation’s issues.
“As a young community, Latinos have a growing voter base: three million more Latinos turned 18 between the last midterm election and this one. Even more important: every 30 seconds, another Latino turns 18 and becomes eligible to vote. Latino millennials are growing faster than other ethnic group and, since they are mostly American citizens, elected officials ignore our growing community’s needs at their own political peril.
“The only good news to come from the tumultuous political climate of the past two years has been the mobilization and influence of Latino voters, and the rising power of Latino candidates.
“This election cycle brought forth three new Latinas elected to Congress for the first time: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), who has the dual distinction of being the youngest woman ever elected to Congress; and Veronica Escobar (TX-16) and Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), the first Latinas ever elected to represent Texas in Congress. Other Latinos making history include Antonio Delgado (NY-19) as the first person of color to represent his congressional district, and Jesus (Chuy) Garcia as the first Mexican-American to represent Illinois’ 4th district. In gubernatorial races, Michelle Lujan Grisham made history in New Mexico by becoming the first Democratic Latina governor in the United States.
“The newly elected Latino candidates will be expected to voice our community’s wants and needs: equal pay for women, health equity, economic opportunity and mobility, immigration reform, and fair and equal treatment for our communities, in the U.S. mainland and in Puerto Rico.
“Although we made some strides forward in this election, our work is far from done. The next phase of change requires us to invest in our own community, particularly in the area of civic engagement. Civic engagement is not just a get-out-the-vote (GOTV) effort. Civic engagement means being counted in the Census, understanding the political process, educating the next wave of eligible voters, and preparing our next slate of Latino candidates.
“At Hispanics In Philanthropy (HIP) we understand the importance of investment in the civic engagement of Latinos. In August 2018, HIP launched the Latino Civic Participation Grant, to grow civic participation in Latino communities by strengthening locally-focused Latino nonprofits. The pilot round of investment focused on five states: Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Texas. These grants will fund a range of activities including: working towards a complete and accurate Census 2020; helping Puerto Rican evacuees to the U.S. mainland participate in civic life; organizing women of color around non-partisan electoral platforms of gender, racial, and economic justice; and more.
“The work starts now for the 2020 election cycle and the 2020 Census. HIP invites local, regional, and national funding partners to join us in the important work of moving our nation forward, together.”
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