With the assistance of organizations like Voto Latino, Latinos are registering to vote in record numbers. Much speculation is being made about Latinos’ issues of concern during the 2016 election. Presidential candidates pontificate on what they think the Latino community cares about, hoping to win their vote at the ballot box. But do they really know the real issues of Latinos? Have they taken the time to ask what are the most important issues facing Latinos today? It’s time to talk about the top four truths.
According to America’s Voice: Latino Voters and the 2016 Election, a national survey was conducted on what were the most important issues facing the Latino community. They are Immigration (41%), Economy (24%), Education (16%) and Health Care (13%).
The Latino vote will approach 12.5 million people where for many Latinos, immigration reform is of paramount importance. They want to ensure citizenship for their undocumented family member which would allow for home security, higher paying jobs, and the ability to keep their families together.
Latinas in the Workplace
Voto Latino’s CEO Maria Teresa Kumar says Latinas are also fighting for equal pay and a better standard of living. According to National Partnerships.org, Latinas in the United States are paid, on average, just 55 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. When women make less, their economic security is diminished, negatively impacting the family.
Education in the Spotlight
Education is of paramount importance to Latinos. According to The Huffington Post, studies show that Latino parents place a great emphasis on the need for their children to go to college. More than three-quarters (77%) of Latinos ages 16 to 25 say their parents think going to college is the most important thing to do after high school. Only 11% say their parents think securing a full-time job after high school is the most important thing to do.
Latinos want healthcare but are reluctant to sign up for it, or simply cannot afford it. A Pew Hispanic Center Study found that half of Latinos who did not seek medical care had a high-school education, a third were American-born, and 45 percent had insurance, so why the hesitation? The language barrier may be what’s discouraging some Latinos from asking for help, or from understanding the health care information available. Cost may also be a factor. For those who are self-employed, adults can qualify for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
The basic needs and dreams of Latino Americans are just like of everyone else living and working in America. We long for civil rights, good quality education, higher paying jobs, and affordable healthcare. We share a universal humanity, fighting for and seeking a better life for ourselves and our families in the ultimate pursuit of happiness.