News / Culture

Remezcla 2008 Voting Toolkit

The conventions are over–the race is officially on, and in just under two months, America goes to the polls to vote for the 44th President of the United States. And while election coverage is seemingly everywhere, there’s still plenty that many of us aren’t clear on, especially when it comes to issues that affect the Latino community.

We at Remezcla have our own political opinions and views, but that’s not what this 2008 Voting Toolkit is about–this is about educating yourself so that YOU can make an informed decision on November 4th. We’ve compiled a list of resources selected for their coverage of Latino issues and relevance to the Latino voter.

We’ve divided our resources into 6 categories (click on the following links to skip to that section):

THE CANDIDATES | THE HARD FACTS | PARTY ORGANIZATIONS | NON-PARTISAN ORGANIZATIONS | NEWS/MEDIA | BLOGS

So read on, click away, investigate, print out, read more, subscribe to newsletters and RSS feeds, and GET INFORMED!

(And be sure to add any recommendations of your own in the comments box below!)


THE CANDIDATES

Let’s start with what the presidential candidates (and their camps) are saying with regards to the Latino vote… Each candidate offers their campaign site in Spanish, as well as pages in English geared towards Latinos and about Latino issues.

Hispanics for McCain “The website where we unite along side of the presidential candidate who truly understands the Hispanic American community.” Basic introduction about why McCain is in touch with the Hispanic community, along with recent Latino-related news releases.
John McCain en Español McCain campaign website in Spanish. Includes campaign ads targeting Hispanics and testimonials from Hispanic Republicans, as well as all general information (issues, donations, speeches, appearances, etc) en español.
Latinos for Obama “A community of people who support Barack Obama and want to spread his message of change throughout the country.” Excerpts from speeches, testimonials from Latino supporters, link to download his Latino Blueprint for Change.
Barack Obama en Español A Spanish-language blog-type page with updates on Obama and the Latino community, along with links to his biography, where he stands on issues and how to get involved with the campaign …en español.


THE HARD FACTS

Now onto the statistics…. This information may take a little longer to digest, but it’s important to look at the numbers to know the real facts about the Latino voting population in the US and the issues that affect it.

Pew Hispanic Center A list of reports and fact sheets related to Latinos and politics, conducted by this premier DC-based “fact tank”. Be sure to check out: Hispanic Voter Attitudes and Hispanics and the 2008 Election: A Swing Vote?
Interactive Map: The Latino Vote 2008 The Center for American Progress’s interactive voting map highlights the percentage of Latino voters in each state, and the percentage that are insured, registered to vote, employed, etc.
The Latino Electorate: Profiles and Trends Published by the National Council of La Raza (the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the US) in June 2007, this brief provides raw data about the Latino Electorate and Latinos’ voting behavior in past elections. (Click on the download link for the pdf.)


PARTY ORGANIZATIONS

In addition to the candidates, each political party has a Latino offshoot with something to say. The Republican National HIspanic Assembly is an entity unto itself, while there is no national Democratic organization for Latinos (though many by state).

Republican National Hispanic Assembly “The nation’s largest network of Hispanic Republicans and GOP leaders,” with testimonies from Hispanic Republicans, information about state chapters, membership information, and more.
El Partido Demócrata Spanish-language section of Democrats.org, with some (but not much) info, plus an out-of-date blog and press.


NON-PARTISAN ORGANIZATIONS

Then there are a bunch of organizations not affiliated with either party committed to getting Latinos registered to vote and informed of their voting rights and relevant issues. Below are some of the better ones.

NCLR Voter Guide Very complete 20-page election issue analysis put together by the NCLR, focusing on six main issues: criminal justice, education, employment and economic opportunity, health care, home ownership, and immigration. (Click on the download link for the pdf.)
Voto Latino Committed to getting Latinos to vote, the site primarily contains voter registration, voting, and polling information, as well as photos from their events and a pretty good blog.
Democracia USA Bilingual site for advocacy group targeting Latino voter with detailed information on voter registration, community organizing, voting rights, relevant news headlines, and more.
Rock the Vote (en Español) Spanish-language version of the popular voter registration site. Not much content en español besides basic voting 101 and a video with Juanes, Paulina Rubio, Wisin y Yandel, and others, urging you to vote.



NEWS/MEDIA

With news and information about the elections available virtually everywhere these days, it can be hard to sift through the many options out there. Below are some good sources for Latino news pieces.

Hispanic Tips Excellent comprehensive round-up of all Hispanic-related election coverage in major news media and blogs, compiled by Tomás Chester. Check main page, but also the top political stories as well.
Ruben Navarrette Jr. Second generation Mexican-American journalist Navarrette’s articles for The San Diego Union-Tribune, many of which focus on Latino issues, most of them election-related.
ImpreMedia’s Voto Latino 2008 Spanish-language media conglomerate ImpreMedia’s coverage of the elections, including news (some feeds), blogs, and basic facts targeting the Latino voter. En español.


BLOGS

…And then there’s the blogosphere. Unfortunately, there seems to be a shortage of quality political blogs related to Latinos and the election–some are more broadly focused, others aren’t updated on a regular basis–so we’ve selected a few of our favorites, listed below. OJO: these are all left-leaning.

Latino Politics Blog “Where La Raza comes to discuss its leaders, where you can learn about issues in Latino politics.” Intelligent and relatively up-to-date–very election-heavy these days.
Latina Lista Smart Latino issue blog written by journalist Marisa Treviño largely focused on the election nowadays.
Política Pop Spanish language political blog written by NY-based journalists José Manuel Simian and Juan Manuel Benítez.