: News

Filed Under:

VA Latino Community To Politicians: Ignore Us At Your Own Peril

Play associated audio
Latino leaders and advocates say elected officials and candidates would be foolish to ignore the growing Latino influence in Northern Virginia.
Jonathan Wilson
Latino leaders and advocates say elected officials and candidates would be foolish to ignore the growing Latino influence in Northern Virginia.

By Jonathan Wilson

Leaders and advocates for northern Virginia's Latino community are sending a message to political candidates before the 2010 election season heats up.

From a conference of Latino community leaders in Arlington, the message to elected officials and candidates is a simple one: ignore us at your own peril.

Juan Marcos Vilar is the Board Chairman of Virginia New Majority, a non-partisan group focusing on issues concerning immigrants and the working class. He says Virginia's handling of its immigrant community will have a national impact.

"As we've seen in the last few years, Virginia has become the new battleground state, and it's a mistake, an outright mistake for people to take the Latino vote for granted," says Vilar.

The U.S. Census Bureau says 74,000 Latinos cast votes in Virginia in 2008: that's nearly a 6 percent jump from four years earlier.

But much of the debate centers on immigrants who can't vote because they're here illegally. Arlington County Board Member Walter Tejada says elected officials need to remember that could change with immigration reform.

"Who might be an undocumented immigrant today, might be a U.S. citizen tomorrow, and they're going to remember who treated them with dignity and respect, and wanted to include them, and who wanted to exclude them from the community," says Tejada.

There's one more reason this is a big year for the Latino community in Virginia and elsewhere: the 2010 U.S. Census. The number of Latinos taking part in the census will effect how congressional districts are redrawn, helping to decide elections for years to come.

NPR

Barbershop: UofL Basketball Ban, Football Concussions And The NFL Women's Summit

ESPN contributor Kevin Blackistone, Bloomberg View's Kavitha Davidson and The Washington Post's Wesley Lowery talk about the UofL basketball team, public opinion of the NFL, and women in sports.
NPR

After Introducing Changes, Keurig Sales Continue To Fall

Despite America's high coffee consumption, Keurig reported disappointing sales this week. Even during its popular holiday selling period, the numbers haven't perked up in recent years.
NPR

With A Little Help From Larry David, Bernie Sanders Does SNL

Bernie Sanders impersonator Larry David hosted the episode with a cameo from the senator himself. Sanders slipped in a main campaign message, while David jabbed at the candidate's cantankerous side.
NPR

How Limited Internet Access Can Subtract From Kids' Education

Smartphones are often credited with helping bridge the "digital divide" between people who do and don't have Internet access at home. But is mobile Internet enough for a family with a kid in school?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.