As we usher into the last days of this hotly contested presidential campaign, we are making history. No, this time is not about the fact that Obama is the first African American to capture the Democratic presidential nomination, or that McCain, at 71, could be the oldest man to be inaugurated as president. It’s about young Latinos’ fast-growing political voting bloc. Did you know that according to UCLA’s School of Public Policy, 50,000 Hispanics turn 18 every month and 93% of them are eligible to vote? That is political power! We will represent 13.2% of the Latino vote in this election and like all voting blocs, we too are asking: Will we continue to spend more and more on gas? Graduate high school and afford college? Get jobs after graduation? Afford expensive health insurance? Expect deportation raids in our communities?
We want answers! And both Barack Obama and John McCain have their own opinions on each of the issues we care about: the economy, health care, immigration, education and the environment. Now don’t be swayed by the flowery speeches and the smearing ad campaigns. It’s your turn to compare and contrast and decide who will get your vote.
The problem: Rising gas prices, stagnant wages, rising unemployment, $9.5 trillion in national debt, a devalued dollar and the slow housing market are surely to put the economy as the top priority for almost all voters this election. Because of the slump in the construction industry, Hispanics lost nearly 250,000 jobs this past year and our unemployment rates are 2.2% higher than the national average which affects the money they can send to their home countries and the economy of these has also been affected. Gas prices are at an all-time high, affecting the cost of food and other essentials. In the meantime, while the problems continue to mount, the candidates have proposed…
- Supports another stimulus package of $20 billion
- Repeal the Bush Tax Cuts for households earning more than $250,000
- Cut taxes by $80 billion a year for workers, homeowners and retirees
- Provide $10 billion in relief for state and local governments hardest-hit by the housing crisis
- Promotes drilling for oil off the U.S. coast
- Suspend the federal gas tax, making each gallon cheaper by more than 15 cents
- Balance the budget by 2013
Not convinced yet? Then join me in political engagement. Comment, opine, tell us who you want to vote for and why. And don’t forget to come back for Part II of this series “Our Issues” on Immigration.