In the 20-year history of Latina we have never endorsed a candidate, and in a normal election year we most likely would not. We know that just as we represent a spectrum of identities and cultures, we also represent a vast array of political views.
But this is no ordinary year.
After enduring a targeted onslaught on our community by Donald Trump for the past 16 months, the stakes for Latinas has never been greater.
Which is why we are joining forces with fellow leaders in media and business, artists, activists, and influencers, to stand together to officially endorse Hillary Clinton for president.
Pollsters have a term for the Latino community: they call us the sleeping giant. We’re uniting our collective platforms of more than 50 million strong to show them, and the world, that this giant is very much awake.
When Donald Trump launched his campaign on June 16, 2015, he vowed to build a wall to separate the United States and Mexico. And in his latest debate, he doubled down on that message by calling undocumented immigrants “murderers” he is going to “force” back to their native country. Minutes later, he added that he would make America great again for “the Latinos-Hispanics” whose lives are an unmitigated “disaster.”
Let us be clear: The true disaster for our community is Donald Trump.
Donald Trump’s insults, including calling a former Miss Universe, “Miss Housekeeping” and “Miss Piggy,” has already set off ripples of bigotry and violence: Hate crimes against Latinos have risen 69 percent in Los Angeles alone. Other states have reported attacks directly linked to Trump’s rhetoric.
This year, 27 million Latinos will be eligible to vote, and three million of them are eligible for the first time. The choice facing our community could not be clearer. A vote for Hillary Clinton is not only a rebuke against Donald Trump’s xenophobic attacks; it is a better choice on the vital issues that matter most to us.
We Will Not Be Bullied
Trump’s rallying cry of “Build a Wall” has become a schoolyard taunt that our children now face in classrooms, playgrounds, and sporting events across the country.
A girls’ soccer game turned into a mini race riot at a high school in Elkhorn, Wisconsin this past April when members of the team began shouting at their Latina opponents, “Donald Trump, build that wall!”
The atmosphere of hate has a lasting and damaging impact on our communities. Research shows that low self-esteem, depression, and potentially suicide are linked to a culture of racism for vulnerable Latinos. According to a recent report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our teenage girls have the highest suicide rate in the country.
Our young Latinas are our future and they deserve better than a candidate who reduces their worth to their dress sizes and who disgustingly boasts about groping women’s genitals. Donald Trump’s behavior is not presidential, it is pitiful.
We Represent the Past And the Future of America
Donald Trump’s campaign is based on damaging distortions about who we are. To set the record straight: Latinos are deeply woven into the history of this country.
Our ancestors were among the first American citizens in the southwest after the Mexican-American war and we were the majority in some states until the early 1900’s.
We are also a big part of this nation’s future. By 2050, we will make up about 30 percent of the American population. We are the fastest growing voting bloc in the United States: and the youngest. Nearly half of U.S. born Latinos are under the age of 18. Some have predicted that the first Latino president has already been born.
Our Strength Is America’s Strength
When we work together, we make important change happen. In 1962, Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta founded the United Farm Worker’s (UFW) movement. Under their leadership, as a community, Latinos took on big agriculture and established fair pay and better working conditions for hundreds of thousands of workers. This caused a ripple effect on how farm work was done in states that include California, Texas, Arizona and Florida. Our people’s work was one of the early clarion calls against the use of pesticide in American farming and the importance of humane working conditions in all industries.
Hillary Clinton Fights for Issues That Matter To Us
—Latina-owned businesses have increased 137% over the last decade, contributing $71 billion in revenue in 2014. Hillary Clinton plans to invest in infrastructure and small businesses. And she promises to fight to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act that will provide women the tools they need to fight wage discrimination. Today, on average, Latinas make 55 cents for every dollar a white man makes.
—Health Care is second on the list of most important issues for Hispanic voters. Hillary Clinton has been a staunch advocate for affordable health care throughout her career. Her work laid the groundwork for Obamacare, which brought health coverage to 300,000 Latino children in its first year alone.
—Foreign policy is a top priority for our community. As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton traveled more miles — visiting more than 112 countries — than any other person in her position. She does not speak from the perch of ignorance, because she has seen firsthand the beauty and complexity of the places that are the foundation of our culture and heritage.
—One in four kids in the U.S. today is Hispanic. Hillary Clinton proposes universal preschool for every four-year-old in America, significant investments in the quality and access to childcare for parents, including on college campuses, and making public college tuition-free for low-income families.
Immigrant Values Are American Values
America has always been, and will continue to be, a country made of immigrants. Earlier this year while addressing the University of Pennsylvania, Lin-Manuel Miranda reminded us that, “Since the beginning of the great, unfinished symphony that is our American experiment, time and time again, immigrants get the job done.”
While Donald Trump promises to divide families Hillary Clinton’s plan for comprehensive immigration reform includes defending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and creating programs that will offset the cruel separation of families.
Though sixty percent of us were born in the United States, it’s important to remember that history will judge us by this moment: when we either stood up for the most vulnerable in our community or turned our backs. This is the moment when we can determine that an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.
We Can’t Afford To Sit This One Out.
Some of our readers, fans, and constituents have reported feeling uninspired by their options. Others cite broken promises by other politicians to our communities. But if you think your vote doesn’t count, consider this: In 2008, Barack Obama won North Carolina by just 14,000 votes. That comes down to just two or three votes per precinct. If we don’t show up to the polls on November 8th, for any reason, we will be breaking a promise to each other, to our ancestors and to our children.
Let’s stand together in voting for Hillary Clinton. Let’s stand together and make our voices heard. Voter registration deadlines are closing this week in many states.
If you are already registered, then please make a voting plan. Studies show that voter turnout is the highest when you make a plan to vote: Will you vote before work or after? Where is your voting place? How will you get there? Make a plan and invite your friends. Tweet us your plan and share it on our Facebook page and ask your friends and family to do the same.
It’s time to fight back against Donald Trump and deport his presidential dreams to the dustbin of history. Our community has worked too hard and come too far to be criminalized, caricatured, disrespected and demonized.
We must come together on, and after, November 8th to take back our story and take charge of our future.
Latina Editorial Board
Dolores Huerta, Activist
Eva Longoria, Actress
John Leguizamo, Actor
Michelle Herrera Mulligan, Journalist
Beatriz Acevedo, Mitú President/Co-Founder
Laz Alonso, Actor
Julissa Arce, Author/Activist
Massy Arias, Fitness Guru
Adrienne Bailon, Co-host of The Real
Jencarlos Canela, Singer/Musician/Actor
Aimee Carrero, Actress
Veronica Chambers, Author/Journalist
Catherine Cuello-Fuente, CEO of GreenHopping
Chrissie Fit, Actress
Andrea Guendelman, Co-founder of Be Visible
Zulay Henao, Actress
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Lorraine C. Ladish, Blogger
Lizza Monet Morales, TV Host
Lindsey Morgan, Actress
Manny MUA, Makeup Guru/Digital Influencer
Nathalie Molina Niño, CEO, BRAVA Investments
People For The American Way
Angélica Pérez-Litwin, PhD, Founder of Latinas Think Big
Planned Parenthood Action Fund
Génesis Rodríguez, Actress
Dulce Candy Ruiz, Beauty Vlogger
Roselyn Sánchez, Actress
Milly Almodovar-Thompson, Journalist
Carmen Rita Wong, Author