Eva Longoria is on a mission. Besides being an accomplished actress, director and producer, the 39-year-old activist is working hard to educate others about our political system, empowerment and human rights. That's why she's lending her support to a new documentary, El Voto Hispano, which explores the political power and electoral tendencies of the Latino community.
We caught up with Longoria to talk about the Kickstarter campaign, the biggest misconceptions of Latino voters and more. Read it all below!
What interested you in the idea of El Voto Hispano? Why are you so passionate about it?
I was really excited about the Kickstarter campaign that [director and producer] Gianpaolo Pietri started, just because we've seen all of the kind of demographic changes that are happening in the U.S. -- the Latino vote, the power that they have -- but from a factual presentation. And whether it be from voter apathy or voter suppression or miseducation, Latinos aren't really leveraging that power. This project is really a comprehensive look at the issues but presented in a narrative way, which I think can be really powerful.
How do you think this project aims to tackle the topic in a different way than what we've seen before?
I think documentaries give faces to these issues. They humanize it. They give it a bigger narrative than just, say, reading a newspaper. You're able to actually sit down and have an organic reaction to it, you're able to say "oh, wow" or "huh, I didn't know that," and you're able to connect.
Why is the Latino voter such a huge issue? What's so important to know?
I think it's kind of been constantly in the press that the Latino community has this voting power. But there's kind of this disconnect -- there's this misconception, I believe, where Latinos see this and they see that "we" have power, and they're fine with sitting back because they believe the press is talking about all the others. This idea that, well it's fine, because other Latinos are doing the job and are powerful and will participate. No. YOU do. You have to.
What's another big misconception about voting - particularly when it comes to Latinas?
Honestly, it baffles me that we'll turn out to vote for the leader of the country, but then we forget about the midterm elections which dictate who he has to work with. There needs to be more awareness of deciding power at the local and state level -- voting for your mayors and your state legilatures. Latinos have the lowest turnouts for these elections, which is something we want to address. When you think about it, you could argue that women are disproportionately affected by the measures passed. We're leaders of our community, of our families. It's important to think about how candidates and political races affect your pocketbook, your access, your home.
Any last thoughts?
Your vote counts, but so does every dollar. This Kickstarter campaign is really important. We want the rest of the world to understand we [Latinos] do count. It's not just voting when it comes to fully participating in the democratic process. It's helping campaigns like this that can educate others and urge us all to get out there and change our lives for the better.