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Showing posts with label election2012. Show all posts
Showing posts with label election2012. Show all posts

29 April 2016

Flashback Friday: The Gender Voting Gap by Kartemquin Films

cartoon of a man talking to a woman. Woman giving side eye.

To celebrate their 50th anniversary, Kartemquin Films is releasing films to download for free! This week the film is from 1984 and "explores the growing difference in the voting patterns of men and women (the gender gap) that could no longer be denied by the mid-1980's. Issues like compensation equality, environmental preservation, subsidized childcare and healthcare became wedge issues in Ronald Reagan's America as more and more women joined the workforce." It is wonderfully illustrated by Nicole Hollander. At the end of the film there is an update on the issues from 2012. It is pretty sad how much the 1984 film is still relevant in 2016, especially considering Donald Trump's "woman card" comments.

You can view the film online below, but if you visit Kartemquin Films you can download the film for free and own it forever!

30 October 2012

Down Ballot: No on Amendment 6

There is more at stake on November 6th than just the White House. No, I'm not talking about the Supreme Court, although that is a valid concern. I mean all the local ballot initiatives!

In Florida, Amendment 6 would ban state funds from covering abortion. This is far more than just the Hyde Amendment folks. This means state employees who get their health insurance from the state are at risk of losing their abortion coverage.

So don't stop voting after you select President Obama! Keep on going...check the back of the ballot too! Sometimes things are hiding there. And if you don't live in Florida, I bet you might know someone who does.

25 October 2012

McCain Breaks With Romney, Won't Continue To Back Mourdock

Presented without comment...because, well it says it all, right?

Although, if you need your memory jogged on who the hell Mourdock is, he's running for the U.S. Senate from Indiana and said
"And I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."

20 September 2012

Summer of Feminista: Organized Coraje

To close out Summer of Feminista, we welcome Linda Garcia Merchant. 

Linda is a documentary film maker and founder of Voces Primeras. She is currently working on "Chicana por mi Raza: Uncovering the Hidden History of Chicana Feminism (1965‐1985)," a public humanities project centered on the collection and digital preservation of archival materials, ephemera, and oral histories that document the development of Chicana feminist thought during the civil rights era.

This last June we interviewed two iconic figures of Latina activism from the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago, Teresa Fraga and Raquel Guerrero as a part of an oral history project on Chicana Feminists entitled, Chicana Por Mi Raza. These women were a part of a group of incredible women making history in Chicago at a time when Latinos across the country were making history. Mrs. Fraga and Mrs. Guerrero, along with a number of organizations, spearheaded the movement that ultimately got the first Latino high school built in Chicago, Benito Juarez High School in Pilsen. One of the tactics used to get the attention of the Chicago Board of Education and its leader (at the time Joseph P. Hannon) was to stage a boycott—a school walkout not unlike the walkouts of East Los Angeles made famous by Paula Criostomo and the Brown Berets and Diana Soliz and the Partido Raza Unida in Crystal City Texas. In the early 1970s 90 percent of the student body of nine local elementary schools stayed home for three days. On the third day Mr. Hannon contacted the group spearheading the boycott, Pilsen Neighborhood Alliance, to have a meeting about building a new  high school in Pilsen.

Until that moment, all the protesting and meetings at City Hall, had done little to sway the opinion of Mr. Hannon and the board. What these women joined together to do was create a coalition of organizers to  make a very large statement. These women understood that by keeping their children out of school those schools could be in jeopardy of losing funding because of a lack of daily enrollment. It was a simple, non  violent and effective way to make their point.

As long as I work on the Chicana Por Mi Raza project, I never get tired of hearing all the different ways  women got together to tackle an issue. How these mothers, fought the long struggle to get their children the education they knew they deserved. How these mothers organized and collaborated with groups with very  different ideologies and missions, to create strength in numbers for this and other big fights. A woman we will be interviewing soon, Mary Gonzales Koenig, coined the phrase ‘organized coraje’ to describe how this  kind of collective strategy could work for so many issues. Mary talks about the general ‘coraje’, or anger that people felt about the economic, educational, and political oppression they were experiencing in Pilsen during this time. Latinos couldn’t get jobs with the public utilities, hospitals or retail chains, were denied  quality education in the local school system and certainly didn’t have a voice within government as the Latino voting group was considered a ‘captive vote’.

The beauty of Pilsen is and remains, the number of Latina activists engaging in this ‘organized coraje’ to make change happen. How women like Teresa Fraga and Raquel Guerrero, (Pilsen Neighborhood  Alliance), Mary Gonzales Koenig (Spanish Coalition for Jobs), Carmen Velasquez (Alivio Medical Center), Guadalupe Reyes (El Valor), Maria Mangual (Mujeres Latinas en Accion), and others found ways to work  together and with the community, to make change happen. The result of their work includes employment for Latinos at all public utilities, hospitals and retail chains and of course, the building of a number of Latino high  schools and grade schools beginning with Benito Juarez in the late 1970s. These women’s contributions are  not just the success of these movements. Their legacy is in the names of the aforementioned community organizations each one of them started in a storefront in Pilsen. Organizations that have grown to become nationally recognized institutions, employing hundreds of people moving those original missions forward.

What I find most encouraging about today’s movements is that I see the idea of ‘organized coraje’ is alive and thriving within this generation of Latina activists. I see Tania Urzueta (Chicago) and Dulce Juarez (Arizona) as quiet and humble leaders in the brilliant strategies of the immigration movement. I’ve asked each of them, if the women of the movements past, have had any influence on their ideologies. I told them about  ‘organized coraje’ which they both agreed was the only way to successfully create change.

As I write about these activist women, I do so on the anniversary of the Occupy Movement; the latest spark in the evolution of revolution. However we feel about the ideologies of the Occupy Movement we cannot  and should not ignore the two important elements that initially made it successful and has in many ways encouraged the rest of us. The first element was the organization around a collective emotion, in this case anger and frustration, about the oppressive nature of the status quo. The second element is the understanding that the ‘power of the people’ really does lie in those people taking a stand to exercise that power. I hope that in this election season, we take a cue from these women and this movement. I hope that we can step out from the comfort of our homes and apartments and become active in the process of defining government.  We each have a single power, a vote. The collective power that could look like 80 or 90% turnout, would certainly send a strong and clear message to the powers that we elect.

It doesn’t end there. Once we do elect this new season of representatives, we have to hold them  accountable for what they are supposed to be doing—representing! An email, tweet or Facebook entry to your State Representative or Senator, your city Alderman, the Mayor of your town or the Governor of your state, will let them know that we are each paying attention.

We are the landlord of this republic, and we should be angry. Let’s all be angry together and engage in an act of ‘organized coraje’, together, like Teresa and Raquel and Tania and Dulce. Let’s all make the next election and subsequent elected season about paying attention.

Summer of Feminista 2012 is a project where Latinas are sharing their thoughts about Election 2012. Viewpoints can be liberal, moderate or conservative. Academic statements. Personal stories. Learn more about Summer of Feminista. This is a project of Viva la Feminista. Link and quote, but do not repost without written permission.

07 September 2012

Our Bodies, Our Votes

My submission to the Our Bodies, Our Votes tumblr

Get your own bumpersticker!

06 September 2012

What's missing from the DNC? Talk of repealing the ban on abortions for women in uniform

My Twitter stream has been a flutter this week with feminist joy at how often speakers have mentioned women's rights and 'choice' at the Democratic National Convention. Sandra Fluke knocked it out of the park with her speech, but we still have a lot of work to do if in six months our President does have our back.

One area where I want to see President Obama have our collective backs is the issue of military women and abortion. Current law bans servicewomen from using their own insurance to pay for abortion services if they become pregnant as the result of rape. According to Stand Up for Servicewomen:
Current law forbids military hospitals from providing abortion care except in cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment— even if the woman pays with her own funds. Because physicians on military bases are prohibited from providing abortion care, servicewomen are often forced to choose between taking leave and traveling far distances to an American provider, seeking services from a local, unfamiliar health care facility (if abortion is legal and they are not in a combat zone), having an unsafe procedure, or attempting to self-induce an abortion.
 While their ads are powerful (see below), I want more than just the Shaheen Amendment. I want every woman who serves this country to have their legal right to abortion met in every military hospital. Not just in case of rape, but when a woman decides she cannot carry a pregnancy to term. I will accept that we need to take small steps sometimes, but I fear that this small step will be all that we will get.

16 August 2012

Book Review: Your Voice, Your Vote by Martha Burk

The biggest complaint I hear from my friends around election time is that they just don't understand all the issues and what candidates are arguing about. Who is right on Social Security? What really will jump start our economy again? Is there really a War on Women?

Luckily for us Martha Burk, co-founder of the Center for Advancement of Public Policy, has written Your Voice, Your Vote: The Savvy Woman's guide to Power, Politics and the Change We Need.

As we enter the final days of Election 2012 and with the conventions [DNC/RNC] just days away, this is a must have for every voter, not just women voters.

Burk spends the first six chapters painting the political landscape and why it is important to have women in leadership positions. Chapter three dissects the gender gap -- the phenomena
where women tend to vote Democrat over Republican.

But the heart of this book is Burk's explanation of the issues. Taxes, health care, reproductive rights, war, the military, pay equity, Social Security, and many more. All issues that few of us are comfortable explaining to a friend. As much of a policy wonk that I am, there are issues where I learned a lot from Burk's explanations.

Burk spends most of the book drilling home the message that women must go out and vote. And to vote for our rights:
If your incumbent "brings home the bacon" in road and bridge projects but votes against your basic rights on abortion, you can't look the other way. If a candidate promises to solve the mortgage crisis but stands against woman's access to paid family leave, child care, or fair pay, don't ignore it. (p13)
While Burk claims that the book is nonpartisan, it is clearly feminist. It does not hold back from criticizing the Democrats for their stances, but those of us who follow political news know that the Grand Old Party wins hands down on legislating against women's rights.

If you are someone who is undecided and still trying to figure out who to vote for at the national, local or state level, you need to get a copy for yourself. Please head over to Powells or Indiebooks. Read the book and then share with the women in your life. Or buy a few copies and start an election discussion group.

Disclaimer:  I requested this book from Martha Burk for review.

* Book links are affiliate links. If you buy your book here I could make a very small amount of money that goes towards this blog by helping me purchase books for school. Thanks!  

09 August 2012

Summer of Feminista: Action from Dissatisfaction

This week Summer of Feminista welcomes Dior Vargas. 
You can find her at her blog: diorvargas.tumblr.com 

I am also including this as part of Viva la Feminista's contribution to the Latina Week of Action for Reproductive Justice 2012.

Last election I was so hopeful about the idea of having Obama in office as did a lot of people. It warranted a completely different feeling than the one I have now. This time I’m disillusioned and not excited about what’s coming. The system is flawed and I don’t know if one candidate over the other will ensure the freedom and equality that we all deserve. If the Occupy Movement is any indication, people are not content with the way our country is being run. I’ve had to reexamine the country that I grew to love because democracy, the governmental structure that was supposed to work, has been corrupted.

Sure the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare, as it is now being referred to, is great. There are so many benefits for women. However, not all of it is true. Every woman cannot gain access to ALL birth control like it’s been advertised. If you have insurance, you have to wait for it to renew and then you can get generic birth control for free. Of course, if the one you’re taking has a generic. If not, then you’re forced to go to the doctor and find one that is equivalent to the one you’re using currently. That can be extremely difficult for some women. In addition, if you don’t have any insurance then you don’t benefit at all. What about all the people who don’t have health insurance? Most of them are women of color. This war on women has to stop. There have been numerous attempts to disenfranchise women. We are called sluts for taking charge of our own bodies and wanting the right to do with them whatever we want. We shouldn’t have to pass certain examinations or tests to get an abortion. Why? In order for them to deem our situation sufferable enough or deemed acceptable in their eyes? We can’t even use the word “VAGINA” or “MENSTRUATION” in certain venues. What happened to our freedom of speech? The government spends so much money on wars when we could be spending it on improved infrastructure, more educational opportunities, decrease the violence against women, and so many more worthy causes.

I want the candidates to sincerely care about the people who are going to elect the next president. I don’t want them to feign interest in the Latino population for their voting power. I want them to raise money for causes that help others. Not tear each other down to win a race that I think is not worth winning if they are not genuinely interested in the improvement of our country.

In the end, one thing that I am grateful for is the grassroots organizing that has come out of all the dissatisfaction. We aren’t going to let this continue without some type of action. I don’t have faith in the system but I have faith in the people who care about this country and who want equal rights for everyone. I have faith in myself.

Summer of Feminista 2012 is a project where Latinas are sharing their thoughts about Election 2012. Viewpoints can be liberal, moderate or conservative. Academic statements. Personal stories. Learn more or how you can join the Summer of Feminista. This is a project of Viva la Feminista. Link and quote, but do not repost without written permission.

07 August 2012

Summer of Feminista: President Obama's Immigration Policy Threatens Campaigns in Battleground States

This week Summer of Feminista welcomes

Jacquie Marroquin, a feminist advocate who's worked in the violence against women movement for over 10 years.

You can find her at her blog, Facebook and Twitter.

At the end of May I began to receive phone calls from a Washington D.C. area code and some private numbers. At first it was just in the evenings, then I began to receive calls throughout the day. I don’t normally answer calls from numbers I do not recognize and they did not leave a voice message. Curiosity finally got the best of me in early July, so I answered a couple of those calls and learned it was the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and President Obama’s reelection campaign that had been calling me.

The call from President Obama’s campaign went something like this: An overly enthusiastic voice asked, “May I speak to Jacquie?” Jacquie, I am calling you because we are in urgent need of your support.” I patiently listened to the caller as she explained how crucial the November election was and how valuable my financial support would be to take the House of Representatives back from the Republican majority, keep the Senate majority and to ensure President Obama is reelected. I listened to her entire, well rehearsed, and urgently delivered script.

When she finally paused to ask how much I would contribute to President Obama’s reelection campaign, I politely explained that in spite of the President having my absolute support, I would not contribute financially to his campaign. Not because I was financially unable to (in fact I recently got a nice raise), but because I refused to financially support an Administration that has utilized the failed ‘Secure Communities’ (S-Comm) program that has normalized an indiscriminant mechanism for putting a record number of immigrants on the path to deportation with virtually no oversight from Congress and an ever increasing and unquestioned budget.

Since the federal immigration program S-Comm secretly began in 2008, the Obama administration has deported more undocumented people than President George W. Bush did in his eight years in office. Originally designed to detain and deport immigrants who commit serious violent crimes, it has ballooned to one of the most costly, inefficient and dangerous immigration enforcement programs we have seen.

With over 1 million people deported, at a taxpayer cost of $23,000 per person and thousands of immigrants detained in for-profit detention centers across the country at a taxpayer cost of $5.5 million per day, this program is easily and unquestioningly funded by Congress with little to no oversight in spite of report after report of its massive failure. It’s a failure because, according to the Department of Homeland Security’s own numbers, 70% of people deported do not fall under the original intent of the program. Instead, they are the immigrants who are arrested for minor crimes: misdemeanors, traffic violations and minor citations. It is important to note that the people arrested were not always convicted in a court of law as the U.S. Constitution guarantees. These are our families, our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends, students and victims and witnesses of crime. They are hardworking people who are the fabric of our communities—people, who, for all intents and purposes, are as American as any one born on U.S. soil.

For the last couple of years I have been receiving heartbreaking e-mails, text messages, tweets, and Facebook appeals asking for $5, for $10, or any possible amount to help bail out Undocumented and Unafraid DREAMers arrested for publicly denouncing S-Comm. Arrested for publicly saying what I believe so deeply at my core, “Stop separating families! Stop the destroying our communities! End S-Comm and 287(g) programs NOW!” To date I have contributed over $150 dollars to the organizations working to defend arrested DREAMers. Unfortunately there is no doubt I will continue to contribute more money as long as President Obama’s Administration continues to implement S-Comm across the entire country next year. And as long as that is the case – those are my hard earned dollars the President’s reelection campaign will not receive from me, no matter how many “urgent” phone calls and e-mails I receive.

As an immigrant there is no question where my financial contributions will go. Before I support a political reelection campaign, I will support my family. I will support my brothers and sisters on the No Papers No Fear tour whose goal is to travel through states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Georgia to bravely “come out” as undocumented while on their way to the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina on September 3rd.

I will offer financial support to bail out the undocumented protesters arrested during Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Federal trail in Arizona that alleges he and his department have institutionalized racially profiling Latinos in their jurisdiction.

I will share the stories of undocumented youth who infiltrated detention centers after being arrested and are gathering and distributing the stories of countless other detainees who are supposed to be a low priority for detention and deportation.

There is no end in sight to these nightmares because of the insidious link between for-profit detention centers and federal immigration enforcement programs that funnel millions of taxpayer dollars into businesses that profit on the backs of detainees housed in their detention centers.

I have my own urgent message for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and President Obama: Until my family stops being the target of your failed immigration enforcement programs, I will not send you a dime. This is a message that the President and his advisors should take seriously because although you might take my vote for granted in California, you need my financial contribution for campaigns in battleground states like Florida, Nevada and Ohio where every dollar matters. While I firmly believe a Mitt Romney presidency would be a disaster to this country—the larger disasters are communities terrorized by immigration enforcement programs that deport innocent people. Therefore, defending my family will always be my first priority.

Summer of Feminista 2012 is a project where Latinas are sharing their thoughts about Election 2012. Viewpoints can be liberal, moderate or conservative. Academic statements. Personal stories. Learn more or how you can join the Summer of Feminista. This is a project of Viva la Feminista. Link and quote, but do not repost without written permission.

03 August 2012

Summer of Feminista: Strength in numbers vs. diversity: can we have both?

This week Summer of Feminista welcomes KJ Sanchez.
She is participating in the Yo Solo Festival
KJ is the founder/ CEO of American Records. 
She has produced national and international tours.

I’m in Chicago, preparing to open my play, Highway 47, as part of Teatro Vista and Collaboraction’s Yo Solo Festival, a festival Pan-Latina/o solo performances. As I’ve been watching my colleagues rehearse, the upcoming election has been much on my mind and one question has been nagging at me all week: How do we take advantage of increasing political leverage as the “Latino Vote” yet continue to make progress helping our fellow Americans – and our elected representatives – understand the diverse mosaic that is the Latina/o community?

Let’s look at the Yo Solo Festival as a microcosm of this issue: The festival has six performers, six VERY diverse shows. We are culturally diverse – we come from a wide range of cultures – Cuban, Mexican, Colombian, Dominican, just to name a few. Myself, I come from a crazy mash-up of Sephardic Jews and Pueblo Indians who settled in New Mexico in the early 1700’s and never left. As I explain in my show, “We never came to America, America came to us.” We (the Yo Solo Artists) are philosophically diverse as well - what we have in common is that each show is incredibly personal and comes from a vital issue in our own lives, but what that issue is and how we tackle it in our shows is very different. And last, all six shows are aesthetically diverse – from spoken-word dance, to direct address narrative, to hilarious and heartbreaking character study, to a landscape of poetry and imagery – it is remarkable how very unique each artist is.

And so it is with every Latino/Hispano/Chicano/Spanish speaker/non-Spanish-speaker/immigrant/non-immigrant/upper class/middle class/lower class/working class/intellectual/and any other “ism” individual in the US that would be lumped together as the “Latino Vote.” I have no answers here, but just one question to start the discussion:

How do we help our politicians understand that seeing us as a block, all with the same values and needs, is the worst kind of pandering and will, inevitably, be counter productive and how do we do this without loosing the most powerful tool we have: our strength in numbers?

Summer of Feminista 2012 is a project where Latinas are sharing their thoughts about Election 2012. Viewpoints can be liberal, moderate or conservative. Academic statements. Personal stories. Learn more or how you can join the Summer of Feminista. This is a project of Viva la Feminista. Link and quote, but do not repost without written permission.

01 August 2012

Summer of Feminista: The Latina Vote – Neither Beast nor Savior

This week Summer of Feminista welcomes 
Maegan "la Mamita Mala" Oritz, 
of Mamita Mala: One Bad Mami Blog 
and owner of VivirLatino.

It's that time a year again. Time to revive stale metaphors of poking napping mythical creatures from their dens. Time to dust off the old book of stereotypes and pandering, the one that makes it logical to parade around a Cuban in order to win the votes of Mexicans all while playing reggaeton in the background. Time for non-profits to have their own race about who will register more people, hold more twitter chats, and out message with celebrity cameos. I'll see you an America Ferrara and raise you a Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony.

It's presidential election time, 2012 edition.

During the last presidential election it was easy to caught up in the excitement. There was a man of color running who actually stood a chance. People were desperate and ate up slogans and promises of hope and change and believed that yes we can except now 4 years later, regardless of who we voted for, we are ALL left asking, did we?

At a forum claiming to represent what women wanted out of the 2008 race, I told people not to vote, especially if that was all they were going to do. Don't vote if they didn't consider how they had that right to vote and especially not to vote if they didn't consider the people in this land of the free, home of the brave who had to live under its laws but couldn't vote themselves. I was thinking of the incarcerated. I was thinking of the people of Puerto Rico. I was thinking of the undocumented. I haven't been asked to make any speeches this presidential election cycle and in a way I'm glad because I may end up stopping my speech after saying don't vote.

I am completely uninspired by this election. Electoral politics have never been my favorite thing because as I have written numerous times on my blog, electoral politics is not going to save our lives. It sure as hell hasn't hasn't stemmed the rising deportation, unemployment, poverty, or school crowding numbers in our communities. Violence, at the hands of the state like in Anaheim, or at the hands of individuals like in Aurora, hasn't been lessened. I don't feel safer, secure or any other s word that is attached to policy I am supposed to rally around. I, like many other Latinos are just tired.

Here's the thing, while Sofia Vergara is on the cover of Forbes playing up her Latin Stereotype Woman to prove to other people that they should be fighting for the Latino dollar, no one is really fighting for the Latino vote in a meaningful way. Instead what we have are references to us as sleeping giants and statistical possibilities as if apathy in and of itself is not a political choice. And really how many choices do we really have. We are asked to choose from the lesser of two evils or else. Is that really the best this political system can offer us? While more of us struggle to put food on the table and figure out how to keep ourselves healthy – because many of us still aren't sure if and how health care reform will help us and many of us will not be able to access it because of immigration status or work status- we are expected to rally behind an option that will hurt us less? No wonder people aren't lining up if this is the extent of political imagination.

Let me be clear. I will vote in this presidential election. I was mentored by a Young Lord who exemplified using every tool at our disposal to get what we need for our communities. In his memory I vote. But I am not a beast that needs to poked with a stick, provoked into action. I am not a playground amusement to be swung around once every four years only to be left rusting in the in-between times. I will not engage in zero sum games because I know better and I trust that my vecinos know as well when they choose to vote or they stay home in November.

Summer of Feminista 2012 is a project where Latinas are sharing their thoughts about Election 2012. Viewpoints can be liberal, moderate or conservative. Academic statements. Personal stories. Learn more or how you can join the Summer of Feminista. This is a project of Viva la Feminista. Link and quote, but do not repost without written permission.

25 July 2012

Summer of Feminista: Where is my money going?

This week Summer of Feminista welcomes Yvonne Condes. She is the Editor and Co-Founder of MomsLA.com, a community with more than 125 bloggers in Los Angeles. She is a Mom of 2 boys, former newspaper reporter, and occasional marathoner. Also find her at her personal blog YvonneInLA.com, on Twitter @YvonneInLA @MomsLA, and Facebook . She is PBS KIDS VIP and a member of PlayStation Family.

My son asked me a question during the last presidential election. He wanted to know why the Obama campaign was asking for money. I explained that it was how it was done; the candidates raised money to buy ads in the hopes that people will see the ads and vote for them.

“Why would you give money to someone who has lots of money and not to charity?”

Yes, why would I give lots of money to any campaign especially right now, 4 years later. I donate money to the public school my boys go to and I give my time. Without donations there isn’t enough money for the school to have PE, Art, a Nurse, or even enough teachers so the classes aren’t overcrowded.

Giving money to a candidate doesn’t seem like the best thing to do in this economy, but I worry what will happen if I don’t. I worry that if I don’t support the candidates I believe in (or as much as I can believe in anyone these days) that all of our choices will go away. Choice to make decisions over our bodies, choice for affordable healthcare, and choice about sending our kids to public school.

It seems like there are so many areas that need our money right now. There are so many people that need help.

Where else would I like to see my money go? How about to feeding the 2.5 million children in Los Angeles alone who aren’t getting enough food to eat. Or how about to a free clinic like the one at Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles that is giving medical care and birth control to students who can’t get it elsewhere. I wish I knew where to give my money to help the mentally ill homeless man who lives on and off at the end of my street and yells at unseen figures and walks into traffic.

What I really wish is that I had confidence that the candidates would tackle issues that I care about instead of using the money to tear each other down. Obama raised $71 million in June and Romney raised $106 million. If only this money were going toward something bigger than just an election.

What will I tell my son if he asks me if I’m donating this year? I just don’t know.

Summer of Feminista 2012 is a project where Latinas are sharing their thoughts about Election 2012. Viewpoints can be liberal, moderate or conservative. Academic statements. Personal stories. Learn more or how you can join the Summer of Feminista. This is a project of Viva la Feminista. Link and quote, but do not repost without written permission.

20 July 2012

Summer of Feminista: Access and Affordability to Higher Education

This week Summer of Feminista welcomes 

Martha Carolina Preciado from www.martyness.com, music bloggera from Latin America, as she discusses what she wants to see from the 2012 Presidential Candidates.

As a Latina voter, an issue on President Barack Obama’s political agenda which resonates is access and affordability for underprivileged students to higher education institutions.

Specifically, a long term goal of Latino educational advancement. Latinos remain significantly underrepresented in enrollment and acceptance rates. For many, financing college is a hardship. Yet another major obstacle are social barriers in public education which continue to prevent economically and educationally disadvantaged students from pursuing higher educational opportunities. Limited funding allocation and poorly executed academic preparation programs are misconstruing guidance of students towards college. Question to consider towards President Barack Obama’s political stance on education: How will the federal government distribute funds in order to create, activate and effectively execute academic outreach programs for communities of color?

Transitioning from high school to college is a rocky and most probable, a first experience for many Latino families. Many Latino/a students of low-income backgrounds will become the first in their families to earn college degrees. However, many educationally and economically disadvantaged students in low performing schools are less likely to receive college preparation resources than more affluent students in the same scenario. Financial aid is an instrumental role in Latino/a youth and families. Socio-economic constraints within the Latino community serve as a determining factor towards college consideration. Students lack the preparation and information yet most important, financial aid. President Obama’s administration needs continuous and adequate sources of funding to programs which correlate the Latino/a community and the higher education system.

Several years ago, I attended a Latina symposium in Washington D.C where a very curious (to refrain from using “ignorant”) attendee asked: Why many Latinas contributed to a high rate of high school dropout and teen pregnancy? The answer to such question permeates the social and cultural fabric of Latino communities throughout the country who have been marginalized and disenfranchised. Latino students, specifically Mujeres; How are they given information about educational resources and opportunities if these are vaguely provided in our communities? It is a difficult matter for Latinas to aspire about college with limited information, lack of motivation and limited financial access. The federal government needs an action call to distribute funds to K-12 academic college preparation programs to undeserved communities throughout the United States to promote a quality life and the full potential of each student.

My main concerns are the opportunities, possibilities and resources my community will be able to access in order to pursue a higher education; thus improve a student’s academic endeavors. College is heavily promoted, yet, the consideration of such decision is indisposed when students and families do not have access nor college affordability.

How does all the aforementioned become enacted in legislative action? Electoral power. The power for those who have the privilege to vote, to do so. To keep my aspirations, desires yet most importantly my community in mind when voting. Outreach to Latino/as in the community to voice and use their electoral power. Exercise your vote to empower our communities; make our government accountable and make our voice heard.

Summer of Feminista 2012 is a project where Latinas are sharing their thoughts about Election 2012. Viewpoints can be liberal, moderate or conservative. Academic statements. Personal stories. Learn more or how you can join the Summer of Feminista. This is a project of Viva la Feminista. Link and quote, but do not repost without written permission.

11 July 2012

Summer of Feminista: Confessions of a Disgruntled Voter

This week we welcome Michelle from xishell words!

I have a confession: I haven’t been paying much attention to the upcoming presidential election. There, I said it. I consider myself to be a progressive Xicana Feminist, so it’s kind of embarrassing to admit it. But now that I have and that I’m thinking about it, I really haven’t paid much attention to any presidential election- possibly ever. I’ve read articles, watched some TV, but I’ve never done in-depth research into a candidate’s position on this or that because I know that I’m going to vote for the Democratic candidate. I’m not a Democrat. I’m most definitely not a Republican. I’m ideologically opposed to our current two-party system, what is the name for that? From my perspective, there isn’t much of a difference between the candidates when it comes down to it. What Republicans say frightens me, what they do terrifies me; what Democrats say sometimes encourages me, other times, confuses me and then what they do, frightens me. Either way, I’m frightened. Sometimes, based on actions alone, I can’t tell the difference between them. So what is a person like me to do? I want to participate in my civic responsibility but feel discouraged by it all.

I am disillusioned by the state of our “democratic” process and have been since I’ve been of voting age. How much does it really matter who is elected? If Gore had been elected in office, when 9/11 happened, would it have been handled very differently? I’m not trying to defend the Bush/Cheney office, I just don’t think it matters all that much who is the head when the body is a puppet being manipulated by corporate greed. And although I sound like one right about now, I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I’m just a Disgruntled, on the verge of Apathetic, Voter. Which is sad because the truth is I care a lot.

I care about education. I want to see children taught critical thinking skills and their imagination and interests encouraged. I wish for higher education to be available and accessible to everyone who pursues it. And if students are instead interested in vocational trades, I want them to be recognized for their skills and contributions as well.

I care about the economy and jobs. I would like to see all the different levels of work valued for their contributions to our economy. And for industries to be encouraged to operate from where they live because maybe then they will consider their impact and invest into the community more than floating multi-national corporations do (maybe?). That we cease our dependence on non-renewable resources so that by the time my child is an adult, he won’t be living in some post-apocalyptic dystopia.

I care about healthcare- from the inside out. I want to see holistic repairs of our minds, bodies, and emotions instead of one-size-fits-all pills. I want for our government to put as much effort and resources into preventing diseases as we do into pharmaceutical treatments. I hope that someday a person of any age, income, class, and immigration status can receive affordable, fair, and high quality care without worry or discrimination.

I care about immigration. I want humane and compassionate policies that recognize U.S. involvement and dependence on illegal immigration. There is no short cut solution- these are real people in real struggles trying to do the best they can for themselves and their families.

I care about health and safety for all, and given recent developments, women in particular. I want for all people to have access to health care, have autonomy over their bodies, to be protected from threats of and actual acts of violence and abuse, and valued for their full range of capabilities.

I care about our food system. I would like to see more locally based agriculture free of GMOs and pesticide, hormone, and antibiotic abuse/over use. I want the people who grow and harvest our food to be paid a living wage, have access to humane and just working conditions. I wish for healthy and whole foods to be available to everyone; ending corporate subsidies for corn and soy crops that make an ear of organic corn more expensive than a two liter of soda.

I care about our water supply. I want it to be protected from contamination and pollution- for it to be used and shared wisely as well. And I want clean, safe water to be accessible and affordable to all. Something it seems will become more of a “hot topic” in the future as our natural resources continue to dwindle.

I care about the safety of the cosmetic and home products we use everyday. I want to use products that are safe and non-toxic without having to do hours of research before hand. I don’t want to worry that my cumulative exposure to the toxins in these products may contribute to cancer, birth defects, pollution, asthma, hormone disruptions, etc.

I care about the environment. I have a young son and I want for him to be able to swim in the ocean, play in the rain, experience wildlife, and feel a connection to the natural world. I don’t want him to have to go to a museum to see photos of what the planet and its inhabitants used to look like.

I care about marriage equality. Which I kind of resent having to add here because why should the government be involved with who we choose to commit to? People who wish to be married, should be able to do it in whatever way is best for them: religious, spiritual, cultural, business, whatever. And those who don’t want to be married in any of those ways should not be deprived of benefits or privileges for their choice either. Relationships are too personal for legislation, in my opinion.

I care about the global community and our place in it. I want the U.S. to be seen as an accepting, compassionate, considerate, and fair county. A country that puts human rights above profits when it comes to international interventions.

So you see, its not that I don’t care. I just don’t know that our elected officials do. And if they did, I suspect and fear that corporate interests and bribes and threats and conflicts of interests and whatever else I don’t know about, have rendered them powerless to do anything substantially meaningful. I vote because I can, because it’s a privilege my immigrant family struggled for, but does it really matter? The only power through voting I see is in local politics, the national field just feels like a complete loss. Unless and until we find a way to remove corporate greed from our politics, we’re in over our heads, or maybe more accurate, out-resourced.

How do we create meaningful change within our current system? Voting is the existing tool and it just doesn’t seem to be working out very well. Is it just me who feels like this? Am I too impatient? With the way things are going, my prediction is that things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. Which frightens me a great deal. But come November, you will find me at the voting booth. Putting in my two cents, hoping for the best and bracing myself for the worst.

Summer of Feminista 2012 is a project where Latinas are sharing their thoughts about Election 2012. Viewpoints can be liberal, moderate or conservative. Academic statements. Personal stories. Learn more or how you can join the Summer of Feminista. This is a project of Viva la Feminista. Link and quote, but do not repost without written permission.


This blog is my personal blog and is not reflective of my employer or what I do for them.
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