by Pablo Ros | September 24, 2012
If they cast their votes in November, Latinos and Latinas can make a difference and elect pro-worker candidates to office, AFSCME leaders recently told audiences in New York City and Washington, DC.
AFSCME Sec.-Treas. Laura Reyes addressed members of Local 371 and DC 1707, while AFSCME’s Field Education Coordinator for the Eastern Region, Yolanda Medina, spoke at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s Public Policy Conference.
“It’s no secret that the Latino vote is going to be a deciding factor in the upcoming election,” said Reyes, addressing Local 371. “Your voice at the ballot box is going to set the course for all of our children. That’s why AFSCME is working to register, educate, and motivate Latino voters in New York and across the country.”
As the mother of three Mexican American children whose father was an immigrant from Mexico, Reyes has often said she’s gained “a new perspective about migration and immigration” rooted in her family’s daily struggle with “our broken immigration system.”
Medina, who spoke to a young Latino audience at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute event, reminded them of the opportunities they have to make a difference not only for themselves but for the future.
“It starts right now,” she said. “You have to go out and vote.”
What’s gratifying about working for a union, she told them, is the many ways they can contribute—not just through organizing—to defend the cause of workers everywhere.
“We’re not just fighting for now but for the workers of tomorrow,” she said.