Latinos Should Vote in Primary Election

Dr. Zelaya of the Election Board & Mayra Bayonet of the Montgomery County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce talk about the importance of the latino vote in #moco primaries 2014 at En Sintonia con el Concejo.

Dr. Zelaya of the Election Board & Mayra Bayonet of the Montgomery County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce talk about the importance of the latino vote in #moco primaries 2014 at En Sintonia con el Concejo.

June 24 is the primary elections in Maryland! All qualified U.S. citizens who registered to vote can participate and if they are registered with a specific party, they will have a lot of options for candidates within their own party at the state, federal, and municipal level.

In Maryland where for every 12 people 1 is Hispanic participating in the political process is becoming imperative, especially in Montgomery and Prince George, which are the counties with the highest percentage of Latinos.

Ana Sol Gutierrez, State Delegate for District 18 said in an interview for Somos Montgomery “I am concerned the most about the Hispanics who are registered to vote but they don’t go vote.” She estimates that in the previous elections less than a third of Hispanic registered to vote in the Democratic Party participated in the primaries.

In a recent En Sintonía con el Concejo show on the importance of the primaries for the Latino community Dr. Gilberto Zelaya of the Board of Elections explained “our duty as a community is to prepare ourselves (be informed). Every day I get calls – Dr. Zelaya who should I vote for. That’s not my job but I can point them out to information.” In the show we also talked about the need for more information available in Spanish, including the subtitling of debates and statements from candidates. There is so much to cover and the Spanish newspapers can’t solely focus on politics. The news programs in Spanish are only 30 minutes long and need to cover a wide range of topics per program from local to national issues and international matters.  Dr. Zelaya explained that as the Latino community participates more in the election process, we will see more information available in Spanish.

Having the opportunity to interact with many Latino U.S. Citizens in the community, I still see the need to engage part of our community who doesn’t see the connection between civic participation in the political processes and the future of the community and therefore don’t see the need to participate.

Mayra Bayonet of the Montgomery County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce commented in our radio show “If you want change in your children’s school. If you want to see change in your own work, if you want to see change in our community organizations; you need to go vote today, so go vote for the changes our community needs”

In our county, for instance, many of the politicians we can choose in these primaries are responsible for the preparation and approval of the county’s budget (Executive & Councilmembers).  “The Councilmembers have a lot of influence in all the final decisions made about construction and fiscal budget for the entire county. We are talking about almost 5 billion dollars” said Councilmember Nancy Navarro in the first ‘En Sintonía’.

Councilmember Nancy Floreen, who also visited the show and talked about the primaries told the audience “we have made it very easy for people to vote, so we hope more people participate.”

MyMCMedia offers a great deal of information in English and www.777vote.org is the official site of the County Board of Elections with information in English & Spanish. Now is the time #TuVoz #TuVoto go #MoCoVote

To view the primary voting show en español use the following links: Parte 1 Parte 2

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Julie Rios Little

About Julie Rios Little

Julie Rios Little is a bilingual multimedia reporter. She works with County Council to bring key information to the Latino community and encourage their civic participation at the local level.
She is originally from Venezuela and has lived in the DC area for 14 years. You can e-mail or Tweet her at Julie.RiosLittle@montgomerycountymd.gov
@rioslittle

Julie Rios Little es una reportera multimedia bilingüe trabajando en el Concejo del Condado de Montgomery para traer información clave para la comunidad latina. Ella también busca promover la participación de su comunidad latina en los procesos cívicos locales. Julie es venezolana y ha vivido en la región metropolitana por mas de 14 años. Puedes escribirle a Julie.RiosLittle@montgomerycountymd.gov o a su cuenta Twitter @rioslittle

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