JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — With early voting in full swing, and with less than two weeks to go until the midterm election, Action News Jax is getting real about the top issues among area Latinos.
The increased cost of living continues to be a big issue across our area and with the Latino voting bloc as well. That sentiment coincides with a recent survey by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund, just out this week, that found Latino voters ranked inflation and the rising cost of living as their most important election issue.
NALEO top issues for Latino voters nationwide, in order of importance, include:
- Inflation and the rising cost of living: 46%
- Women’s reproductive and abortion rights: 28%
- Lowering the costs of healthcare: 25%
- Addressing mass shootings and gun safety policy: 24%
- Improving wages and creating more jobs: 23%
- Combating climate change and pollution: 19%
- Protecting immigrant rights: 17%
- Lowering taxes: 15%
- Reducing crime: 11%
- Creating more affordable housing: 9%
- Border security and immigration control: 8%
Those who convince voters they will tackle this issue and address the rising rent prices at the local and state levels, could be a leveraging factor as voters head to the polls this midterm, according to local grassroots organizers.
“People are being displaced, people are moving in with other families. Then we have a problem of several families living in one household, which then creates another problem,” said Alejandra Amegin, a grassroots organizer. “So right now, I think affordable housing is a big concern for the Hispanic population here in Jacksonville.”
A recent survey by the Pew Research Center concluded 77% of Latino registered voters polled nationwide are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country and 30% have given “a lot of thought” to this year’s congressional elections.
Jesus Vivar is a registered voter. Vivar said the cost of living and affordable housing is something he’s dealing with directly and his top issue for this midterm election.
“My mother was renting and her rent went up by about 35 to 40%. Unfortunately she wasn’t able to afford it. Not on Social Security, she’s retired. So I had to move her out and put her stuff in storage. She’s living with us right now,” Vivar said.
Amegin has been energizing and registering area Latinos to vote and educating them on who will address the needs of their community.
“It’s to the young people, to get out get registered and I think it’s through the young people you know then talk to the tias and tios, aunts and uncles a lot of them, the older generation, their minds are kind of set,” Amegin said.
For Samantha Mora – even if there aren’t many Latino candidates running for office – she’s seeking out those who will address the needs of their constituents, especially small business owners.
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“Understanding our needs is really important when picking a candidate. even if they don’t look like us, then are they bringing people on their team that do look like us that do understand us,” Mora said.
Whatever the outcome may be, Vivar would like to see a more unified front moving forward.
“I feel like we could reach across and all of us come together to get our best minds and our best people to work together as one, to try to get these issues resolved because it’s back and forth,” Vivar said.
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