Flex Muscle At The Polls
March 13 2002
By Ana Maria Ramirez
Within the last few years not only has the Latino population in
New York increased, but their political participation has as well.
According to a report titled Political Participation of Latinos
in the city of New York, issued by the Hispanic Federation, between
1999 and 2000 the number of Latinos that registered to vote increased
from 450,000 to 657,000, or 46 percent.
Another fact revealed by the report is that the Latino electorate
is comprised by a large percentage of women, who constitute 57.5
percent of registered Latino voters.
Where Latinos live also influences their electoral participation.
Those that reside in neighborhoods where the Hispanic population
is small vote more often.
The report is based on figures from the 2000 Census, voter registration
records and election results. It was presented at an event organized
by the Hispanic Federation and the Center for Latin American, Caribbean
and Latino Studies at CUNY. Those present at the presentation included
New York state comptroller, Carl McCall, secretary of state, Randy
Daniels, former Bronx president, Fernando Ferrer, current president,
Adolfo Carron, former president of the Democratic Party of the Bronx,
Roberto Ramirez, Laird W. Bergard, director of the Center for Latin
American, Caribbean and Latino Studies at CUNY and John Gutierrez,
Luis Miranda, who prepared the study along with professor John
Mollenkopf, said that one of the conclusions of the report is that
the voting Latino population diminished in the last New York mayoral
elections after Fernando Ferrer lost the second round in the democratic
"The Democratic Party suffered twofold, many Latinos stayed
at home and others punished it by voting for Bloomberg," Miranda
McCall added that despite the problems that surfaced at the Democratic
primaries for the mayor's race, whoever is elected should grant
the programs and services needed for this community to progress.
Over the last five years the Hispanic Federation has conducted
community and media campaigns to encourage Latinos to vote. The
organization's president, Lorraine Cortes Vazquez, said that they
would continue doing so for the next election.
"The important thing is to not allow a large gap between registered
Latinos and those who actually vote. In this country one improves
either with money or the vote", added Cortes.
Translated by from Spanish Armando Reyes
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