By Zully Rodriguez | Community Organizer for PCA
“Our system of government has never been automatic. If we want our children to grow up in a true democracy, – not just one with elections, but one where every voice matters and every vote counts, we need to nurture and protect it. Today the responsibility falls to all of us.” – Barack Obama, Statement on the Anniversary of the Assault on the Capitol. January 6, 2022 –
There is no doubt that democracy is a dish that Latinos have long removed from the menu. Not because we don’t like it, but because it’s almost always out of stock.
Democracy, opportunities, and the dream of giving our families a decent home, where children can grow up healthy, free, and safe is what every parent seeks. The freedom to express one’s interests and ideas without fear of reprisals. The freedom to believe in God, Buddha in Ala or in the Universe is what has brought so many immigrants to this country since its inception.
Latinos are no exception, we seek that security and those opportunities that have been taken away from us in our countries of origin by corruption, drug trafficking and poverty. We came to the United States pursuing a dream that is not only American, but universal. Dreams come at a price and we think we have paid for it after the hardships we went through on the way to this country. Nothing can be so far from reality, the price is still pending, and we must all pay that fee as soon as possible.
Why We Stay Apolitical
Politics is the last thing we want to talk about, we have other “more important” needs, without realizing that those “other needs” are covered only, if the political and democratic conditions remain healthy and stable in this land in which we decided to settle. How deluded we are in believing that things will continue “well” even if we do not participate in the exercise of democracy.
Every Latino who arrives here, has been through the process of “depoliticization” that has been engraved in our skin with the sharpness of disappointments. We do not believe in politics, it has stopped mattering to us, voting has stopped mattering to us, because our vote has always been insulted and violated for as long as we can remember. This should not be a pretext to not open our eyes to the needs and opportunities that this country gives us. Exercising our right to vote and fulfilling that obligation should be a priority for all immigrants who achieve the right to it. Ensuring that this land will not become the same thing we have been fleeing from should be a motivator to fulfill that civil obligation.
What You Can Do
From January 18 to February 17, 2022, New Mexicans will have the opportunity to comply with one of the civil obligations, because it is not only voting that is important. Keeping ourselves informed of the proposals that are being brought to the legislature, supporting or stopping them as required, is just as important as the vote itself. Policing and making sure that our elected officials are doing the work for which they were elected will help us ensure that what attracted us to this country remains in place.
How to Get Involved
- Visit https://nmlegis.gov/
- learn how to find your Legislator and send a message to let him/her know you are watching https://nmlegis.gov/Website_Tutorials?Video=FindingLegislators
- Watch a live broadcast during the Legislative Session https://sg001-harmony.sliq.net/00293/harmony
- Look for the Legislative session calendar here: https://nmlegis.gov/Calendar/Whats_Happening
- Read some publications here: https://nmlegis.gov/Publications/
Learn, participate, and ensure your, your children and your community’s well-being will be protected.