“The United States is a country of immigrants.” That is a phrase that is heard many times during each election cycle. And although the Latino and immigrant communities across the United States have always played a key role in all facets of government, business and society, we still continue to face a significant amount of challenges.
Yet, we continue to witness more anti-immigrant rhetoric across the mainstream media, while state legislatures — like North Carolina — enact laws that negatively affect Latinos. Meanwhile, too many politicians at all levels have used their soapboxes to spew ugly language that scapegoats and vilifies our communities.
We can change this.
As we inch ever closer to 2016, Latinos need to become aware of the true power that they wield. Every day we work hard to ensure that our communities remain vibrant, that our families continue to strengthen this great country, and that our loved ones are afforded a chance to pursue the American Dream. By our hard work, our dollars, and our ingenuity, we continue to ensure that this country grows and prospers.
But despite these numerous contributions, there are still naysayers who seek to dehumanize, divide, and discredit us. As Congress remains unwilling to fix our broken immigration system, and deportations break families apart, the fabric of our communities continues to be tested.
It is time to stand up and fight back against those who wish to silence us!
The next Republican debate will take place on October 28 at the University of Colorado Boulder campus, the same site where I will join community other leaders in order to rally and launch the My Country, My Vote! campaign — an effort that will seek to register and mobilize citizens to vote in next year’s elections.
Our goal is simple: push back against anti-immigrant rhetoric, register eligible voters, and demonstrate the positive contributions that immigrants and Latinos make each and every day.
As a community, we have a responsibility to elect candidates who will honor our values and treat us with dignity — leaders who are willing to fight for the issues that matter most us, and who are committed to ensuring that our families remain united.
I hope that you will join me on October 28 at CU-Boulder’s Farrand Field from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. MDT (doors open at 4:00 p.m. MDT) as we demonstrate to politicians across the country the power of the Latino vote. The My Country, My Vote! rally will mark the launch of a 12-month campaign, an unprecedented effort that will call for our next Congress and president to enact comprehensive immigration reform.
Visit MyCountryMyVote.org to learn more about this very important campaign and further details on how to get involved in the rally.
Colorado has an opportunity to make a difference in next year’s election. Let’s make sure that our voices are heard!
Dolores Huerta is a civil rights leader, founder and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, and board member of People For the American Way. You can connect with her on Twitter @DoloresHuerta.