LatinaLista — Today, an unprecedented marketing move to get (Latino) youth to register to vote was launched. A three-way partnership between get-out-the-vote organization Voto Latino, iTunes and Nacional Records made possible a special album of Spanish Rock, Latin and Pop music created by famous Latino artists.
All proceeds of the Voto Latino album are being donated to Voto Latino to help with their efforts to get more Latino youth to register to vote.
Yet, some youth are wondering how much value their vote has in the face of a government official who can waive laws at will.
Today, at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, Texas, university President
Blandina CÃ¡rdenas hosted a student forum on the one topic that is on every mind in the Texas Rio Grande Valley these days â€” the border wall.
The forum was broadcast live on streaming video to college campuses located in other parts of the country. Students, from all over, were able to email questions to the forum’s panelists.
Some of those attending the student forum were border mayors, economic development, business and environmental leaders, as well as, elected officials from Mexico.
Needless to say, there was no balance to the forum. Everyone pretty much came to a consensus that the wall is bad and not wanted.
CÃ¡rdenas urged the students to get involved and to start speaking out more to defend the border. She told the students that the first step in challenging such an unjust federal decision began with one simple act:
â€œI want each and every one of you to go out and register to vote. Go and get your friends and your family to register to vote because in a democracy the only defense that one has is the vote,â€ she said.
Ordinarily, that’s true.
When it comes to electing our next President and all public officials but it’s not proving true in changing the mind of the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, who is waiving 30 laws and regulations to bulldoze his will to get the fence/wall built.
And that’s why Sec. Chertoff’s actions are very dangerous if left unchallenged.
If someone doesn’t rein in the obscene disregard Chertoff has shown for our laws then how can we expect the next generation to believe in the value of the vote, in the value of our system of government?
The students who heard university President CÃ¡rdenas would have been right to doubt how much their vote could influence the building of the wall. After all, Chertoff was not voted into office.
While the vote has been pushed onto our young people as the salve to heal all ills, what’s missing is pushing what the rights are that are granted under a democracy.
Too many, young and old, don’t know what rights or expectations of government they are entitled to in this country.
Two of those rights are to expect federal officials to heed our concerns and observe the laws passed meant to protect the well-being of all inhabitants of this country.
While voting is important and should be practiced, the opportunity only comes around so often.
Yet, asserting our voices and our rights happen every day.
It’s time we took advantage of those rights.