National Issues of Interest to Latinos

post_author brings you a compilation of the latest views and research on issues important to Latinos from media outlets throughout the world. The inclusion of a link to an opinion piece does not indicate this site supports the views being expressed.
Young Latinas Could Swing Presidential Election
Paul Begala, writing in Newsweek, says the race for president comes down to four percent of the presidential vote in Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, New Mexico, and Colorado: 916,643 people. Most of those voters, he opines are Latinos with high school educations.
“So forget about your Uncle Carl, the older white guy who complains endlessly about Obama being a Muslim Marxist. And ignore Aunt Clara, who pines for single-payer health care and is suspicious of Romney’s religion. Focus instead on their daughter-in-law Carlotta, the younger Latina who hasn’t been able to afford college because she’s working her rear off and raising kids,” Begala writes in his opinion column.
Latinos Scapegoats of Conservatives
Stephen A. Nuño, an assistant professor in the Department of Politics and International Affairs at Northern Arizona University, minces no words when he declares that Latinos have become conservatives’ newest generation of scapegoats.
Writing an opinion column  at NBCLatino, Nuño said, “Modern conservatism is what stupid people mistake for deep philosophical thought. It’s thinking without the thinking, and today mostly consists of moral self-stroking through witty denigration of the poor.” He added, “In this circular world of conservative wittiness, the beauty in this way of thinking is that poor people deserve to be poor, which conveniently absolves us of our public obligation to them.”
Nuño said Republicans need to embrace Latinos more if they hope to stay relevant. “The rise of Latino’s youth and energy is the backbone of our economy, and those retiring baby boomers like Nordlinger will soon be dependent on the vitality of this demographic to provide the services and benefits our government has promised them.  Yet, instead of investment by a Republican Party who gains 90% of its votes by whites, Latinos are largely seen as a pariah. ”
Why Latinos Like Catholic Education
According to Gabriel Sanchez Zinny, managing director at Blue Star Strategies in Washington, D.C., Latinos like Catholic education because it’s better than what public schools offer and the widespread availability of vouchers to offset the cost.
Writing in Latino Voices at the Huffington Post, Sanchez Zinny says, “It looks like a more systematic outreach from the Catholic Church, a general awareness that public schools are not proving the best quality of education and the voucher programs are changing this decreasing dynamic.”
He adds, “Vouchers are currently available in 10 states, including Washington DC, and are favorable to Catholic schools because they are usually located in urban areas and are more affordable than private school. These voucher programs have seen great success.”
By the way, don’t be fooled by the headline on the article if you click through. It’s deceptive but don’t let that hold you back from reading the post.
Houston Not the Latino Mecca It Appears To Be
Rey Guerra, chair of the Greater Houston Civic Coalition, is calling out his Texas city for having a government that in no way reflects the 44% Latino population. Based on his research, it’s as if there was almost no Latino population in most positions of political power.
As he writes in the Houston Chronicle, (via the National Institute for Latino Policy) “Latinos in Houston are as underrepresented as they have ever been and recent elections are no cause for optimism. In fact, Latinos have been the largest ethnic group in Houston since 2000, but have not won a city-wide race since the 90’s.”
All is not lost, though. Guerra holds out some hope for a turnaround in the situation through different actions taking place.
Civil Rights Support LGBT Latinos
Writing at, Bridget P. LaVictoire writes that Famila es Famila, “a new campaign that aims to educate Hispanics about LGBT issues and to bring greater tolerance of LGBT Americans to the Hispanic communities,” has received the backing of 22 Latino civil rights organizations.
The thrust of the piece is that Latinos need to realize that every gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender Latino is a member of a family. That’s one step in accepting gay marriage, the piece says.
Low Infant Mortality = Support for Obamacare?
Juan Cole, writing at Informed Comment, raises the interesting supposition that states with the highest infant mortality rates are most opposed to Obamacare. Cole presents his argument in the form of a graphic.
It’s in the comments section that the debate really opens up. Take a moment to read through it and discover what New England state has the lowest infant mortality rate – and some speculation on why.
Obama Using Latinos As Pawns
Luis Alvarado, a political analyst for CNN Español and Telemundo, writes at U.S. News’ Debate Club that President Obama’s support of softening immigration restraints (i.e. The DREAM Act) will lead to unintended consequences. Alvarado writes, “The Dreamers have been invited to participate in the political process; unfortunately, once again they will be relegated to political pawns in the chess game of presidential campaigns.
Read the Luis Alvarado column
They Think Latinos Are Stupid
Nationally syndicated Latino columnist Miguel Perez says, “GOP leaders are now resorting to telling half-truths — the kind of distortion that insults our intelligence and surely will backfire. They must think we Latinos are stupid. There is no other explanation.”
Read the Miguel Perez column
Latinos Call for New Power Plant Rules
Adrianna Quintero, writing at VocesVerdes, a website for Latino environmental leaders, wants to rally Latinos to support new clean air safeguards that would save lives by cutting pollution from coal power plants. Quintero says, “As a driver of climate change, carbon pollution has deadly implications for the health of Latino families. Nearly 83 percent of our nation’s farmworkers are Latino, laboring outside for long hours in dangerously hot conditions.”
Read the Adrianna Quintero column
Immigration Thorn for Mitt Romney
Markos Moulitsas, the publisher and founder of Daily Kos, opines at that President Obama’s decision to stop deporting the children of undocumented immigrants who lacked a criminal record and either went to college or joined the military and the Supreme Court’s overturning of the Arizona law that allowed law enforcement to demand proof of legal status.
Read the Markous Moulitas column