PHOENIX — Nearly a million mothers nationwide have joined Mamás con Poder ("moms with power"), an organization whose goal is to promote the power Latinos have during the upcoming election and the issues that are important to their families and communities.
“We decided that we needed the Latina voice. All the actions that we take are really important and impact the Latina and Latinx community,” said Xochitl Oseguera, vice president of Mamas con Poder, in an interview with ABC15.
She said the power of the Latina voice has been underestimated for many years. Yet, Latina mothers are crucial when it comes to the decisions made regarding their families.
“Latina moms decide where to buy food, where the kids go to school and so many other decisions so we have the power to make many decisions for our family and one of those is to go and vote," said Oseguera.
Berenice Felix-Baca, a mother in Phoenix and a member of the organization, has been helping the organization reach out to Latino voters in Phoenix with the hope to get them to vote in the upcoming election, which is seven days away.
Early voting is currently underway in Arizona.
“I can tell you for a fact that this year I’ve been very active in getting my family involved. We’re a family of 24, I have four brothers. My parents are immigrants from Mexico, and they take voting really seriously,” she said.
Growing up in an immigrant family helped her realize that when it comes to voting, she said. It was not optional, it was a duty, something she owed to other immigrants who were or are unable to vote.
“It’s more than just who wins the White House. I think it’s more about who’s able to make those decisions that affect our Latino communities like social injustices, healthcare, affordable childcare, equal pay for mothers," she said.
Why is it so important for Latinos to be involved in this election?
According to Oseguera, Latinos, now more than ever, have economic and political power that can no longer be ignored.
“Voting is very important because our power is growing, and nobody is going to give it to us, and we have to represent and get out and vote. Eight-hundred thousand Hispanics in the U.S. turn 18 every year. That’s almost a million of potential eligible voters,” she said.
It's also about representation, she said.
"This year, I don’t know why but it’s just so important. There have been so many changes these past years that have really affected the Latino community and we need to take our power back and really get involved and let them know that no this is not helping us we need you to help better our communities.”
ABC15 data analyst Garrett Archer said so far among early ballots, Hispanic communities in the West Valley is seeing some of the lowest voter turnouts.
So far in Maricopa County, nearly 99,000 Hispanics have cast early ballots, which is an estimated 10% of all ballots cast in the county.
The always amazing @LilianaSotoAZ is covering Hispanic turnout on @abc15 tonight. I took a quick peak at the numbers (which can only be estimated since AZ doesn't record this data directly).— The AZ - abc15 - Data Guru (@Garrett_Archer) October 27, 2020
Maricopa county early votes in 2016 were 9.3% Hispanic. Today, they are 9.7% Hispanic.
For more information on the organization, visit www.mamasconpoder.org.