Why I’ll be voting in November

Growing up, I always thought it was normal to never see people like me in positions of power. It was instilled into me that I am part of a minority in the United States; therefore, it does not make sense to be represented the way others are.

Zila Sanchez, Managing Editor

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Growing up, I always thought it was normal to never see people like me in positions of power. It was instilled into me that I am part of a minority in the United States; therefore, it does not make sense to be represented the way others are.

However, my understanding of political power nowadays has shaped me to be more passionate about social issues like women’s rights, LGBTQIA rights and especially my people’s rights (or lack thereof). And boy am I angry.

As a first generation Mexican-American, I have been exposed to the world of hate and bigotry against Hispanics and Latinos. There are too many misconceptions about why immigrants – both legal and undocumented – are here.

The United States has been the top destination for migrants since the 1960s, and one-fifth of the world’s migrants live here as of 2017, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

In 2016, The Pew Research Center estimated there were 11.9 million undocumented immigrants living in the US. Most of these immigrants come from a Latin country, with about half from Mexico.

Though the numbers may seem great, their voices have historically not been well represented and they only make a small percentage of the civilian workforce overall.

Our current administration’s approach to immigration enforcement does too little to distinguish dangerous criminals from those who migrated to the U.S in the pursuit of better economic possibilities or safe haven from violence.

Ninety-two percent of those arrested by ICE had a criminal conviction, a pending criminal charge, were a fugitive or had re-entered the country after being deported in 2017, according to US News.

That percentage, however, includes people charged with no crime other than crossing the border.

And of course it’s not just Latino people that are facing injustice.

As a student at the largest Historical Black University in the nation, N.C. A&T, I have witnessed firsthand the criminalization of black people and the way the black vote is silenced.

My school has been split into two voting districts, “cracking” the black vote in half.

So, I am furious.

This rage that I have has shaped me to be the armoured up, “social justice warrior” I am now.

It’s the reason I’m studying journalism and mass communication now: to give a voice to the people who suffer the most.

That same dissatisfaction is also why I joined NextGen North Carolina which is a part of NextGen America. NextGen America is a nonprofit group that acts politically to prevent

As a Latina and woman, my vote has never matter more than it does now.

A record 27.3 million Latinos are eligible to cast ballots, yet they only represent 12 percent of all eligible voters, according to Pew Research Center projections. Forty-four percent of these eligible voters are millennials like me.

So I’m going to vote, and I encourage everyone else to vote, too. It’s too easy to say “my vote doesn’t count” when we see all the injustices people face every day in our nation.

But the revolution starts with us. This Nov. 6, we have the power to be the catalyst for change. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

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