Getting Out the Latina Vote in NJ

Janet Murguía, second from left, joins Latina officials and LUPE PAC in mobilizing the Latina vote. (Photo by Gery Vereau via Reporte Hispano)

Latinas [in New Jersey] are moving full throttle to do everything in their power to win the Nov. 6 election. To this end, they brought in activist Janet Murguía, president of UnidosUS – formerly the National Council of La Raza – to motivate Latinas and Latinos to vote.

Murguía, who was deputy assistant for Bill Clinton at the White House and deputy campaign manager for Al Gore’s presidential campaign, represents the influential Latino organization. She said that the Latino community in the country is going through a decisive moment, marked by the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant policies.

“No one can say that this election, in which we will elect United States senators and representatives, is not important. (…) This will be one of the most important because it will define the nation’s political map and the survival of the Latino community, which is being threatened by the policies of the Trump administration,” said Murguía on Wednesday at a meet-up organized by LUPE (Latinas United for Political Empowerment) PAC in Newark, New Jersey.

Murguía’s campaign aims to empower Hispanic women in politics and support Latinos with the purpose of having more representation in Washington.

“New Jersey is an example – it has more Latinas as commissioners, and state Assemblywomen and senators – and now we are seeing more Latinas voting,” said Murguía. “Now, we Latinos must take the step to become candidates in positions where we can make decisions for our country, for our state, for our community.”

Murguía believes that it is important to keep an eye on Latino youths and involve them. “It is important that each member of our community who turns 18 knows that they have a responsibility to participate in the electoral process,” she said.

Ahead of the upcoming Latina Equal Pay Day on Nov. 1, Murguía said that women still have a long way to go. Latinas have expressed concern about this issue, as they earn about 54 cents for every dollar a white, non-Hispanic male makes, and must work an extra 10 months to earn what he makes in a year.

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During her speech, Murguía said that she supports Sen. Robert “Bob” Menéndez’s re-election campaign because of his dedication and hard work on immigration issues and his backing of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Similarly, state Sens. Teresa Ruiz and Nellie Pou, Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Díaz, Patricia Campos from LUPE PAC and Surrogate Court Judge Bernice Toledo, among others, said that they support the Cuban-American senator for re-election.

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