-- by THI Chairman Gus West, for The Hill:
January 13, 2016
There are few things that Latinos consume more than broadcast news. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, 86 percent of Latino adults say that on a typical weekday they get their news from television, and nearly 70 percent say they rely on Spanish language news media. Broadcast news continues to be an integral and positive part of Hispanicfamilies’ daily media diet in this country.
At the Hispanic Institute, we are troubled by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposalto eliminate long-standing broadcast exclusivity rules – rules that protect TV broadcasters so that they are compensated fairly for the redistribution of their content by cable providers. These regulations also allow the FCC to review complaints by broadcasters that cable companies have violated the terms of these agreements. While the Hispanic Institute supports free enterprise, we also advocate for a fair, competitive marketplace and regulations that help our families – not harm them. Unfortunately, Chairman Wheeler’s proposal falls into thelatter category.
-- by Gus West, for The Hill:
March 10, 2016
Once again, the powerful and wealthy pay-TV industry is playing politics with Americans’ access to vital programming in order to pad their pocketbooks. On Friday, March 4, AT&T U-Verse stopped providing Univision’s networks to its millions of subscribers around the United States. While AT&T has agreed to pay market rates to English-language broadcasters, it apparently does not feel it necessary to treat the largest U.S. Spanish-language network, known for its unique relationship and commitment to the Hispanic community, in the same manner.
-- by Gus West for The Las Vegas Sun, March 16, 2017:
It’s safe to say that Donald Trump doesn’t have many fans in the Hispanic community.
ButHispanics shouldn’t take Trump’s election as a personal affront — or a signal that they’re unwelcome in their own land.In fact, polling data show that the United States remains far more united in its commitment totolerance, diversity and fair immigration policy than at any time in our history.
Those who value these principles can’t afford to be distracted by their private contempt for Trump. On the contrary, now is the time for sober, loyal opposition focused on the legitimate policy threats posed by an erratic president.
That process starts with the recognition that Trump’s divisive tenor, particularly on immigrationissues, isn’t representative of the nation at large. After all, his share of the popular vote was nearly 3 million short of his opponent Hillary Clinton’s. The “rigged system” that Trump spent much of the campaign decrying is what installed him in the White House.
-- by Ross Ramsey and Jim Malewitz, The Texas Tribune:
Some of Texas’ 36 congressional districts violate either the U.S. Constitution or the federal Voting Rights Act, a panel of federal judgesruled Friday.
In a long-delayed ruling, the judges ruled 2-1 that the Texas Legislature must redraw the political maps it most recently used for the2016 elections.
"The Court finds that this evidence persuasively demonstrates that mapdrawers intentionally packed [concentrated certain populations] and cracked [diluted certain populations] on the basis of race (using race as a proxy for voting behavior) with the intent to dilute minority voting strength," U.S. District Judges Orlando Garcia and Xavier Rodriguez wrote in the majority opinion.
Specifically, they pointed to Congressional District 23, which stretches from San Antonio to El Paso, takes in most of the Texas-Mexico border and is represented by Republican Will Hurd of Helotes; Congressional District 27, represented by Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi; and Congressional District 35, a Central Texas district represented by Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin.
- The chief justice of the California Supreme Court wrote to the attorney general and the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Thursday, expressing concern about reports that immigration agents were “stalking” courthouses.
-- by Herman Schwartz, The Nation:
-- by Caitlin Dewey, The Washington Post:
-- by Jordan Rudner The Dallas Morning News:
The key to reaching Hispanic voters? Speak both their languages!
WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 22) -- Today, The Hispanic Institute launched a bilingual public service announcement video encouraging Hispanics to vote in this November's midterm elections. The video -- which transitions seamlessly between English and Spanish -- is part of the Institute's 2014 Get-Out-The-Vote campaign.
"America's 54 million Hispanics owe it to themselves and their families to make their voices heard at the polls this November," said Gus West, Board Chair of The Hispanic Institute. "Our video appeals to Hispanic Americans' sense of civic duty -- whatever their preferred language may be."
Historically, Hispanics have been under-represented politically. That's largely because they've voted at rates 25 percent lower than blacks and whites.
The Hispanic Institute's video aims to change that. And reaching Hispanics requires bilingual outreach. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts the use of Spanish as the primary language will decrease among Hispanics in the coming years. Already, a quarter of Hispanic Americans speak only English at home.
The Hispanic Institute is looking to air its Get-Out-The-Vote video in five states with the most competitive elections this fall: Nevada, Colorado, North Carolina, Georgia, and Iowa.
"With the mid-term elections just six weeks away, Hispanics have a historic chance to influence policy on the issues that matter most to them," said West. "Our campaign will call on them to seize that opportunity."
Focusing on voter engagement and mobilization, GALEO and the HispanicInstitute have once again partnered to ensure the Latino electorate in Georgia will turn out to vote in the 2016 election cycle.
In 2003, the Latino electorate in Georgia only accounted for approximately 10,000 voters. According to a CNN analysis, the Latino electorate in Georgia is 330,000 strong in potential for the presidential election this year. Additionally, a recent analysis of the voter registration data provided by the GeorgiaSecretary of State indicated a surge in minority voter registrations statewide. Latinos lead statewide with an impressive 46.2% voter registration increase since last year (White registration rose 15%, black registration rose 20.5%, and Asian registration rose 40.7%).