"Poderosos" is a Spanish word often used in the Latinx community to describe our power and strength. It is a word that characterizes our resilience in a country where we often experience discrimination and alienation. WE, Latinxs, will be nearly a third of the U.S. population by 2060. The future of the United States hinges on our community thriving, yet we continue to be stripped of our power and are denied fundamental human rights.
Because our communities' success is essential to our nation’s future prosperity, we share these demands:
Acknowledge Latinx diversity. We are not monolithic. We are Black, Brown, Queer, Transgender, among other identities. Nearly one in four Latinx people identify as Black. Also, nearly one in four Latinx people identify as LGBTQ. We demand that civil rights initiatives grapple and be inclusive of our intersectional identities.
Reform our immigration system. Immigrants are people, not criminals, and they are the engine that keeps our economy going. Stop tearing our families apart. We are not animals to be left in cages. We are not medical experiments. We demand the abolishment of ICE. Instead, invest resources in creating pathways to citizenship, education, economic security, and equitable access to healthcare.
Protect our workers during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though we are only 18 percent of the population, one out of every three people who have died from COVID-19 are Latinx. Latinx workers are less likely to take paid sick days, more vulnerable to job loss, and have higher likelihood to be exposed to the virus due to the conditions in which they live, work, and commute. One in four essential workers are Latinx, as are 40 percent of construction, service and farming workers. Many of these workers are undocumented immigrants that work in industries that are at risk for job loss during the pandemic. We demand workforce protections and stimulus support for all Latinx workers, regardless of immigration status.
Ensure access to affordable and quality health care must be afforded to Latinxs. Federal and state restrictions, working in jobs that don’t offer insurance, unaffordability, and fear due to xenophobic immigration policies, have resulted in Latinxs having the highest uninsured rates of any group. We demand access to equitable health care.
Support Latinxs in achieving economic security and equity. Latinas in the U.S. are paid 46 percent less than white men and 31 percent less than white women. This wage gap exists regardless of their job, where they live, or how much education or experience they have. Latinx hold comparably worse jobs, face greater financial instability, greater savings and asset disparities, and are more likely to live in poverty compared to white people. We demand economic justice.
Advance comprehensive reproductive justice that centers and reclaims power for Latinx and other BIPOC communities. We must be empowered to decide if, when, and how to have or not have a family, and have the resources we need to raise our families with dignity and justice. We must be liberated from government interference in our bodily autonomy through forced sterilization, coercive contraception, and the deprivation of quality reproductive healthcare. We also need to ensure that our families have the resources and safety they need to grow and thrive. We demand reproductive justice.
Every year, Latinx Heritage Month provides an opportunity to share our culture and understand our growth and evolution as a community within the U.S. Just weeks before a contentious election, during a global pandemic and rising awareness of racism’s continued role in our reality, this Latinx Heritage Month underscores how much is at stake. Elevating the power of our community is more important now than ever. To meet these demands, we must vote to elect officials that understand and prioritize our needs.
Building Latinx power is key to the future of our nation.
Somos poderosos and we are here to stay!Back