AUSTIN, TEXAS – The 2022 Texas Primaries are now less than two months away. It is already shaping up to be a victory for Latinos at least in the number of Latinos running for office at every level of government across the state. 388 of the candidates on the ballot are Latinos. This is a testament to the work of organizing and empowering Latinos to take positions of power. But let’s not count our pollos before they hatch. There is a lot of work left to be done to actually elect the changemakers Texans need.
Here in Texas it often feels like an uphill battle, as state laws have made voting even more difficult. Jolt reported last week how Texas is at the center of a national fight about voting rights legislation. While President Biden and other Democrats have only recently talked about how they want to make voting rights a top priority, our communities have been on the frontlines of the fight for fair representation throughout Texas history. And we will still be here no matter what happens in Washington D.C.
All significant change starts at the local level. That’s why it is so exciting that 270 out of the 388 Latino candidates are running in municipal elections for positions such as County Commissioner, District Judge, County Clerk, and Justice of the Peace. 32 Latinos are currently running for Congress. Win or lose, Latinos prove election after election, that the power in our community is expanding, and we will not be overlooked.
While the number of Latinos candidates running for office is impressive, the source of our power comes from the efforts of so many people behind the scenes. Community organizers and leaders have built the movements that these candidates represent. By listening to people, making connections, registering voters, and driving more Latinos to the ballot box, we have already begun to change Texas.
One way you can get involved is by signing up to run for one more position that is still open: County Precinct Chair! A precinct chair is a volunteer who helps organize their neighborhood within a political party. They serve as a part of the governing body of their county political party and are responsible for duties such as informing neighbors of an election, volunteering to turn out the vote, and raising awareness about local issues that the political party or elected officials may not be aware of.
Not ready to go all-in and run for something yourself? No worries! Jolt is opening applications for the Levántate y Lucha institute, a two-day virtual boot camp where you’ll learn how to become a community leader and gain access to tools to help build a movement of engaged Latino voters across Texas. This free program will develop your core organizing skills and political education to organize your own community around the issue that matters to you.
With all of us working together, we will see more Latinos win positions of power across Texas in 2022 and in many more elections to come.