Jolt Action

Together, Se Puede! Jolt plays part in boosting Houston's Latino Representation

In the heart of Houston, where Latino representation has long been lacking, Jolt has played a pivotal role in reshaping the local political landscape. For an entire decade, Robert Gallegos stood as the sole representative of the Latino community on the 16-seat City Council. Bearing the weight of this responsibility, Gallegos tirelessly assisted Latino-owned small businesses traverse Houston’s permitting process. Navigating this terrain proved challenging, given the glaring discrepancy between City Council’s 6.2% Latino representation and the reality that Houston’s population is actually 45% Latinos. This stark contrast underscores the urgent need for a more reflective and inclusive representation in local government that truly mirrors the rich diversity of Houston’s population. But now, the winds of change are blowing as recent elections usher in a new era. Mario Castillo and Julian Ramirez, alongside Joaquin Martinez, have joined the council, heralding a future where the 1 million Hispanic residents of Houston can expect to see themselves truly represented in the city’s governing body. Even the Houston Chronicle agrees – Jolt’s active presence over the past two years has been key in transforming Houston’s local government, demonstrating the tangible impact we can have if we work together. Our dedicated Houston organizer, Daniel Robles, could feel the community’s need for Latino representation, stating, “Pasadena and East End areas receive increasingly less care from the city each year. From the uneven roads we walked on during our GOTV efforts to the struggling people we talked to, I witnessed how much the city of Houston neglects the Latino community.” This neglect became our motivation to register voters and bring sweeping change. In just one year Jolt Houston organizers registered over 1500 voters, visiting over 60 community events and fairs, while continuing our door-to-door grassroots outreach. Our efforts bloomed into a fairer democracy for Houstoninans, with Daniel stating, “with this new representation, we will finally see Latino families being put at the forefront of policy making,” As we celebrate the recent strides in increasing Latino representation in Houston’s City Council, it’s crucial to recognize that our journey towards a truly representative democracy is far from complete. Let’s use this huge accomplishment as a wake up call – If we all come together and keep pushing for an even more representative democracy, we can shape not just Houston but the entire state of Texas.

Houston organizers in action at a community event