Q: How Can Local Activists Work to Counter the Conservative Assault on Rights and Liberties?



Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera

We can counter that by continuing to promote a culture of organizing, and by organizing in different ways around different needs, such as among working people at their workplace or industry. But we also need to organize in schools. In Milwaukee, where Voces de la Frontera has chapters, for example, the universal free school lunch program is under threat and students are organizing to keep it going.

Crucial to organizing is making people aware of what's happening, forming alliances, and pushing for accountability with local elected officials. Our biggest challenge in the United States is keeping the culture of organizing alive and growing. An encouraging awakening [has] happened, in part out of necessity. Engaging in collective action and decision making are, to me, a critical part of anything that we take on.

There has been a lot of cynicism recently, within the Latinx community, around voting. We've seen that before, too, when the Obama Administration and later the Democratically controlled Congresses failed to pass the DREAM Act. The way we've been addressing that this year is to deepen our networks, both local and virtual, and to simply highlight the threat being posed by the far right. We highlight how the Republican Party has now become an unapologetically white supremacist party, with the targeting of immigrants and refugees at its heart.

But voting drives are only one of the ways we've been deeply involved in the midterm elections. We represent a community that, when it shows up at the voting booth, can tip the results in a favorable direction. And if we keep turning up, it sends a message to anyone that they cannot run on an anti-immigrant platform. More than any particular election, we are...

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