DALLAS — Politicians are trying to pull out all the stops to grab your vote before November 3. Sometimes when a neighborhood is known for having historically low turnout at the polls, campaigns will overlook those communities.
What You Need To Know
- A group in Dallas called Somos Tejas is working to change things so more voters cast ballots
- Goal is to change the minds of many Hispanic and Black voters in South and West Dallas this election season
- Group wants to focus on more than just the importance of voting for a presidential candidate
A group in Dallas called Somos Tejas is working to change things so more voters cast ballots. The goal is to change the minds of many Hispanic and Black voters in South and West Dallas this election season.
Jasmin Flores’s passion for political and civic engagement started when she was a little girl. She says it was disappointing to see how disconnected her family was to the voting process.
“I come from an immigrant family. My family is from El Salvador. So, for me, I didn’t really see my mom voting when I was a kid. There were a lot times where I felt like we weren’t part of the system or we weren’t really accounted for. When I had the opportunity to vote for the first time at 18, I did,” she explained.
Flores sees the same thing happening with many families throughout the Dallas area, particularly in several Hispanic and Black neighborhoods. While the presidential election takes up most of the political conversations, it’s city council seats, candidates who are running for state representative, and other races on the ballot that she wants more voters to pay attention to.
“What we’re trying to do is create a culture change,” said Flores.
The push to change people’s minds is not a one-woman show. Ramiro Luna is her roommate and also a part of Somos Tejas. His backstory is that he is a DACA recipient.
Unlike politicians who often skip over the neighborhoods that these two canvass in, Flores and Luna are reminding their neighbors that they matter and there are people who haven’t forgotten about them.
The most powerful tool they have in trying to get more people who look like them at the polls comes from the ability to just have a simple conversation about how voting can make a difference.
“Coming from us, it’s different than an outside force. Because we know the nooks and crannies that make up our neighborhood. Because this is where we grew up at. It hits so close to home because now as young professionals, we see how things that we grew up on are now really like a systematic way of keeping our neighborhoods down,” said Luna.
They aren’t telling voters what choices to make. It’s the will to want to change generational beliefs about voting that’s been the driving force for everyone involved.