A new movement advocating on issues affecting Latinas and their communities. Olga Aros, one of the Co-founders of elatinavoices.org talks about the movement.
José Cárdenas: They are a new Latina movement advocating on relevant issues acting Latinas and their communities. "E-Latina Voices" is a group connecting others interested in political, social and economic issues. With me to talk about this group is Olga Aros, one of the co-founders of E-Latina Voices.
José Cárdenas: Olga, welcome back. You've been on this show before. We know your commitment and involvement in the community. What's different about this effort?
Olga Aros: E-Latina Voices is an online community. It unites our voices to speak as one. We're opposed to any legislation, any legislator that would dim the future of children because we feel our children are at risk and no one is listening and they have no voice.
José Cárdenas: And the piece of legislation that gave birth to this effort was the birth right -- no pun intended -- birth right legislation down at the state legislature.
Olga Aros: Yes, it became -- we knew our children were heavily at risk and birth right citizenship became the focal point of bringing the Latina women together to talk about what actions we were willing to take and what it was we were willing to do.
José Cárdenas: And how did you decide that the way you were going to do that was the creation of -- E-Latina Voices. What was there about the medium that helped you decide that this was it?
Olga Aros: Because it's a medium we understand. It's convenient. It's accessible. Women can join and belong to this group and we have voices. We vote. We're a fifth and sixth generation in this country. We're American and our children are American and there are American children being born and why would they not have equal rights.
José Cárdenas: Your focus has broadened from the birth right citizenship to other pieces of legislation. Tell us about the issues that are of principle concern.
Olga Aros: One of the biggest issues for us is the cuts in education. 41% of Latino children are part of the K-12 in this state. And when we looked at all of the districts, I would venture to say that some of the districts have 70% of children in their district that are Latino children and yet their legislator voted in opposition of legislation that would benefit them. And so we are concerned that our legislators are not aligned with the interests of children. They are not voting in the same manner that the voters are asking them to vote and we feel we need to serve as a voice and bring them back into alignment.
José Cárdenas: How do you do that?
Olga Aros: By meeting with them and we attend senate hearings and advocate our voice and we join together and we join together with all of the different groups. We formed a coalition of interested organizations who have similar interests such as ours and we created a voice for children.
José Cárdenas: You mentioned the figure of 600 women a little while ago. Are these members or people on your e-mailing list.
Olga Aros: Members who is join. Membership is free. Anyone can join and that gives us a stronger voice and that's our intent to build a strong voice for children and react in a very positive way to legislation.
José Cárdenas: And do you intend to use this voice in elections?
Olga Aros: Yes, we intend to support candidates. There are things we oppose. We support, for example, the recall of Russell Pearce. We support the candidate that is opposing him, which is Jerry Lewis, we feel he's a champion for children and support him with money contributions and volunteer time and help in his campaign.
José Cárdenas: What feedback have you received, positive and negative?
Olga Aros: We've received a lot of positive feedback because there are people who agree with what we're talking about. Talking about children and our future. These are the seeds for the future and when you dim their future, then you dim the future of all Arizonans and Americans and so we're not receiving necessarily any negative feedback on what we do, because our members agree, we speak with one voice.
José Cárdenas: How far do you intend to grow the mailing list or the membership of this group?
Olga Aros: We obviously use social media to do that, whether it's through our facebook page or website. We're there to educate and create awareness and activate and engage our women into taking action. Not sitting back. You have to engage.
José Cárdenas: And we've flashed the website up. It's E-Latina Voices.org. Olga Aros, thanks for joining us and telling us about this exciting activity.
Olga Aros: Thanks very much for having me.
José Cárdenas: That's our show for tonight's Horizonte. I'm José Cárdenas. Have a good evening.