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Addressing the Term “Latinx”

By Jennifer Silva

The emergence of “Latinx” has become the newest way to refer to the Latino community with a  gender-neutral term. However, according to the Pew Research Center, around 76% of Latino adults have not heard the term “Latinx” (Noe-Bustamante et al., 2021). However, as the Hispanic-Latino community grows, the term “Latinx” has been considered positive or negative for those unaware of the word. 

To understand how voters felt about the term, a poll was conducted by the business management consulting firm Bendixen & Amandi International. They surveyed 800 registered voters of Hispanic-Latino origin, which showed the divided reaction. The survey found that 40% of the respondents said that the term bothers or offends them, and 30% said they would be less likely to vote for a politician who uses it (Stump, 2021). 

According to Politico, Democrats began to seek out Latino voters by using the gender-neutral term to secure the Latino vote; however, studies and polls show counterproductive efforts. The use of “Latinx” in politics has started to show a fault line in the party between traditionalists and activists (Caputo and Rodriguez, 2021). As activists and academics are moving forward with using the term “Latinx,” the traditionalists believe that it is not following the gender binary nature of the Spanish language. With a division in the term between traditionalist and activist, it has still become politicized within recent years. 

For example, in June of 2021, President Joe Biden was mocked by conservatives on Twitter for saying that “it’s awful hard … to get Latinx vaccinated as well.”

Language researcher and author Dr. Jose Medina spoke to ABC News and explained why it’s so hard to refer to a complex group with a single term. According to Dr. Medina, it is difficult to label a complex ethnic group in one word since it connects people from more than 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (Moll Ramirez et al., 2022). 

With the term becoming more dominant in a political setting, it comes down to who the audience is. The younger audience is more likely to accept the term “Latinx” as it promotes a gender-neutral approach, while the older audience may not favor it because of the structure of the word.  Angelica Luna-Kaufman, the senior director for the Texas Democratic Party, told MSNBC, “Just because you’re trying to be inclusive with one portion doesn’t mean you’re necessarily alienating another portion (Stump, 2021).” The overall intention of using the term “Latinx” in a political setting isn’t to be rude and offend the community but rather to find a way to address the community without using a specific gender. 

As the younger generations become of age to begin voting, we are more likely to see an increase in the term and acceptance from the traditionalist. 

Work Cited

Caputo, Marc, and Sabrina Rodriguez. “Democrats Fall Flat with ‘Latinx’ Language.” POLITICO, POLITICO, 6 Dec. 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/12/06/hispanic-voters-latinx-term-523776. 

Moll Ramirez, Victoria, et al. “Latinx? Latino? Hispanic? A Linguistics Expert Explains the Confusion.” ABC News, ABC News Network, 2022, https://abcnews.go.com/US/latinx-latino-hispanic-linguistics-expert-explains-confusion/story?id=82273936. 

Noe-Bustamante, Luis, et al. “Latinx Used by Just 3% of U.S. Hispanics. About One-in-Four Have Heard of It.” Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project, Pew Research Center, 15 Mar. 2021, https://www.pewresearch.org/hispanic/2020/08/11/about-one-in-four-u-s-hispanics-have-heard-of-latinx-but-just-3-use-it/. 

Stump, Scott. “What Is the Term ‘Latinx’ and Why Is It so Polarizing?” TODAY.com, 9 Dec. 2021, https://www.today.com/news/news/latinx-meaning-polarizing-rcna8086. 

NOTE: The opinions expressed in this blog are the opinions of the author only. It is not to be assumed that the opinions are those of GALEO or the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund. For the official position on any issue for GALEO, please contact Jerry Gonzalez, CEO of GALEO at jerry@galeo.org

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GALEO Board Assistant Treasurer Sarah M. Lopez

Sarah M. Lopez is a tax accountant who works for a private wealth management corporation.
Sarah believes that through financial understanding, stability is created and a path to all other
goals is paved. Being a first generation immigrant, Sarah dedicates her free time to the
empowerment and education of immigrants through volunteering in organizations such as
GALEO and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Sarah received her bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Georgia State University
and is studying for the CPA.

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RELEASE: Experts and Advocates Discuss Legalization of Undocumented Essential Workers in Economic Recovery as More Than 500 Organizations Call on Congress To Act

Center for American Progress Logo

For Immediate Release
January 22, 2021

Contact
Claudia Montecinos
cmontecinos@americanprogress.org

 

RELEASE: Experts and Advocates Discuss Legalization of Undocumented Essential Workers in Economic Recovery as More Than 500 Organizations Call on Congress To Act

Washington, D.C. — As President Joe Biden and Congress begin work on a coronavirus relief and economic recovery package, a diverse group of more than 500 national, state, and local organizations representing a broad range of interests and constituencies wrote to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). The signatories requested that Congress use all necessary legislative tools to include in such legislation permanent protection and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, particularly Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, and the estimated 5 million undocumented workers who have been on the front lines during this pandemic, as well as their families.

The letter was released during a press call featuring experts and advocates who articulated why including a path to citizenship for these individuals is a critical tool to ensure that the recovery is as bold, dynamic, inclusive, and equitable as it needs to be to meet the many challenges the country is facing today.

After the press call, Tom Jawetz, vice president of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress, said:

For the coronavirus relief and economic recovery package to rise to the multiple challenges facing the country today—for it to be sufficiently dynamic and equitable—it must include permanent protection and a path to citizenship for undocumented essential workers and their families, as well as Dreamers and TPS holders, who have long contributed to this country and who continue to show up when we need them most. Congress must use every tool at its disposal—including the budget reconciliation process—to lay the groundwork for a recovery that is resilient and just.

Felicia Wong, president and CEO at the Roosevelt Institute, said:

When COVID-19 struck, more than 5 million undocumented essential workers kept our economy going at great risk to themselves and their families. Enough is enough. We must build an inclusive economy that works for all; we must make sure that essential workers have legal protections. It is not just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do. It’s good for the economy.

The deputy vice president for Policy and Advocacy at UnidosUS, Clarissa Martínez-de-Castro, added:

We cannot have the health and economic recovery that we need for the nation if we don’t include all those who are caring for our country. We have an opportunity to do just that, and it includes citizens and immigrants alike. Immigrant workers have been standing up for us, and now it is our time to stand up for them. We are doing just that by fighting for the inclusion and protection of these workers in relief and economic recovery legislation and using every legislative tool, including a budget reconciliation. The Biden administration priorities of addressing COVID 19, racial justice, and economic recovery, all in the context of unifying the country around shared values, require us and Congress to move forward boldly.

Montserrat Garibay, secretary-treasurer at the Texas AFL-CIO, said:

When our country extends rights and protections to more workers, we all benefit. When more people are forced to work in fear and without rights, we are all at greater risk. So, we all have a stake in the immigration fight. It directly affects our ability to lift labor standards, keep all workers safe, and build worker power.

Dr. Diana Andino, a neurology specialist and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient, said:

I am one of the estimated 29,000 DACA recipients who are health care workers. During my time in medical school, I dealt with the fear and anxiety of not having a legal status. I managed to push through, and this in some way prepared me to navigate some of the hardest moments and challenges of a global health pandemic. I am hopeful that we can heal together as a nation, but in order to do so, I hope that this country recognizes the people who are taking care of us. I am on the front lines, and I want to have the peace of mind of a permanent legal status so that I can continue caring for my patients and community.

Click here to read the letter and see the list of signatories.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Claudia Montecinos at cmontecinos@americanprogress.org.

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The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. We work to find progressive and pragmatic solutions to significant domestic and international problems and develop policy proposals that foster a government that is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

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HIRING: GALEO County Field Coordinators

Job Announcement

Job Posting SEVERAL full-time County Field Coordinators 

GALEO:

GALEO is a statewide organization dedicated to building a better Georgia where the Latino community is engaged civically and its contributions and concerns are recognized. GALEO’s mission is to increase civic engagement and leadership development of the Latino/Hispanic community across Georgia. Our core beliefs are: Inclusion, Non-Partisan, Diversity and Responsive.

For more information, please visit https://galeo.org.

Position:

GALEO is working together in a coordinated manner with our allies to ensure increased participation in the upcoming 2020 Census and increased voter engagement in the 2020 elections.

  • Position requires the ability to work long and irregular hours, including evenings and weekends, and is considered a full-time position (40 hours per week minimum).
  • Great growth opportunity with GALEO for recent college graduates.
  • Building and coordinating a volunteer effort focused upon voter and Census engagement; recruiting volunteers and canvassers in assigned county
  • Meeting aggressive recruitment and contact goals for assigned county for both the Census and electoral cycle.
  • Running meetings, training sessions, canvassing of neighborhoods, phone banks and various kinds of rapid response and other field efforts to support GALEO goals.
  • Data entry of field work will be essential and keeping timely and accurate reports will be required frequently.
  • Managing and working with paid part-time canvassers across the state. Primarily in assigned County, and elsewhere as needed.
  • Working with the Executive Director and GALEO staff to ensure that the goals are being met and communicating and overcoming obstacles.

Job duties:

  • Maintain computer files, records and contact lists in a consistent and organized manner.
  • Blogging and posting updates on social media for further engagement.
  • Provide strategic and technical campaign support including field, communications, and administrative to meet the campaign goals and priorities of active civic engagement campaigns.
  • Implement and be held accountable to metrics-driven Field Programs (Voter Registration, Petition Gathering, Census, GOTV, etc.).
  • Post pictures on social media (Instagram/Facebook).
  • Other duties as assigned by the GALEO staff, including Executive Director.

Qualifications:

  • Preferred to some college level education.
  • Must have own reliable transportation.
  • Must be fluent in both English and Spanish. Must be able to translate text and communicate effectively in both languages, written and oral.
  • Some electoral, community or union organizing experience. Passionate about making a significant impact in the 2020 Census and the 2020 Elections
  • Ability to communicate effectively, work well with others, work well under pressure, be detail and goal oriented.
  • Strong interpersonal skills; diplomatic and professional approach to problem solving – ability to think outside the box.
  • Must have social media skills and comfortable in all mediums.
  • Ideal candidates will have excellent time management, project management and organizational skills.
  • Some experience in non-profit sector is preferred.
  • Willingness to work in fast-paced & flexible environment.
  • Willingness to accommodate a flexible schedule; working weekends and evenings will be required.
  • Must be a self-starter and demonstrate teamwork.
  • Must be comfortable working independently.
  • Excellent verbal and written skills.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and meet deadlines.
  • Willingness to grow with the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund.
  • Knowledge of Latino community issues.
  • Must demonstrate commitment to Latino community and issues.
  • Computer skills are critical. Ability to work with MS Windows and/or Mac Office programs: MSWord, MSExcel, MSOutlook, MSPowerPoint, and various internet applications and social media such as Facebook.com, YouTube.com, Twitter, Instagram and WordPress. Must be comfortable or able to learn to work with website updates and HTML code.

Target areas:

  • Gwinnett County
  • Cobb County
  • DeKalb/Fulton Counties
  • Hall County

How to Apply:

Please send the following in an email:

  1. an email cover letter
  2. an attached resume
  3. list of at least three (3) work related references

to Jeniffer Chow, Program Coordinator for Civic Engagement at jchow@galeo.org.

Resumes and the corresponding requirements listed above will be accepted until position is filled.

This is an entry-level position with the potential for growth. The position is also non-exempt (hourly). Pay would be based upon education and experience.

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