Posts Tagged ‘Hispanic’

Steve Schale: Final notes on early voting in Florida

Monday, November 7th, 2016

To: The tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to be free of 2016
From: Steve Schale, Florida Sherpa
Re: It is almost drinkin’ time
I usually do a timeline here, but since I can’t even imagine life in a post-2016 election cycle world, I am simply going to say, Thank God America, we have damn near made it. Like the weed that I can’t get to stop growing up the side of my backyard fence, admit it, you thought this would never end. But it is going to. Yes. Tomorrow, we will have a winner. Just hang in there one more day.
On Sunday, I took my Turkish crew to the St. Mark AME Church for a Souls to the Polls service with Val Demings and Kamia Brown, after which we visited an early voting site nearby. The lines at noon were already quite long, so it came as no surprise that Orange County (Orlando) set a turnout record. And so did Osceola, and Hillsborough, Broward, Palm Beach, Duval, Leon, Pinellas and yes, Miami-Dade.
In fact, Miami-Dade had more people vote today than 33 counties have had voted in this entire election. They more than 760K people who voted in early voting is equal to almost 88 percent of the entire vote cast in the 2012 election. If Election Day turnout is just half of what it was in 2012, more than 1 million people will vote in Dade. I had it estimated at 900K, as did most people I spoke with.
In total, almost 260K people voted yesterday in the 15 counties that cast ballots. To put that in context, most days last week of in-person early voting barely eclipsed the total from 15 counties. Frankly, the turnout was stunning.
There will be some VBM ballots which will show up tomorrow at elections offices, but the below numbers

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Javier Palomarez & Julio Fuentes: Yes on Amendment 1: Small business supports solar, fair policies for all

Friday, November 4th, 2016

Javier Palomarez
Over the years, the Hispanic community has grown to be a major force within the U.S. economy. In 2015, the Hispanic population in the United States spent $1.3 trillion on consumer products — a number that’s projected to grow to $1.7 trillion by 2020. Over time, Hispanic Americans have developed a strong presence across a broad range of sectors, and Hispanic businesses have made tremendous strides with explosive economic growth.
Today, with 4.2 million Hispanic-owned businesses throughout the U.S., over 300,000 in the Sunshine State and nearly one-quarter of the population in Florida being Hispanic, it goes without saying that this community is a major driver of the state’s economy.
Yet, current energy policies in place in Florida are requiring many Hispanic business owners and other minority communities to spend a great deal of their paychecks subsidizing the energy choices of others.  That’s because net metering policies are forcing small businesses, and hardworking middle and lower class American consumers, to foot the bill for the energy choices of higher income families who are the ones more likely to lease rooftop solar systems.  Therefore, it is critical that Amendment 1, or Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Choice, is passed in the state of Florida.
Julio Fuentes
Amendment 1 would place additional rights in the Florida constitution, ensuring that state residents have the right to own and operate solar energy resources, and prevents nonsolar customers from subsidizing those who own or lease rooftop solar systems. It continues to help grow the solar market without negatively impacting low-income and minority communities.
At its core, Amendment 1 encourages the sustainable growth of solar in a way that enacts a fair pricing model and does not allow nonsolar users to incur unnecessary costs.
In the midst of innovative energy solutions and the deployment of new technologies, energy policy must

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Steve Schale: Notes on the 11th day of early voting in Florida

Friday, November 4th, 2016

To: A tired, weary nation, and the Trump tech guys in Macedonia
From: Steve Schale, Florida Man
Re: Why in the world did I start doing these?
*1 day since the leader of the free world did the #swoop at UNF.
*4 days until the election.
*6 days until I am home for a nice long time.
*8 days until FSU basketball tips off.
*106 days until pitchers and catchers.
*131 days to get your NCAA basketball bracket complete — and your $20 in.
It is Friday.
The greatest Friday in like two years, because it is the final Friday of this quadrennial renewal of our federalist experiment in self-governing.
I can only imagine the letters that Adams and Jefferson are sending via pigeon carrier in heaven right now. Or maybe they have texting now —  guess we’ll find out one day.
Ballots. Barack Obama flew to Florida to tell you to return your ballot. Please listen to the man.
Speaking of President Obama, I had the honor to welcome him back to Jacksonville yesterday on what was a strangely emotional day. It is hard to believe it has been eight years. And while I have rather enjoyed having a life this cycle, it was good for the ol’ bloodstream to jump in for a day.
We’ve also reached the part of the campaign that is tough for the people who are in them, on both sides. Once you get to Friday, the die is mostly cast.
You’ve made your final moves, and other than ordering some robocalls or adjusting canvass operations, you just must trust your plan, and trust the kids on the ground to execute.
I went and banged on doors in ’08 for a few hours the last weekend, just to get out the nervous energy.
It is also the point where exhaustion has long since been replaced with a zombielike consciousness, fueled by

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Steve Schale: Notes on the 10th day of early voting in Florida

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

To: Curious Americans and President Vladimir Putin
From: Steve Schale, Proud FloridaMan
Re: 5 Days out — and eight years later, POTUS returns to Duval
*5 days until the election.
*7 days until the first Thursday after the election.
*9 days until FSU basketball tips off.
*23 days until the Tallahassee Turkey Trot 15K.
*113 days until Daytona 500.
Welcome to the last Thursday, and before I begin, a note to Democrats:
REALLY? What are you waiting for? Return those ballots!
So, beginning today with a point of personal privilege. After hitting send on this memo, I am headed to Jacksonville for President Obama’s rally. Eight years ago today, then-Sen. Barack Obama was in Jacksonville, for his last rally in Florida, and his first of the final day. It was also the day he lost his grandmother.
After the rally, I sat down with the soon-to-be president to explain where we were in the early vote.
As I tried to explain it in my overly data-centric way (we are ahead by more than John Kerry lost by, etc.), he finally asked me what I meant, to which I said, “it means we’ve won.”
He left Jacksonville with a little smile, and I went back to Tampa completely freaking out that I just essentially guaranteed him that we had won, thinking ‘holy crap, if somehow we lose this thing, he’ll always remember me as that jerk in Florida who said we had won.”
So, thank God we won.
It is hard to believe it’s been eight years. For a guy who grew up in a small town in rural Illinois and a small town in North Florida, it has been both the ride, and the professional blessing of a lifetime.
Basically, I spend most days wondering how I’ve gotten to do these things.
But why Jacksonville? Forgive me for making this point daily, but Florida is all about managing margins. For Dems to win, we must run up very

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George Soros spending big to mobilize Central Florida Puerto Rican vote

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

George Soros is supporting the effort to mobilize Puerto Rican voters in Orlando and Central Florida, reaching out to the highly valued electorate in the country’s biggest battleground state.
Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida reports the billionaire Democrat mega-donor is funding “United for Progress,” the committee launched in September by Marcos Vilar, a Miami political consultant.
Soros, one of the Democrats’ biggest donors, gave $200,000, the group’s only contribution.
“United for Progress is educating Floridians about issues of importance to the Puerto Rican community in several jurisdictions around the state,” Vilar told POLITICO in an email, without giving specifics of the operation.
Several individuals familiar with the group say the effort seeks to target several Central Florida legislative races with large Puerto Rican populations, who tend to lean Democratic.
One such race is Democrat John Cortes in Osceola County’s House District 43, which is nearly 55 percent Hispanic, many of whom are Puerto Rican. Orlando’s House District 48, represented by Democrat Victor Torres, is more than 50 percent Hispanic, also mostly Puerto Rican.
Puerto Ricans have represented one of the largest influxes into Florida. Dixon notes the population has grown 110 percent since 2000. Comprising nearly one-third of eligible Hispanic voters — second only to Cuban-Americans — Florida’s Puerto Rican community has bolstered its political influence as the voter rolls increase.
Orlando Democratic state Sen. Darren Soto, who is running for Congress, says he is not aware of Soros’ efforts, but admits there is a push to mobilize the Puerto Rican vote in Central Florida.
Soto, if elected, would be the first Puerto Rican representing Florida in Congress.
“It is absolutely critical [to get them to vote],” Soto told POLITICO. “My campaign is spending $100,000 or more on the candidates and we have a rock-solid vote-by-mail campaign.”
In addition to the $200,000, Soros also spent $1.3 million in the successful bid to defeat

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SEIU Florida launches half a million dollar campaign in ads targeting young minority voters

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

A new push by SEIU Florida aims to get African American and Hispanic voters out to the polls through a $510,000 investment on radio and digital ads.
The campaign is a coordinated effort through PICO National Network, Faith in Florida, FLIC Votes, Organize Now and New Florida Majority.
Ads geared towards African American voters revolve around the Souls to the Polls campaign on Oct. 30 and Nov. 6, and towards voter protection. One ad promises that “tens of thousands” of voters will march to the polls for the Souls to the Polls campaign, saying a vote is not an individual thing, but a “church thing.”  Another ad touts the values of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and end racial injustice.
Other ads will attempt to engage young Hispanic voters who have been turned off and disengaged by the rhetoric of the campaign, appealing to them on the issues that will directly affect them – health care, affordable education, raising the minimum wage, immigration reform and more.
“For too long election campaigns focused on parties and candidates, we are changing this by bringing the focus back to the real issues that impact our communities,” said Alphonso Mayfield, SEIU’s State Director for the 2016 Election Campaign. “The issues of racial and economic injustices can no longer be ignored. Our campaign intends to educate the voter that their votes are directly related to how the policies and practices are crafted at local and federal level. We are doing this through our face-to-face contacts with voters and also through the media buys.”
The ads will start airing today in counties all over the state, including Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Orange, Osceola, Pensacola, Leon and Duval counties. Digital ads will reach voters through online platforms like Pandora.
“While politicians are screaming at each other, young Floridians are making some of

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Tim Kaine to watch debate in Orlando, attend Orlando faith leaders meeting, Lakeland rally

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

Democratic vice presidential nominee U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine is going to watch the presidential debate at a watch party in downtown Orlando Monday night.
Kaine also will be meeting earlier with Orlando-area Hispanic faith leaders in a round table discussion.
The debate watch party will be held at Orlando’s Church Street Station. It will be open to the public, though RSVPs are required through the Hillary For America website. He’ll be using that site to watch the debate between his running mate Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump. Doors open at 6 p.m.
The faith roundtable discussion will take place at 4 p.m. at Iglesia El Calvario, 2500 West Oak Ridge Rd. It will be his third Florida appearance in 24 hours, after speeches in Miami Sunday evening and Lakeland Monday morning. In Lakeland he’ll be appearing at The Lakeland Center at 12:15 p.m., with doors opening to the public at 10:30. Reservations also are required for that event and can be obtained at the Hillary For America website.
This will be Kaine’s second visit to the Central Florida area. He gave a speech in Daytona Beach in early August.
The post Tim Kaine to watch debate in Orlando, attend Orlando faith leaders meeting, Lakeland rally appeared first on Florida Politics.

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Blaise Ingoglia talks winning Hispanic vote, I4 Corridor in last month of election

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

Republican Party of Florida Chairman Blaise Ingoglia is energized for the final month of the election.
Two big parts of the RPOF’s final push before the election’s end, he told FloridaPolitics.com, will be winning the Hispanic vote statewide, especially from new immigrants, and taking the I4 Corridor in Orange County, traditionally a hugely important win in every election.
The difficulty of the I4 Corridor is the lucrative but expensive and competitive media market. Purchasing airtime for advertising there is expensive and Ingoglia said good fundraising opportunity is what they’ll have to focus on in order to win the corridor.
On the Hispanic vote, Ingoglia said the big push will be towards convincing Hispanic voters, especially new citizens who have immigrated from other countries, that the Republican party is the one that offers true economic opportunity – unlike the Democrats, who he said only offer the “appearance” of economic opportunity.
The key will be drawing a contrast between the U.S. and the countries recent Floridian immigrants have fled from, such as Cuba, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.
“It’s important to communicate the message of economic opportunity,” Ingoglia said. “That will be our focal point in both English and Spanish. Many immigrants have come to the United States and to Florida for certain reasons. Puerto Rico is now riddled with debt. Cuba, they have no freedom there, due to the oppressive government in Cuba, In Venezuela, they have very similar problems. They’re leaving those countries because the United States represents opportunities they did not have.”
Ingoglia accused the Democrats of trying to push the country in a direction “that more resembles the country [immigrants] fled from,” citing the bailouts of the banks in 2008 as well as the adoption of Obamacare.
Those things both allowed the federal government too much power at the expense of the working class, he said.
Ingoglia was not concerned

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Uncertainty on the I-4: Puerto Rican voters eye hard choice

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

Heriberto Ferrer doesn’t want to vote for Donald Trump – but he says he can’t rule it out, his open-mindedness forced by his low opinion of Hillary Clinton.
“I don’t want Trump to win. Period,” he tells a Republican volunteer standing in his doorway on a recent Saturday morning. What about Clinton? “Hillary no sirve,” he says in his native Spanish, a phrase roughly translated as “Hillary is useless.”
The 56-year-old construction worker is among many Puerto Ricans living in this working-class neighborhood just south of Orlando along central Florida’s Interstate-4 corridor – perhaps the most valuable political real estate in the nation.
The recent explosion in Central Florida’s Puerto Rican population should have benefited Clinton, whose party has been the overwhelming preference of Hispanic Americans in Florida and across the nation in recent elections. An estimated 1,000 Puerto Rican families are moving to Florida from the U.S. territory each month. Unlike other immigrant groups, they arrive as American citizens and become eligible to vote almost immediately in the nation’s premiere battleground state.
Yet there are signs that Clinton’s popularity among this key demographic isn’t dramatically better than that of Trump, whose campaign regularly embraces and promotes xenophobic rhetoric.
Just down the street from Ferrer’s house, Amparo Vargas takes a break from weeding her garden to share concerns about both White House contenders.
“She’s a liar,” Vargas says of Clinton in Spanish. “I have no trust in Hillary. And I think Trump is a crazy man.”
Clinton’s allies concede she has work to do with Florida’s Puerto Rican community, despite signs that her campaign is dominating Trump’s organization on the ground. She and her allies have invested more in political advertising along the I-4 corridor than any other media market in the nation.
Since June 28, Clinton’s team and an allied super PAC spent a combined $23 million

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Columba Bush: Embrace your Hispanic heritage, expand knowledge of your culture

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

This year marks the 27th anniversary of National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15), a month-long recognition of the many contributions Hispanics and Latinos have made to our country.
In honor of the anniversary of Independence Day for five Latin American countries, Sept. 15 was chosen as the official kickoff day for this important month. As an American of Hispanic origin, I am proud to celebrate my heritage and join with each of you as we recognize the tremendous influence of the Hispanic culture on our great nation.
Love of faith, family, friends, and food are often considered the foundation of the Hispanic culture. When I met Jeb 41 years ago, I was moved by his willingness to learn Spanish and his desire to immerse himself completely in the Hispanic culture. I often tell friends that Jeb not only fell in love with me but simultaneously fell in love with our culture and our people. After marrying Jeb and moving to the United States, I quickly realized that the love of faith, family, friends, and food are the cornerstones of the many cultures represented in this diverse country.
In the early ’90s, I had the pleasure of blending my love of art, education, and heritage by assisting with the creation of the Children’s Educational Fund of the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico. It provided school-age children in the United States the opportunity to attend dance performances that emphasized local folk culture while combining ballet characteristics. One of the greatest joys of my adulthood was watching those performances as though through the eyes of small children.
While governor and first lady of Florida, Jeb and I recognized National Hispanic Heritage Month each year by holding a reception at the Governor’s Mansion honoring the contributions of Florida’s Hispanic community to the state’s cultural heritage. We

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