Latinos | KERA News

Latinos

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

They came from around Texas – dozens of college and high school age Latinos. Their message to political candidates: Listen to us, our vote matters.

A polling location in San Antonio, Texas
Associated Press

A projected 32 million Latinos will be eligible to vote in this year’s U.S. presidential election, according to the Pew Research Center.

This means that Latinos, for the first time, will make up the largest racial and ethnic minority voting bloc.

Colorado Springs, Colorado, city council members Yolanda Avila and Andres Pico are shown in a city office in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Hispanic voters are heavily Democratic but Hispanic men are more likely to vote Republican than Hispanic women.
Associated Press

Yolanda Avila and Andres Pico are friends who sit next to each other on the Colorado Springs’ city council. But politically the two couldn’t be further apart — Avila is a durable Democrat and Pico an unflinching Republican.

Is The GOP Alienating Texas Latino Republicans?

Nov 27, 2019
Pop-up stands offer a variety of Trump-inspired merchandise before a 2018 Trump rally in Houston, Texas.
Houston Public Media

Latinos make up 30% of the Texas electorate and are an increasingly vital voting block in the state. 

Though Texas Hispanic voters are notoriously conservative compared to the rest of the nation’s voting Latinos, new research suggests that anti-immigrant rhetoric could be pushing them away from the GOP. That could make Texas more competitive for Democrats.

The Latinx vote is still up for grabs by both parties in Texas.

A new report from the University of Houston's Center for Mexican American Studies shows the decisive role this voting bloc could play in the 2020 presidential election.

Latinx — a gender-neutral term referring to people in that community — are expected to become the largest population group in Texas by 2022, which gives them "a tremendous amount of clout," the report’s lead author Brandon Rottinghaus says.

Eighty-one percent of Latino voters in Texas are concerned about racism-motivated gun violence and that the Latino community might be targeted again in attacks similar to the mass shooting in El Paso, according to a survey sponsored by the gun control group Giffords and the progressive group Latino Victory Project.

Former U.S. Housing Secretary Julian Castro, the only Latino seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, is struggling among likely Latinx voters in Texas.

Castro, the mayor of San Antonio from 2009-2014, had just short of 8% support among the voting bloc, according to a Texas Lyceum poll released Thursday.

Challenges threatening the upcoming 2020 census could put more than 4 million people at risk of being undercounted in next year's national head count, according to new projections by the Urban Institute.

With the economy booming, Ernesto Martinez can barely keep up with all the construction work coming into the small drywall company he owns. He's part of a historic wave of Latino prosperity in America.

It wasn't always like this. Martinez remembers when he was 17. He had $120 to his name, and it was all in his pocket. It's how much he got paid for his first job in the U.S., as a mover. He says he stood there, mesmerized, in front of a shop window at the mall.

Martinez was looking at a pair of Air Jordans. They cost around $100.

Oscar Cantua was one of 5100 graduates at the University of Texas at San Antonio’s 2019 Spring Commencement. He received an undergraduate degree in physics. It stemmed from an early interest in black holes. But his path to graduation was a rocky one. Oscar, his mother and his older sister left Mexico when he was only five.

Students walk on the campus of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (the National Autonomous University) in Mexico City.
Shutterstock

Recent Mexican immigrants in Texas are more likely to have a college degree than in previous years. That’s according to a new report by the D.C.-based Migration Policy Institute and Southern Methodist University's Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center.

Eight Democratic presidential candidates participated in the She the People presidential forum at Texas Southern University in Houston on Wednesday. The event was billed as the "first-ever presidential forum focused on women of color" – a key demographic within the Democratic Party.

Armando Farias, 56, tends to his small shop filled with Mexican goods at Plaza Garland.
Miguel Perez / KERA News

Plaza Garland is an indoor marketplace where mariachi bands play regularly and merchants sell everything from Mexican ice cream and custom-made piñatas to gold jewelry and handmade toys.

It's nothing like the old Kmart that used to stand in its place.

From Texas Standard:

It’s hard to miss the large colosseum-like structure off Ranch Road 1017 in the Rio Grande Valley. It’s the Santa Maria Bullring, and it’s where Fred and Lisa Renk have been running bloodless bullfights for the past 19 years.

Despite objections from students and faculty, the University of Texas System Board of Regents on Tuesday unanimously approved Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson as the University of Texas El Paso's new president.

Before the vote, Board Chairman Kevin Eltife said he was confident Wilson would "do an outstanding job." 

Award-winning writer Rudy Ruiz is a native of Brownsville who now lives in San Antonio. His writing employs magical realism, which is inspired by Gabriel García Márquez.

“When you first read his work you were just swept away and escape into this other world,” Ruiz said, “but the more you learn about what he was writing about, you realize he was making a lot of sweeping commentary about the ills that he saw in society, whether it was class-related or...political or the violence in his native country of Colombia.”

From Texas Standard:

The longtime president of the University of Texas at El Paso, Diana Natalicio, is stepping down after more than 30 years on the job. But some are concerned about the UT System Board of Regents' choice as the sole finalist to replace Natalicio as UTEP president, Heather Wilson.

Members of the Children and Families Lab at UT Dallas study a video as part of the Dallas Project on Education Pathways project.
UT Dallas

The Dallas Project on Education Pathways has been described as one of the most comprehensive studies into childhood development and school readiness in the nation. The multi-year project has been following the lives of hundreds of low income African-American and Hispanic children.

Thousands gathered in Brownsville on Saturday to celebrate Charro Days, a multi-day annual event that commemorated the relationship between the border city and Matamoros, its sister city in Mexico.

From Texas Standard:

Last week, at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg, high school students from all over the Lone Star State gathered for the 2019 UIL Mariachi State Festival. They displayed their skills for judges and peers, but for almost all of the attendees, this year’s festival represented something deeper.

African Americans make up about 7 percent of San Antonio’s population, but they have made rich contributions to the fabric of the Alamo City.

Born Logic Allah, director and co-producer of “Walk on the River: A Black History of the Alamo City," said one of the most important educational figures was Dolores B. Linton, who made something out of nothing for black children living on the west side of San Antonio.

The League of United Latin American Citizens claims a key witness has gone missing in its legal case against the State of Texas and the secretary of state's attempt to purge voters from county registration lists.

LULAC wants former Secretary of State employee Betsy Schonhoff to testify in the case before San Antonio Federal Judge Fred Biery, but they say she can't be found.

San Antonio Federal Judge Fred Biery heard arguments Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by the League of United Latin American Citizens against the state over a voter purge list.

Groups that help register new voters in Texas are challenging the state's effort to remove noncitizens from voter rolls, claiming it's an attempt to intimidate people of color, a growing demographic in the state.

Updated Jan.5.

To be considered a Hispanic Serving Institution, 25 percent of a college’s population must be Hispanic. Right now, there are 492 HSIs in the U.S., but David Ortiz with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities says that will change soon.


Andrea Hernandez ended up in a McAllen hospital after a drunken driver hit the car she was in.

“I basically got amnesia because of how hard I hit my head,” the 22-year-old says.

Like many families in Texas, Hernandez’s family is from Mexico. Her father speaks only Spanish, so she says it was valuable that her doctor was from Mexico and spoke Spanish, too.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than a quarter of all Hispanic children are obese, and a San Antonio researcher has received a $3 million grant to figure out why.

 


Gustavo "Gus" Garcia, a former Austin school board trustee, City Council member and the first elected Hispanic mayor of Austin, died early Monday surrounded by his family. He was 84.

With less than two weeks of open enrollment left, Austin nonprofit Foundation Communities says it's reporting a noticeable decline in the number of Latinos signing up for health insurance through healthcare.gov, the federal insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act.

From Texas Standard:

At first glance, Jews and Latinos may appear to have very little in common. That impression may begin to change somewhat on Tuesday with the launch of a new organization that brings the two groups together. It's called the Texas Latino-Jewish Leadership Council, and it's modeled after a fairly new national group by a similar name. Southern Methodist University professor Luisa del Rosal is a founding member of the group, and says members of the Jewish and Latino communities have a lot in common.

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