COLORADO, USA — The Colorado Latino Policy Agenda last week released the findings of a poll designed to help understand the issues the Latino community faces.
"I would describe it as a research paper that really describes where our community is at today," Aurea Bolaños Perea with the Colorado Organization for Latino Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR) said. "The intention [is] to inform us and inform the people that are making decisions that really impact us the most in our communities."
COLOR co-created the survey issued to Latinos throughout Colorado in July. Bolaños Perea said it shares the real issues Latinos throughout the state are facing. The creators called it the largest nonpartisan poll of Latino voters conducted in Colorado.
"It should inspire policymakers to act on regardless of where you sit on the aisle," she said. "This poll is a very physical example of how we can do a really great change together."
The three top concerns for Latinos this year were:
- cost of living
- wages and income
According to the survey, 34% of Latinos in Colorado say they "cannot afford" or "can barely afford" where they live.
"We found in the survey that a majority of the folks responded that they have less than $1,000 saved in their bank account. Think about it. Rent is not even $1,000. They couldn't even pay to keep their roof over their heads," Bolaños Perea said.
While the survey covered topics from economics to gun violence, it was the results for abortion rights that surprised some. According to the survey, 62% of Latinos polled say they would likely support making abortion rights strong in Colorado by allowing state-funded insurance programs to cover abortion costs.
"So for anybody that says Latinos, due to our faith we do not support choice ... it's inconsistent with what we found when they want us to address access to healthcare," Bolaños Perea said. "That speaks volumes to the idea that we are only staying on one side of the argument. I mean, look at us. We’re leading that conversation because we know our community wants this."
The creators of the poll hope lawmakers use these findings to connect with a community often overlooked. Bolaños Perea said half of Latinos have not been contacted by anyone about registering or voting. The survey stated this marks the third consecutive year that voter education and outreach efforts have fallen short.
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