By Evelyn Perez-Verdia
In a group initiative, over 30 Hispanics from different counties in Florida, wrote a letter to the Florida Democratic Party and the Republican Party of Florida asking them to hire bilingual communications directors to produce and transcreate bilingual press releases, act as spokespeople and share news on social media for an ever growing Latino community that thirsts for information about the political climate in our state. The individuals are members of media in Spanish, Hispanic community leaders and concerned Hispanics.
Update (2:30 p.m.)—Joshua Karp, Communications Director for the Florida Democratic Party called and sent an e-mail stating that they have received the letter and will be sending a formal letter from Chairwoman Allison Tant to the group in reference to this initiative. Also, Sarah Bascom, Communications Director for the Republican Party of Florida sent an e-mail informing us that they will also be sending a response.
Here is the letter:
United Hispanics/Latinos of Florida
President: Allison Tant, The Florida Democratic Party
President: Blaise Ingoglia, The Republican Party of Florida
Dear Republican and Democratic parties of Florida,
As members of Florida’s Spanish-language media who cover politics, and individuals who care about the Hispanic community, we are troubled by the lack of Spanish or bilingual communication aimed at the Latino community by either party.
There is a dire need in your party for a bilingual communications director who has the ability to accurately relay your message to the Latino media.
In the last 2012 presidential election, Florida had the highest Hispanic voter turnout of the nation – 62 percent – compared to a national average of 49 percent. We surpassed states like Texas and California, yet the parties in those states recognize that reaching Latino voters and informing the media with culturally relevant messaging is important. For example, the Texas Democratic Party has a bilingual website and communication director.
Florida will be a key state in the 2016 presidential elections. According to the census, approximately 3.6 million Florida residents speak Spanish. We also have an increasing number of Hispanics registered to vote who list no party affiliation. Many do not understand the inner workings of the parties and the important work they do even before the official election season begins. In non-campaign years, our community still thirsts for information about the political climate in our state.
As community leaders and members of Spanish-language media, we take our role to inform the public seriously and urge both parties to rectify this situation. Adding Spanish-fluent communication directors to produce and transcreate bilingual press releases, act as spokespeople and share news on social media would be an asset to both parties.
Our intent here is to convince you that Hispanic engagement is crucial, no matter the political persuasion. Latino voters are the future of the American electorate. Do not pass up the opportunity to engage with our community in meaningful ways.
We appreciate your time and consideration in this matter.
Danny Alvarez, Attorney and Hispanic Community Leader- Hillsborough County
Carlos Barbosa, Vice President, G4S – Palm Beach County
Luis Eduardo Baron, Publisher, www.tvnet.us –Sarasota County, Florida
Annie Betancourt, Former State Representative-D116—Miami-Dade County
Luigi Boria, Mayor, the City of Doral
Adriana Carrera, Publisher, www.lafamiliadebroward.com —Broward County
Liliana Castaño, Web Content Editor, Mayin Media INC—Broward County
Lourdes Diaz, President, Divercity Communications-Broward County
Cesar Gomez, Manatee County Young Republicans & Hispanic Leader–Sarasota and Manatee Counties
Jolie Gonzalez-Padilla, CEO/Publisher, Latin Times Media and Magazine – Florida
Maria Eldeny Hale-Sprinkle, DMI US Mission Director, Pasco County
Abel Ibarra, Writer, Miami-Dade County
Christian Leon, Hispanic Community Advocate-Hillsborough County
Tatiana Londoño, Supply Chain Director, Biomet 3i-Palm Beach Countyy
Rafael Lopez, Chair of the Hispanic Vote PAC- Broward County, Florida
Marianela Mendez, Editor, www.miamidiario.com –Miami-Dade County, Florida
Tony Morejon, Hispanic Community Leader. –Hillsborough County, Florida
Orlando R Nieves, VP-IMS, Univision–Tampa Bay
Alfredo Ortega, Hispanic Community Advocate—Broward County
Pilar Ortiz, Hispanic Community Leader – Columnist (7 Dias Newspaper) – Hillsborough County
Maria Padilla, Publisher, www.orlandolatino.org- Orange County
Victor Padilla, Vice-President, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Tampa Bay
Rafael Palacio, Editor, El Sentinel Orlando—Orange County
Luisa Pantin, U.S. Citizen and voter—Broward County
Evelyn Perez-Verdia, Founder, www.politicalpasion.com. –Broward County, Florida
Gonzalo Perez-Verdia, Vice President, Wealth Management—Broward County
Elizabeth Pines, Board Director, League of Women Voters of Florida—Miami-Dade County
Lorena Rivas Hardwick, Former Regional Political Director, Charlie Crist for Governor and current Legislative Aide Tampa City Council, Hillsborough County
Jason Rubinstein, Vice President – Portfolio Manager, Hillsborough County
Yvonne Salas, Publisher, Portada Florida Magazine- Florida
Gil Sanchez, Attorney and Hispanic Community Leader- Hillsborough
Maria Eunice Sanchez, U.S. Citizen since 2010 and Floridian voter-Broward County
Daniel Suarez, Hispanic Community Advocate- Hillsborough County.
Jonathan Torres, Tampa Bay Field Director, Hispanic Initiatives, Republican Party of Florida