LOS ANGELES, CA – Latina voters with access to the internet are more likely to be informed about new state laws and the legislative process in general than non-connected Latina voters, according to a report released today by HOPE (Hispanas Organized for Political Equality). The poll was conducted by Bendixen & Associates and highlights the importance of bridging the digital divide to engage the Latina voting bloc for civic participation. The poll, Public Opinion Study Of California Latina Electorate, is the first of its kind to gauge Latina voters’ awareness and comfort level using social media.

“The Latina voter is a growing and influential segment of the California electorate,” said Helen Iris Torres, Executive Director of HOPE. “Identifying their level of internet consumption and usage habits of new media, two tools that increase voter engagement and participation, can help mobilize more effective strategies to involve Latinas in the electoral process.”

The report shows that Latinas with access to the internet and an email address are significantly more likely to be informed about new state laws and the legislative process in Sacramento than Latina voters that are not connected to “new media.” In addition, they are also more likely to get directly involved in organizations that focus on issues that impact on their careers and the quality of life of their families.

“For many years, the California Latina electorate was largely invisible,” said Sergio Bendixen, President of Bendixen & Associates and conductor of this study. “However, with the rise of, and increased accessibility to, ‘new media,’ these women are poised to assume an important role in California politics in the years to come.”

Latina voters are educated, with more than two-thirds of Latinas having a high school diploma or attained a higher education. In addition, the California Latina electorate is about equally divided between those that are English dominant and their Spanish dominant counterparts.

Other key findings of the poll include:
—  Latina voters trust their community and neighborhood leaders much more
than elected officials or media personalities. Latinas of all ages and
educational and economic classes tend to look at their communities and
neighborhoods for political and civic leadership.

—  Latina voters prioritize funding for education with an overwhelming
majority (90%) support measures that mandate that all high schools in
California offer the necessary classes to prepare students for

“The findings of this poll demonstrate the powerful implications of ‘new media’ and its potential to mobilize a base of Latina voters in California that ensures that their interests, as well as those of their children and families, are given the attention that they merit,” said Bendixen.

The poll is a part of a statewide campaign called “HOPE.ACT.VOTE” which aims to mobilize California’s 1.6 million Latina registered voters to become informed citizens, effective policy advocates, and active civic participants through an interactive online advocacy center.  HOPE. ACT. VOTE is a program funded by the Zero Divide Foundation (zerodivide.org). HOPE is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to ensuring political and economic parity for Latinas through leadership, advocacy, and education to the benefit of all communities and the status of women.

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