AUSTIN, TX – Drawing on principles of Constitutional Rights, Personal Responsibility and Small Government, and disillusioned by the direction this country is taking, Texas Libertarios launched as a new Political Action Committee to provide a Latino platform using a community-oriented approach to Libertarian ideals.
Although their official Proclamation- el Grito – was on Saturday September 18 at 11am in Austin, TX, they have begun a series of grassroots voter registration efforts and have launched their brand new website (www.texaslibertarios.org) and online social media presence in twitter (TX Libertarios) and facebook (Texas Libertarios). Participants at the press conference included Pat Dixon, Chair of the Libertarian Party of Texas, Matt Tippetts, Candidate for Travis County Judge, and Andy Fernandez from the Libertarian Longhorns.
Isaac Montes, a Texas Libertario member from El Paso, notes that “not only have the Republican and Democratic parties not promoted ideas important to Latino voters, they have hindered our success. Having a two-party system is undemocratic. We live in the freest country on earth, yet we are only given two choices: Republican or Democrat.”
While Latinos make up nearly 37 percent of Texas’ population, only about 1.2 million Latinos who were registered to vote in 2008 cast ballots. Steve Murdock, sociology professor at Rice University and former state demographer and U.S. Census Bureau director, has pointed out that one reason for this discrepancy is that some Texas Latinos may be too young to vote. Nearly 36 percent of the state’s 6.7 million Latinos were not of voting age a decade ago. Meanwhile, other polls show that Latinos have shifted priorities in the last years. In 2006, a poll by the National Association of Latino Elected Officials found that education, the economy and jobs, and the war in Iraq were the top concerns for Latino voters. Now in 2010, a poll by the same organization found that immigration has overtaken economic issues, education and health care as the top policy issue for Latino voters in four states including Texas.
Ben Ramirez III from Texas Libertarios says, “these statistics have several implications regarding Latinos in Texas: That we need to mobilize this community to register and vote, that there’s an opportunity to reach out to young Latinos and prepare them to become educated voters, and that we need more sound research that digs deeper into Latino’s political perspectives and insights.”
Recognizing that Latino’s influence on future elections will only grow, Texas Libertarios are committed to making a difference in Texas and its communities through: Encouraging voter registration and voter turnout, Community involvement/volunteering, Education on Freedom principles, Publication of Latino insights and perspectives on important Texas issues, and Endorsement of Candidates who embrace Libertarian principles.
A series of events to encourage voter registration and participation, and endorse Libertarian candidates from across the State will follow through up to the Nov. 2 elections.