LULAC rallies for education, immigration and get out the vote

Latino organization urges voters to make their voices heard

SAN ANTONIO – Supporters and members of the League of United Latin American Citizens rallied on the steps of San Antonio City Hall Tuesday, crying out for improvements to immigration laws and school funding and increased voter turnout.

Elia Mendoza, Texas state director, LULAC, said all three issues effect children.

"Our Texas children's future is at stake," Mendoza said.

She called on President Barack Obama to take action immediately on the immigration issue.

She said a lack of action on immigration has left children at the border in limbo.

"With what we have recently heard from the White House we are angry enough to act," Mendoza said. "Ya basta. Enough is enough."

Past LULAC National President Rosa Rosales agreed.

"Those children are refugees," Rosales said. "(Those) mothers and their children should be treated as refugees just like every other refugee."

Rosales also expressed anger at the state for continuing to support a school funding system that took $5 billion out of the schools and was declared discriminatory by a judge.

"Every child deserves a decent education and that can only be done when we distribute the monies equally," Rosales said. "Enough is enough. Education for our children is so important."

Placido Salazar of the Dr. Hector P. Garcia American GI Forum Organization of Texas was angry that millions of people who could change the path of the state and nation cannot be bothered to vote.

"As I have said so many times before, apathy is our worst enemy," Salazar said. "Politicians care about votes and that's why I am urging every American, whether Latino, black, white, red, blue to go out and vote."

Traditionally Hispanics have not gone to the polls in large numbers. This year LULAC's Get out the Vote Project organizer Gabriel Rosales said the group has a new plan to not only register voters, but to get them to actually vote.

"What we call (it) is the friends and family campaign," he said. "If we have 90 councils, that's 90 precincts that they could go in and touch base and educate the community."

He said it is a back to basics approach, a grass roots effort to simply reach out to voters who simply have not been able to get to the polls.

"These people aren't just going to come out," he said. "They're too busy just trying to make ends meet, so we've got to touch base with them. This is not candidate driven, this is not party driven, this is about the issues."

The goal is to get them to make a commitment to come to the polls.