As Latinos make up an increasingly larger share of eligible voters in Nevada, organizations like Voto Latino are trying to boost their participation.
About 20 University of Nevada, Reno students just attended a Voto Latino conference in Stanford aimed at empowering Latino millennials to make their voices heard at the ballot box. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey talked with UNR student Diego Zarazua about what he learned.
Zarazua got a media pass for the conference and was able to interview prominent Latinos like actor Wilmer Valderramma and the former mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa.
He says their message was to empower young Latinos to vote and persuade their families to do so as well.
“For them, it’s really important to restate that message to these students … that we have a community responsibility that if we attended that summit, we had to come back and give voice to those issues and the importance of Latino voting for our community and for our families as well,” he says.
As a journalism major, Zarazua is taking part in UNR’s first bilingual media project, Noticiero Movil, this semester, aimed at expanding media coverage by and for Latinos in northern Nevada.
He says the local Latino community is hungry for the same information as the wider public, it’s just a matter of finding the best medium to deliver it to them.
“These people wanted that information; it was just information that we were lacking,” he says. “So we’re finding a way to create that information, whether it’s through radio pieces, videos, news coverage or print.”
And immigration is not the only subject Latinos want to hear about either, says Zarazua.
“Education, health care, economy – we’re caring about the same things that other Americans are caring about,” he says. “Of course immigration … is definitely important, but it’s not number one.”