LULAC ANNOUNCES CAMPAIGN TO MOBILIZE LATINO VOTERS AND DEMAND REPRESENTATION FOLLOWING BEING SHUT OUT BY OMAHA, NEBRASKA LEADERS
Nation's Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Urges the U.S. Corporations Based In Omaha to Heed the Warning: There is No Neutral Ground on the Sideline In the Fight for Right!
September 17, 2023
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Washington, DC — LULAC is announcing the launch of ¡OYEME OMAHA! Hear Me Omaha! an organizing, mobilizing, and get-out-the-vote coalition campaign aimed at empowering the Latino community in Omaha and demanding representation from their elected leaders. This initiative comes after a betrayal of trust by the Omaha City Council, which failed to adequately represent the interests of the more than 73,000 Latinos residing there.
"The selection process was a farce," says Elsa Ramon Aranda, Nebraska LULAC council president, and Omaha Latino community advocate. "The council overlooked three highly educated, successful Latino candidates of a new generation our community knows and respects. Instead, the members reverted to the good-ol' boy safe pick of a white male who stated he's already 'done a lot for Latinos,' as if we are a one-and-done community. We deserve far better than that. Genuine collaboration begins with recognizing what Latinos contribute to Omaha's sales and property taxes from our businesses and homes. Also, our daily contribution to the labor force in critical sectors from construction and manufacturing to every service industry. As significant, Latinos are why many municipal and institutional agencies in Omaha receive millions in federal and state funds for social services and education annually. Omaha's political leadership is gravely shortsighted when it fails to acknowledge our city's future is diverse. Yet, we do not even have a Latino liaison addressing that reality."
Most of Omaha's Latinos live in District 4, where they make up more than half of the population, and nearly 1 in 2 of all voting-age residents are Latino. LULAC says it urges Latinos to reach out to corporations based in Omaha and are benefiting economically from our more than 62 million consumers. "LULAC says in the fight for right, there is no neutral ground," states Emma Lozano, LULAC national vice-president for the Midwest. "You either support Latinos, or you don't, and we will spend our dinero or money with those companies that stand with us. We are a $2 trillion community with millions of pockets, and if your company wants to get into them, tell Omaha City Council to do the right thing. You cannot claim to be our friend and stand on the sidelines then expect us to want to do business with you," adds Lozano.
We are disappointed but not deterred from our cause to reflect the many voices and views of Omaha," said Erik Servellon, Latino community leader and a finalist for the District 4 city council post. "I know our capacity and merits, and no amount of lip service and empty promises will ultimately deny us our rightful place at the seat of power. This bait-and-switch only delays the day when decision-making power will be, and should be, equitably shared. Clearly, the exclusion of Latinos by this council reflects ignorance and attitudes that are relics of past generations and have no place in the great city of Omaha in 2023 or beyond,” added Servellon.
Ramon continued, "LULAC thanks the Omaha city council for exposing its regressive, true self to the nation, learning about your actions coast-to-coast, border-to-border. Your slap in the face and empty promises have awakened in us our power as the youngest and fastest-growing segment of our community. All of our young people are learning that their voice is their vote. You will not stop the tsunami of changing faces in Omaha, the state of Nebraska, or the country."
LULAC is committed to ensuring that the voices of Omaha's vibrant Latino community are heard, and their rightful place at the table is secured. ¡OYEME OMAHA! Hear Me Omaha! will serve as a rallying cry for change and equality, mobilizing voters to make their voices heard in 2024, 2025, and the future.
"LULAC calls upon all Latinos across the country and Puerto Rico to rise up, register, mobilize, and vote," says Garcia. "The battle for voting rights is far from over, but with determination, unity, and the strength of the law on our side, we will prevail. Together, we can ensure that every voice is heard, and every vote counts as we approach the critical 2024 election. LULAC stands at the forefront of this fight, ready to defend the rights of Latino voters across the nation, and this historic Arizona ruling is just the beginning,' he adds.