According to Rock the Vote, a record 32 million Latinx Americans are projected to be eligible to vote in 2020, which marks the first time that they will be the largest racial and ethnic minority group in the electorate, accounting for more than 13% of eligible voters.
Paul Rosas, a senior systems engineer for retail here at Levi Strauss & Co., is determined to do his part to push that turnout. As the voting captain for our LatinX Employee Resource Group, Paul is using his ERG leadership position to help make sure members are equipped with the tools and resources they need to participate in the November 3 election. It’s part of our broader voter engagement efforts with employees and the business community to encourage civic participation in 2020.
At a time when we are celebrating the Latinx community for Latinx Heritage Month and with the election less than a month away, we chatted with Paul about the power of the Latinx vote and why this year is so crucial to cast ballots.
Talk about the work you are doing around getting out the vote among our Latinx colleagues – what drives you to do this work?
I believe the most important issue facing the Latinx community this year is voting. I think the only clear path we have is to make sure that the Latinx community takes part in the system of democracy that we have today, no matter how nonfunctional it may feel at times. We need to feel empowered and get involved. And the goal here for me is more to empower our ERG membership to do just that. It is very important for me to make sure that we are providing information to our Latinx colleagues on how they can be heard through their vote.
What would you say are the biggest issues concerning Latinx voters?
Well, obviously there are a lot of issues impacting the Latinx community today, from immigration and how we’re dealing with those situations at the border to the policies being instilled by the current administration – all of that is important. The real deal we’re trying to tell our colleagues is, “You need to get out to vote to be heard and make sure that the things that are important to you are being addressed.”
Getting out the vote is a big company priority for LS&Co. – how do you feel about that?
I think it’s super helpful, and I think our partnership with Rock the Vote is great. It’s really kind of difficult to get people to be engaged, especially remotely these days, but I think LS&Co. is doing a great job and I feel that there are a lot of people invested and putting their energy into it, which is wonderful.
What will success look like to you in your efforts?
I think the big rally call is basically that this is one of those times where what we do today can have an impact for the next generation. I know that can be a cliché, but I truly believe that. This is a very, very important and pivotal time where people really can’t just sit on the sidelines this year. They have got to get involved. They’ve got to, at a minimum, vote and make sure that they’re counted and heard.