ORLANDO, Fla. – With five days left for the primary elections, a local organization is working to get more Latinas to vote with an initiative called Latinas en Marcha.
“I’ll be voting (Aug. 23), which is the main day for voting,” Genesis Chacón, the director for phone banking and texting, said.
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Chacón is an immigrant from Venezuela who became a U.S. citizen in 2016 along with her mom after leaving their homeland in 2000.
“My mom came here as a single mom, two kids… she had her business, but she knew she wanted something better,” the 28-year-old said.
When asked what she felt the first time she voted, she said it was a feeling of empowerment.
“Oh, It was amazing. It was more the knowing — the power that I was getting from becoming a U.S. citizen. It was that feeling of, ‘Hey, I did it,’” she said.
She said she hopes to pass along that feeling of accomplishment to other Latinas, and she’s doing so through the non-profit Mi Familia Vota, an organization focused on educating the Hispanic population about the voting process through voter registration and citizenship clinics.
“If they don’t say what they want, and they don’t vote for what they want, there’s not gonna be a difference. There’s not gonna be a change,” she said. “In Central Florida, we have about 1.4 million Latinos voting, which 60% are women.”
Chacón said that being part of Mi Familia Vota and sharing her knowledge is a way of giving back to this country.
“This country has given me so much and has given our people so much. I love my country, but this is my country,” she said.
And the biggest reward for her is being able to get results for her community.
“When they come to you, and they’re like, ‘Hey, thank you. I’m a U.S citizen now. I can vote,’” she said.
The Latinas en Marcha event is Saturday from 1 - 5 p.m. at the Hyatt Place Orlando Airport hotel.
The event is being put together in partnership with the organization Florida Rising and will be open to the public, free of admission.