Georgia-Puerto-Ricans-Vote Vélez said both the Hispanic Federation and Boricua Vota incorporate culture into their activities to connect with the people. Georgia’s runoff elections will be on the eve of Three Kings Day, an important Puerto Rican holiday.
Image courtesy of Hispanic Federation.

Expert says Latino, Black, and Asian communities will be decisive in Tuesday’s Georgia runoff elections.

Latino organizations are combining efforts in Georgia to provide voters with key information on the two US Senate runoff elections happening on Jan. 5, 2021.

Among these initiatives are Hispanic Federation and Boricua Vota, joining forces to organize a Three Kings Day event that took place over the weekend, giving toys to children at the New Theatre in the Square in Marietta.

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Frederic Vélez, the Hispanic Federation’s national director of civic engagement, said it was a special event where Latino communities came together to share.

“For me, it was a dream to fill a shopping cart with toys and buy them,” Vélez told The Americano. “It was really cool. We were in a placita in Marietta, and while children enjoyed, we could talk to parents about the importance of going out to vote—which is what we are doing here in Georgia.”

Vélez said both the Hispanic Federation and Boricua Vota incorporate culture into their activities to connect with the people. Georgia’s runoff elections will be on the eve of Three Kings Day (Día de Reyes,) a very significant holiday for boricuas worldwide.

“We believe in making sure culture is part of any kind of message about going out to vote,” Vélez said. “That’s something other organizations forget. We can celebrate tradition, put on some music, and come up with jingles. We approach the community in a calmer way and talk to them about going out to vote.”

Posted by Raul Thomas on Sunday, January 3, 2021

The runoff elections will determine which party has the majority in the US Senate. Democrats need to win both seats to split control of the chamber 50-50. 

Democrat Jon Ossoff is running against Republican David Perdue in the regular election. Democrat Raphael Warnock is running in a special election against incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler.

Vélez has become well acquainted with the diverse Latino communities in Georgia. He said he has met Puerto Ricans who have lived in Georgia for a short time; others have been residents for many years. Many are doctors or engineers, or work in agriculture and technology. He is pleased most of them said they would vote.

“Records are being broken—three million people have voted,” the director said. “The last runoff election comparable to this one was in 2018, and only 1.4 million people voted then.”

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Vélez said Latino, Black, and Asian communities will be decisive in tomorrow’s runoff elections.

“I believe participation will be of historic proportions; Latino, Black, and Asian communities will determine which two people will represent Georgia before the Senate.”