“We have financial hardship and police brutality in our communities. It’s important for me to be able to finally put my voice out there.”
This is the second episode of our “Calladitas No More” video series where we talk to young Latina voters about what motivates them to vote in the upcoming US election.
As a Mexican American living in Eastside Los Angeles, Kelsey Hernández’ secondary school years have been an eye-opener. They coincided with four years of the Trump administration.
A young activist, Hernández expresses a strong interest in the issues affecting her community. Now, at age 18, she is ready to vote in the upcoming election.
“It’s so important for me because there are so many issues we are going through every day,” Hernández told The Americano. “We have financial hardship and police brutality in our communities. It’s important for me to be able to finally put my voice out there; I’ve been seeing this for so many years now.”
After recently graduating from Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights, Hernández was supposed to attend the University of California Santa Cruz to study psychology. But in order to help her family and save money, she decided to stay home and take care of her younger siblings and nephews.
“We, as young people, have been facing so many problems within our lives, especially during this pandemic,” Hernández said.
“Many of our parents have lost jobs; it’s critical during this time. I feel young people are […] activating change and trying to fix the things that happen in our lives,” she said.
Hernández is a youth leader at InnerCity Struggle, an organization that promotes a healthy, safe, and nonviolent atmosphere for young people and families living in Eastside L.A.
“I do whatever I can to help my community and help my family,” Hernández said.
She said she will vote for Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden, expecting a change for her and her friends. “We want to see change; we want to see a life that doesn’t always have to be this hard.”
The teenager said it is “depressing and exhausting” to continually see families get separated and children put in cages at the border. She hopes Biden keeps his promise of fixing the immigration system.
“He said he will try to fix how people get [past] their illegal statuses,” Hernández said. “I hope he really keeps that promise. I know this president won’t do it. All he wants to do is block us out instead of really try and fix the situation.”
Watch the first episode of our “Calladitas No More” video series where we talk to a young Cuban voter HERE.