A statewide report shows that Latin policy priorities are dominated by economic concerns

Representatives from Colorado Latin Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR), COLOR Action Fund, Voces Unidas de las Montaña, Voces Unidas Action Fund and BSP Research present the findings of the 2022 Colorado Latin Policy Agenda at Colorado State Capital on Wednesday, Sept. 2022. This was the second annual edition of the survey.
Evan Simon Photography / Image Courtesy

In its second year, the Colorado Latino Policy Agenda seeks to provide elected officials, community leaders, and policy makers with insight into the composition, views, and priorities of Colorado’s Latinos.

“Colorado’s 2022 Latin Policy Agenda makes clear that the challenges facing Latinos when it comes to jobs, housing, and the economy are tough — and need significant action from officials at the local, state, and federal levels,” said Alex Sanchez, president. and CEO of Voces Unidas de las Montañas and the Voces Unidas Action Fund, at a press conference for the new report on Wednesday, September 14.

“With new data revealing new priorities for Latinos, this year’s report also allows us to expand our research base starting in 2021 as we work with elected officials and community leaders to recommend and explore solutions for the future,” Alex Sanchez added.

The 2022 report was commissioned by COLOR, the Color Action Fund, the Voces Unidas de las Montañas Fund, and the Voces Unidas Action Fund.

The survey, conducted by BSP Research, included 1,504 registered Latino voters from across the state. This made it the “largest survey of its kind in Colorado,” Gabriel Sanchez, who led the BSP Research survey, said Wednesday, and was designed to give it a small margin of error as well as an opportunity to compare results across four regions in the state.

Survey results are broken down by sectors, including demographics, as well as by areas of Denver, Northeast, Southeast, and West Colorado.

“This is unprecedented research and we have never been able to pull data by district or congressional district. Localization of the data is critical to discussions that need to take place at the local and regional level,” Alex Sanchez said Thursday in an interview with the Feel Daily newspaper. and policy makers, media and others relevant polling data that can be used for local action.

In addition, the significance of this data can be seen in some of the data itself. At the press conference, Gabriel Sanchez said that while the report shows high enthusiasm and intent for Latinos to vote in the election, 58% responded that they had not been reported to have been contacted (or mobilized) on political and policy-related issues in the state.

In Congressional Districts 2 and 3—both of which represent parts of Eagle County—these numbers were higher with 67% and 69% of respondents answering that they had not been contacted regarding the election. These percentages were the highest in the state.

With this, Alex Sanchez said on Wednesday that he showed “the need to do more to ensure that we all participate in democracy,” and issued a call for the Colorado political system and candidates to “perform.”

“The mainstream poll often includes Latinos. But in a sample of 500, Latinos probably represent 30 to 60 people – mostly urban – in the poll. That is not enough and does not represent our community and rural parts of the state,” he added on Thursday. Historical. We polled 1,504 Latinos and only about 500 came from Denver, which means about 1,000 of the voters are rural Latinos.”

economic interests

One of the highlights of the 2022 survey is that Latinos in Colorado are still struggling economically, Sanchez said at the press conference.

Specifically, economic issues filled out four of the top five priorities that respondents across the state cited as the most important issues they want Colorado officials to address. These four issues were jobs and the economy, tackling the rising cost of living and inflation, improving wages and incomes, as well as creating affordable and accessible housing. In the Western Region, this high cost of living has been reported as the No. 1 issue (compared to jobs and the economy statewide).

(The fifth edition—which was ranked fourth statewide and third statewide—was dealing with gun violence and mass shootings.)

These priorities were also reflected in survey questions about matters that would increase the likelihood of candidates being supported in future elections.

While the economic concerns are Continuing the concerns expressed by the Colorado Latinos in the 2021 Latin Policy AgendaThe situation has gained new urgency as 50% of respondents – 44% in the Western Region – report that their economic situation has worsened in the past 12 months.

mental health concerns

In highlighting the differences between regions, one area in which western Colorado Latinos responded differently was the issue of mental health.

The data suggests that our current mental health care system does not work for all Latinos. Simply funding the current system without any systemic changes won’t solve our mental health care system’s unpreparedness to meet the needs of all Latinos, especially in rural areas where the system has created one-size-fits-all monopolies — Alex Sanchez said Thursday.

Fifty percent of those surveyed in the Western Region said that while there are some good aspects to the Colorado mental health system, “fundamental changes are needed to make it work better for the Hispanic/Latino community.”

However, nearly a third of respondents in the West (31%) stated that the system “has a lot of faults” and needs to be completely rebuilt to better serve the Hispanic/Latino community. This was compared to 23% across the state who reported feeling this way.

Economic figures in the 2021 and 2022 data indicate that Latinos are facing unprecedented economic pressure, further affecting the health and well-being of families. Alex Sanchez said that the fact that 57% of Latinos statewide have less than $1,000 in savings for emergencies indicates the disturbing stress that Latinos are experiencing.

Reducing health costs was also rated as a (slightly) higher priority in the Western Region than in other areas of Colorado. In the Western Region, 22% of respondents identified this as an important issue, compared to 20% of respondents statewide.

Alex Sanchez added that solving these challenges will require more than just funding.

“We don’t just fix broken systems with finance. It has to include system and practice changes,” he said. Some solutions should include recruiting new, more culturally competent providers in the area to expand access and improve services as well. We need to do a better job of attracting and retaining providers of color who better understand the communities being served. We need to attract and retain leaders of mental health systems, at every level, to make sure the people with experience help change the system.”

policy actions

Gabriel Sanchez, who led the Colorado 2022 Latin American Policy Agenda Poll for BSP Research, presented the results Wednesday, September 14, 2022. The survey included responses from more than 1,500 Latinos from across Colorado.
Evan Simon Photography / Image Courtesy

One of the things the Policy Agenda did differently in its second year was to take this data and create a number of recommended policy actions that the organizations participating in the survey would like to see put into action.

“We included all policy preferences that Latinos overwhelmingly support. Every recommendation has a 2-to-1 margin of support,” Alex Sanchez said. This means that Latinos, across the state, independent of region or party, are more likely to support[these preferences]. We hope that these recommendations will serve as a roadmap for policy makers.”

There are five main policy areas identified for work in the 2022 report. This includes policy actions on housing, environment, health and reproductive health as well as proposed actions on gun safety and increasing taxpayer investment.

With regard to housing, some of the proposed policy actions include limiting the amount landlords can increase rent on mobile homes (something 88% of respondents showed support for) as well as helping families buy homes near high-quality schools, workplaces and public transportation by building . Higher, not out (71% responders support) and by allowing multiple modules to be built on a single lot (70% responders support).

In terms of environmental policy, 80% of those surveyed (87% in western Colorado) showed support for passing regulations for mobile home parks to provide residents with clean drinking water.

At Wednesday’s press conference, Beatrice Soto, Colorado Conservation Director, said these and other findings demonstrated the urgent and clear need to “take action on water quality in our communities.”

Additional recommendations on the environment included steps to transition to a clean energy economy (with 70% backing for reporting) and expanding discounts on electric vehicles and solar power (with 69% backing for reporting).

Regarding reproductive health and health policy, the highest support emerged for expanding basic health care services for those who cannot afford insurance regardless of immigration status (78% supported), the permanent allowance for access to safe and legal abortion in Colorado (68% support and more).

In terms of gun safety, strong support was reported for enforcing background checks on all firearm sales (85% reported), increasing the age to 21 for the purchase of assault rifles (75% support), and adding a 10-day waiting period to purchase a weapon Fiery (75% support). Additionally, 66% of those surveyed supported a ban on the sale and purchase of assault rifles.

Finally, there are recommendations for increasing taxpayer investment in community programs for more funding (80% expressed support), K-12 education and higher salaries for school staff (72% supported), and improving training and regulations for law enforcement officials (67) %), expanding access to childcare services for low-income families (67%) and increasing access to reproductive health resources (67%).

To view the 2022 Colorado Latin Policy Agenda or to learn more about this effort, visit ColoradoLatinoPolicyAgenda.org.

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