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Colorado Latinos Come Of Age: 'Finally, We're Getting Our Voices Heard'

Raquel Estupinan |
October 9, 2012 | 1:24 p.m. PDT



This piece is part of an Annenberg News 21 collaboration with The Guardian examining the Latino vote in the 2012 presidential election. 

Pueblo residents inside the Obama for America campaign office. (Raquel Estupinan/News21)
Pueblo residents inside the Obama for America campaign office. (Raquel Estupinan/News21)
With more than 50,000 U.S.-born Latinos coming of voting age every month, Hispanic political power is fueled by youth. Especially here in swing-state Colorado, where November's presidential outcome is up for grabs.

Nearly half of Colorado's Latino electorate falls in the 18-to-34 age group, and tapping into the rising power of Latino youth presents both a rich opportunity and a daunting challenge to Democrats, particularly here in the blue-collar city of Pueblo.

Apathy runs deep and immigration politics don't play big here because border policies do not directly affect the lives of well over 90% of the local Latino population who were born in America and are thus native US citizens.

Half of Pueblo's 106,595 residents are Hispanic, and this demographic should be ripe for Obama's re-election campaign to target. Yet, the political energy among Latino youth has ebbed since its highwater mark four years ago, professors and students at Colorado State University-Pueblo say.

"I don't think that we're very political," said Fawn Amber Montoya, the director of the Chicano studies program at CSU-Pueblo, after a long sigh. "Pueblo really is dead when it comes to politics."

Read the full story here.



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