The Latino vote is still all but invisible in state and local elections. But that is bound to change as the population begins to put down roots and more of them become naturalized.

If you were born in the United States, or you have become a citizen through a naturalization process, you have the right and the responsibility to vote.

In either case, you have made this part of the country your home, therefore you are partial owner of what goes on in the area.

The first step towards exercising your right to vote, is to have registered to vote. If you have done so already then you can participate in the coming local elections on Tuesday November 4th, 2003. If you have not, then is too late for this election, but you should register for any other of the coming elections.

If you do not like things the way they are right now, then its time to participate in changing what exists. Your vote is your voice and the local elections are very important for your daily life. Trash pick-up, paving the streets, water and sewer lines, education, among others are the things that impact your family, house and car. Also police and fire services, and neighborhood development are local issues. Therefore it is very importantthat you pay attention to the ideas presented by the candidates so that you can make an informed decision at the time of voting.

The Latino population is going to want some representation as their numbers grow. Currently, there are no Latinos in elected offices; nor do they hold lofty offices or titles, and hardly any are even paid for their civic labors. But among the area’s fast-growing community of Latino immigrants some are making their presence known. Be aware of them and support them.

Once more remember that your vote is your voice, so speak up! Try to know what the candidates are saying about the issues that affect you and your community and this coming November 4th, express yourself loud and clear.