Report: Politicians failing to focus on Hispanic issues - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Report: Politicians failing to focus on Hispanic issues

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Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2002 12:00 am

By DEBORAH KONG

The Associated Press

MIAMI A new report estimates the number of Hispanics casting ballots could

increase from more than 5.7 million in 2000 to at least 7.9 million in 2004

yet the politicians who are courting Hispanics are doing so in mostly

superficial ways.

The report, to be released Wednesday at the National Council of La Razas

annual conference, said politicians are delivering speeches in Spanish or

eating at Mexican restaurants but they have failed to focus on issues that

concern Hispanics.

We are seeing a lot of people talking about paying attention to Latinos. We

want to make clear that its not just about catching our eye, said Clarissa

Martinez De Castro, one of the authors of the report. Its about substantive

policies.

There are 35.3 million Hispanics in the United States, according to the 2000

Census, rivaling blacks as the nations largest minority group. Hispanics can

be of any race.

The number of Hispanic registered voters has grown from 2.5 million in 1972 to

7.6 million in 2000, the report said, citing figures from research done by the

William C. Velasquez Institute.

However, 79 percent of those Hispanic voters actually cast ballots in 2000

trailing the 86 percent of whites and 84 percent of blacks.

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