KC Latinos rallying to support Clinton for president

As the Presidential election nears on Tuesday, November 8, some voters are saying they will vote for the ‘lesser of the two evils.’

Following the release of Trump’s “locker room” comments, media reports indicated women voters have propelled Hillary Clinton into a six-point lead across the battleground states. Many polls show that seven in ten women feel Donald Trump does not respect them.

Nationally, Clinton has a 14 percent point lead over Donald Trump. Kansas City Latinos hope that they can help her widen the gap on Election Day.

Local Latinos in Kansas City, Missouri met last week at Clinton Kansas City campaign headquarters to rally supporters.

Manny Abarca, community activist, greeted about 100 Latinos that evening and asked for their support in making telephone calls and going door to door informing constituents why it is important to vote for Clinton.

Abarca‘s grandmother Marge Abarca knew from the time he was ten years old, that he would be involved in political campaigns. He enlisted her to help on Claire McCaskill’s campaign and has recruited her to help to call constituents and persuade them to go to the polls on Clinton’s behalf.

“Hillary is for the children and she has been fighting for children’s’ rights. With 12 grandkids I can only vote for Hillary,” she said.

Clinton is a clear decision for Abarca but he wants to empower Latinos with knowledge on the qualities that Clinton possesses to run the country over her opponent Donald Trump.

“Hillary Clinton was a U.S. Senator, she was Secretary of State. What more could she do to be prepared to represent the people of the United States?” he asked.

Trump’s comments on immigration, and racial slurs against the Latino community, has helped mobilize Latino voters.

“At this point we realize the alternative is nowhere close to anything that would protect our country, that would protect Latinos. We have to do more than just vote. We need to turn our one vote into multiple votes and by coming out and making phone calls, knocking on doors that is how we turn our one vote into multiple votes,” said Abarca.

Danyale Fleming from St. Louis, Missouri attends the University of Central Missouri (UCM) and supported Bernie Sanders for President. Attending the event last week, she felt it was important to be at Clinton’s headquarters and talk to people like herself about the issues in the country.

“I trust her more than I trust Trump. She knows what she is doing, she has proven herself and she has been working in politics for a long time,” said Fleming.

Joe Avila was born in Mexico, but grew up in El Paso, Texas then went to Lincoln, Nebraska and moved to Kansas City, Missouri eight years ago.

Trump’s comment stating, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems. They’re bringing drugs and they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists,” cut into Avila’s heart.

As an American citizen of Mexican descent, he chose to serve in the military and give his life if needed for his country.

“I raised my right hand to protect this country. It hurts me (his comments). People don’t come here to do what he claims. Ninety-nine percent of Mexicans come to work to have a better life, raise and educate their children and to be part of this country,” he said.

Vashti Contreteras is a student at UCM. She finds Trump’s statement offensive to her and her family.

“My father is from Mexico. I don’t want people that I am related to worrying they may be sent back to Mexico because of this man (Trump). His comments about rapists and criminals — that is insulting to say that about my dad. His comments are heard by a lot of people who are not educated on the issues and that spreads bad light on us,” she said.

Ivan Ramirez, UCM student, was also offended by Trump’s comments.

“My parents are educated and they came looking for a better life. We did it the right way. We did not sneak across the border, so what he is saying isn’t true,” he said.

Abarca stressed the importance of voting to those attending and encouraged them to enlist their family, friends and the community in general, to show up at the polls this election cycle.

“It is a very dangerous rhetoric to continue. Hillary is prepared for the job and the Republicans have done a good job of muddying the waters to cast doubt,” said Abarca.

“The rhetoric he is spewing out has caused bullying in schools, we see protests, people are looking at immigrants differently, and we see violence happening within Trump’s campaign. We are questioning civil rights, human rights. We need to look at the Republican Party and say ‘we are fed up with this,’” said Abarca.