Friday, March 2, 2012 | 2 a.m.
The Latino vote is important in any election year, but community organizers are striving to get Hispanic voters to be as active in politics and civic affairs in odd-numbered years as in years when the nation will choose its president.
One of the latest efforts to engage Hispanics in public affairs is the national Hispanic Voices Town Hall tour, which tonight will hold a forum at UNLV.
“This isn’t about electing a candidate or about politics in a simple form,” said Leo Murrieta, Nevada state coordinator for Mi Familia Vota, an organizer of the town hall. “This is more the beginning of a discussion in the community. We want to come together and ask the question: ‘What does it mean to be a Latino or Hispanic in Nevada?’ We want to talk about our opinions on issues other than immigration. What does the community feel about education? Health care? The environment?”
The tour, which was launched by Glenn Llopis and his organization, 2012 Hispanic Voice, is nonpartisan and geared toward discussing issues, not political candidates, but a key objective is to improve Hispanic civic participation and voter turnout.
Check-in for the event will be at 6 p.m. today in room A-106 of the Carol C. Harter classroom building complex, between the student services complex and Lied Library near the center of campus. The program is scheduled for 6:30-8:30 p.m. Along with 2012 Hispanic Voice and Mi Familia Vota, the evening is co-sponsored by UNLV, the Las Vegas Sun and the weekly Spanish language newspaper El Mundo. There is no admission charge.