No excuses – ¡Hay que votar!

Some voters might be thinking about skipping today’s primaries. If you are in that boat, we urge you to think again. Here’s why:

· Real influence: Latinos are going to help decide the outcome of the primaries today. The mayor’s race could produce a clear Democratic contender or a run-off. The contest for comptroller is also tight. Your vote counts in determining who will run for mayor and who will become the next comptroller. These are the people who are going to be making decisions that affect your daily life—from the cost of living in our city to the quality of schools and developments that may offer decent or lower paying jobs.

· A show of strength: As a community, we should be flocking to the polls in droves to show that Latinos vote and have a significant impact on the political process. Our participation should be much higher than it was in 2009.

· Represent: Some friends, family members or neighbors who are legal permanent residents or undocumented don’t have the right to vote. Those of us who do have a voice at the polls should give voice to those who don’t have one.

· A right we did not always have: Latinos fought hard in New York and throughout the nation for the right to vote. Discriminatory language and literacy tests were once used to keep our community from casting votes. But a generation of Hispanic activists and leaders fought hard to eliminate these unconstitutional barriers. Honor their sweat and tears by voting today.

· Set an example: Set a foundation for the children in your life. What better way to give them an example of civic participation than to include them in a visit to the polls.

Whatever your decision, we strongly encourage you to perform your civic duty today and in every election.