Nov 16, 2020
One half of all Texans under the age of 18 are Latinos. The future of the state, and increasingly this nation, lies with an immensely diverse population that has been underestimated by mainstream political parties. That paradigm is changing, however, in large part due to Jolt Texas, a nonprofit launched by rising political star Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez after the 2016 election. Jolt is dedicated to inspiring a new generation of Latinos to become civic leaders and political candidates. It holds forums about health, housing and other pivotal issues, trains young people in community organizing, and brings civic engagement messaging to cultural gatherings, including a young women's Quinceañera. Pedro Lira, Jolt’s Civic Engagement Director, has been hooked on politics since high school and is already a veteran of national electoral campaigns. He is passionate about the potential of young Latino voters in Texas to represent their community and generate a more equitable future. And he is patient. While this election cycle did not turn Texas blue, it built the foundation that makes change inevitable.