New Survey Shows U.S. Hispanics Optimistic About Politics, Jobs | WBEZ
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Morning Shift

New Survey Shows U.S. Hispanics Optimistic About Politics, Jobs

More than two-thirds of Hispanics in the U.S. say the American Dream is not what it once was. At the same time, 62 percent believe a Latino person will be president in their lifetime.

These are among some of the findings of the new Hispanic Sentiment Survey that will be unveiled Saturday at Chicago Ideas Week.

The survey was conducted by the We Are All Human Foundation and focused on their outlook on the political landscape, business, education and personal values.

According to the survey, 21 percent of respondents who are not registered to vote say it’s because they don’t feel represented by current politicians or candidates. Still, about 66 percent of those surveyed believe that their vote does count.

Claudia Romo Edelman of We Are All Human joined the Morning Shift Friday to talk about the “resilient optimism” expressed by Hispanic and Latino community members. 

On the mission of the Hispanic Sentiment Survey

Odette Yousef: What were the areas that you were looking at?
Claudia Romo Edelman: On the overall, it was trying to examine what are the barriers for the Hispanic community to actually get to where it has to be which is... if we're the growth and gene of the middle class of america, if we're young, if we pay taxes, if we're the voters of the future, how come the equal pay is not there yet? Why are we the least paid community in the entire country? How is it that we're less represented -- and badly represented -- and misperceived overall in the media and politics?

It's not about trying to show the leg of Hispanics to non-Hispanics. It's about Hispanics understanding their power and their beauty.

On saying Hispanic vs Latino

Romo Edelman: The distinction between calling ourselves Hispanics or Latinos or Latinx or overall the Brazilians don't feel included... because that all falls in the category of the differences that we (have)... I started a sabbatical from my job at the United Nations just to focus on this and my main job is to say those are... everything falls into the category of chicken s***. Please let's stop moving on and focusing on what divides us and try to see what unites us. 

We just have to move on. If we want to call this the Hispanic community or the Latino community, I use it indifferently. I use it in a simple way to unite the 26 nations that we should become one community. Whatever the right terminology is for all of us is fine. But it is literally a small piece of the puzzle. 

Survey Findings

  • Two thirds of U.S. Hispanics / Latinos are pessimistic about the current situation in the country 
  • Respondents are split between whether their community is unified (48 percent) or not unified (46 percent)
  • 68 percent of Hispanics feel the American Dream is “not once what it once was”
  • 21 percent of Hispanics who are not registered to vote say it’s because they don’t feel represented by current politicians or candidates
  • 66 percent overall believe that their vote does count
  • 62 percent believe that a Hispanic/Latino person will be elected president in their lifetimes
  • 57 percent rated their own personal education experience as “excellent”
  • 55 percent are confident about their future job prospects
  • 77 percent are unaware of recent positive developments achieved by the Hispanic/Latino community
    • Throughout the last decade, 86 percent of all new businesses in the US have been launched by US Latinos
    • Latinas create businesses six times faster than any other group in the United States
    • Hispanic buying power reached $1.4 trillion in 2016, and is expected to reach $1.8 trillion by 2021

GUEST: Claudia Romo Edelman, founder and special adviser at the We Are All Human Foundation and former Chief of Advocacy at UNICEF

LEARN MORE: Chicago Ideas Week

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