Over the next few days, more than 25,000 community leaders, activists, and volunteers will be descending upon Las Vegas, for the National Council of La Raza annual conference. Yesterday and today, I was excited to attend the inaugural NCLR Health Summit, a gathering of leaders from health care organizations all over the country who are involved in the Latino community. With that in mind, I wanted to share some interesting facts that I learned at yesterday's panels on the power of the Latino vote and advocating for political change:
- Latinos are one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. community and electorate. In fact, 1 out of every 6 adults in the United States is Latino.
- Between 2000 and 2008, the number of Latino voters grew by 64%.
- In the 2008 presidential election, the Latino vote was decisive in several battleground states, and it is expected to be equally important in this year's presidential race.
The Latino community is a powerful force for change in the United States. I'm excited to be here in Las Vegas, interacting with so many organizational leaders who are working to solve our nation's most pressing issues. Watch for live-tweeting from a variety of panels today--follow us on Twitter @LillyPad and hashtag #latinohealth to join the conversation.