Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez is the Executive Director of NextGen America and a former candidate for US Senate in Texas. We discuss her deep career in organizing, engaging in the big ideas, and having the courage to imagine a true democracy that works for all people.
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Youth Vote Power
Young people wield a lot of power when they vote. A whopping 73% of youth who were registered to vote by NextGen turned out to vote. This type of turnout can change the outcome of an election. Because voting is a habit, investing in youth leads to long-lasting change in the electorate. Letting young people know the power they have can make a tremendous difference.
Voting Rights and Immigrants
The current battle over immigrants is not just about immigration. It is also about race, power, and voting. Purging naturalized citizens, preventing DACA recipients from becoming citizens, and undercounting in the US census are all efforts to enact racist policies and to suppress votes.
Keep the Door Open
When Cristina first organized undocumented workers in Texas, she was met with hostility from pro-labor unions. Over time, they realized the work she was doing benefited everyone, and are now her allies. Leaving the door open for others to change their mind and work with you is a valuable tool that can yield positive results.
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Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez is a civil rights leader and former 2020 U.S. Senate candidate. She has spent the last twenty years taking on some of the most powerful special interests in her home state of Texas, organizing construction workers, immigrant mothers and young voters to build a government and economy that works for all of us.
Today, Cristina is the Executive Director of NextGen America, the nation’s largest youth voting rights organization. NextGen has registered and mobilized millions of young people to the polls, with the goal of harnessing the power of young people to reshape the political outcomes of our country – not for an election cycle but a generation.
Previously, Cristina founded two of Texas’ largest voting and civil rights organizations. She founded Jolt, a statewide organization focused on mobilizing the Latino vote, when she was six-months pregnant and in the wake of the 2016 election. Under her leadership, Jolt mobilized tens of thousands of young Latinos and developed some of the nation’s most creative strategies to engage young Latinos, like #Poderquince that supports young quinceañeras to use their sweet 15 birthdays as a platform to register and mobilize Latino voters.
You can follow her on Twitter @cristinafortx.