Poll Shows Women of Color Will Hold Elected Officials Accountable

Most women of color believe the stakes in the 2018 midterm election were too high not to vote, according to a new poll. The poll is the collaborative effort of three reproductive justice organizations: the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda, and the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, according to a press release. The survey included interviews of 2,663 adult women who voted in the 2018 midterm elections and who identify as Black or African American, Hispanic, Latino, Asian American, or Pacific Islander.

The research focused on what motivated women of color to vote, how women of color voted, their thoughts about candidates, and what issues they wanted Congress to focus on. The poll, which was released earlier this month, found that 88 percent of women of color voters said the stakes in the 2018 midterm election were too high not to vote.

The poll noted that 75 percent have serious concerns about the political direction of the country. It also discovered that 74 percent of women of color voters doubt the country will be safe enough for the next generation; 85 percent of Black women voters have strong concerns for the next generation's safety. "The poll confirms what we have known all along: that women of color perceive policies intersectionally and that our collective experiences motivate us to demand that our elected officials act now for justice and equity for our communities," Marcela Howell, president and founder of In Our Own Voice, said in a statement.

The survey discovered that 62 percent of women of color want Congress to end racial, ethnic, and cultural discrimination, ensure people with pre-existing conditions still have access to health care, and to make sure people have access to clean water. Sixty percent of respondents want Congress to make sure everyone has access to affordable health care. The poll also found that 84 percent of women of color voters believe candidates should support the right for women to make their own decisions about reproductive health. Sixty-two percent of voters said they will be closely watching their elected officials in Congress compared to past elections.

"Our national survey findings make it clear that women of color are a powerful voice in the electorate that shouldn't be ignored — we are paying attention and participating in our democracy at higher rates than ever before," Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, said in a statement from the news release.

Earlier this month, Democratic presidential hopefuls announced they will take part in a forum that will focus on issues important to women of color, USA Today previously reported. The candidates that are taking part in the forum include Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Representatives Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), as well as Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, according to the publication. The candidates will discuss their agenda during the forum hosted by She the People, a coalition that drives “a new progressive political and cultural era,” at Texas Southern University on April 24, the outlet reported. “We’ve set the table, and we’ve invited everybody to dinner,” said Aimee Allison, president and founder of She the People told USA Today. “We want to have this conversation….Women of color are voting like our lives depend on it."

About the Author

Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in the various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.