The role of Hispanic and Latino voters in this year’s presidential election has been an important topic across party lines.
One local weighs in on the role these communities played locally and nationally.
“I was personally very pleased with the election result,” said Freddy Rubio, a lawyer in Birmingham. “The people have decided and we always want the decision to be clearer, but we finally have a decision.”
Rubio says that a key issue this election cycle was the tendency of political leaders on both sides to simplify the Latino vote.
"Politicians had put all Latinos in the same group and obviously we didn't vote equally. The issue we have to take into account is that Cubans in South Miami have some political ideologies that are very different from perhaps an undocumented person from Mexico living in Texas or Arizona. Those ideologies may be very different from the ideology of a Puerto Rican living in New York or another South American foreigner living in California,” Rubio said.
Rubio says that on a statewide level, it is difficult to ascertain the influence of the Hispanic and Latino vote. However, he says the power of these voters is clearer on a local level, especially in North Alabama.
"At the local level, I think we can affect the election depending on which county we are referring to. For example, in counties like Marshall, Etowah, Dekalb, where the Latino population is a higher percentage, five, six, seven, eight percent—there we can affect or influence local elections," Rubio said.
No matter what political affiliation an individual has, Rubio stresses the importance of Hispanic and Latino communities in staying politically involved.
"We are very political in our countries and sometimes when we come here to the United States, we are so worried about working, about supporting our families, and maybe we don't understand the language, political positions and we neglect," Rubio said.