Among Latino influencers, the most important issue politicians should address is immigration reform.

What Politicians Should Be Addressing

Surveying 175 community influencers attending the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and Telemundo's "Latino Voter Summit," Latino Decisions polled, in real time, the views of people who have been actively engaged in politically mobilizing Latinos.

Immigration reform was considered as the most important issue impacting the Latino community and it should be addressed by political candidates this year. Immigration reform was the popular issue, among 12 options, with 71 percent in the survey, which allowed respondents to select up to two issues. The second most important issue was education, which includes college education, with 51 percent. Jobs and the economy ranked third, with 21 percent, followed by health care at 13 percent. Rounding up the top five was race relations, which attracted 11 percent.

Other issues, which received single digits, ranged from housing, voting rights, taxes, policing concerns, foreign policy and Latin America relations.

The View on Lawmakers in Washington

Most of the Latino Voter Summit respondents who participated in the Latino Decisions poll believe lawmakers in Washington, D.C. don't consider the Latino community when debating and passing laws. With 72 percent, the community influencers said policy makers have either a "somewhat" or "very" bad job considering Latinos. Meanwhile, 28 percent said lawmakers have been "good," including three percent of respondents.

The respondents also believe the Republican Party is sometimes hostile towards Latinos (56 percent) compared to 2 percent for Democrats. But most believe the Democratic Party takes the Latino electorate for granted (51 percent) compared to 11 percent towards Republicans.

English-Language Media vs. Spanish-Language Media

It wasn't just the lawmakers that received a negative view, but also English-language media. Taking into account both "somewhat bad" and "very bad" responses, 71 percent of respondents said the English-language media has done a negative job of considering the Latino community's perspective on issues they report, while 29 percent had a positive opinion. Spanish-language media, however, fared much better with 86 percent compared to 14 percent having a bad view.

"As community mobilizers and influencers they talked about changing these dynamics by engaging more Latinos in the political process and educating them, not only on the importance of voting but also holding their elected officials accountable to the needs of the community," wrote Latino Decisions' Blanca Flor Guillen-Woods.

For the full Latino Decisions data, click here.


For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: