Chicago Latino: “How to Get My Vote”

By Mary Ann Zehr — March 05, 2008 1 min read
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Radio Arte, a public radio station in the Pilson neighborhood of Chicago, is putting young Latinos’ voices on the air. Martin Macias, who is 18, broadcast a commentary, “How to Get My Vote,” on Radio Arte that was picked up last month by National Public Radio.

“In Chicago, immigration reform is the hottest issue,” Martin says in his radio commentary. “My people want to know if mass deportation is the kind of radical change that comes with a new president. We don’t support it.” He also informs the radio audience that candidates better not assume any more that Latinos don’t have access to the Internet. He’s been following the campaign mostly through the Internet, he says.

A Feb. 27 article, “Voices for the voiceless: Young Latinos are speaking on the air,” in Northwestern University’s Medill Reports, says that most of the Latinos who broadcast their views on Radio Arte are first- or second-generation immigrants ages 15 to 21. Those who speak English well report for First Voice, which airs for one hour twice a week. Those who are more comfortable speaking in Spanish report for Primera Voz, which is also broadcast twice a week for one hour.

This sounds to me like an innovative way for Latino youths to develop their critical thinking and language skills.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.