An important and (albeit controversial) theme in the Dominican-American community is bi-nationalism and transnationalism in which Dominican-Americans continue to show great pride in their homeland as you can see with the flags hanging from their fire escapes, or the habichuela con dulce lady on Burnside. And maintain strong ties to the Dominican Republic, and at the same time embrace and engage the United States. This is well known anecdotally when having a conversation or interacting with Dominican Americans, but the survey that we commissioned was able to quantify it. It looked at the extent to which these transnational ties remain as well as to assess how a sense of transnational connection may serve as a bridge to further engagement in politics in America. Dominicans are beating the stereotype and proving to the general public that the Kardashians are not the only public figures they follow- they also follow political figures. We can observe a pattern of higher levels of interest and engagement in politics in the U.S. among those with the higher levels of engagement with homeland issues.
To start, those with higher levels of transnational engagement have higher levels of following politics in the U.S. Among those with higher DR-engagement, 45% say they read/watch 4 or more news stories about issues and politics in the U.S. compared to just 26% who read/watch 4 or more in the lower DR- engagement category. This means that those with high transnationalism are also much more likely to reject the cynical view that “voting is just not for me” or “yo voto basura,” with 79% of those with high DR-ties rejecting that view compared to 57% among those with low DR-ties. Respondents with higher DR‐engagement are more likely to be persuaded by a chance to elect more Dominican Americans to office.
Not surprisingly, they are very likely to be motivated by Dominican advocacy groups and events that stress both Dominican Republic and Dominican American issues. Fully 91% of those with high DR-ties said they would be interested in participating in such transnational events in their city. However, we should note that even among those with lower DR-ties, the survey still finds that 71% are interested in participating in such transnational events, suggesting that even for those who may not be as actively engaged with homeland issues, there remains a powerful draw for transnational and homeland politics, especially if it is coupled with a focus on Dominican American issues.
On Saturday, November 18th, Dominicanos USA helped pave a better future for individuals in the Dominican-American Community. We assisted 21 permanent residents from all over New York City during our monthly citizenship workshop. We provided people with one on one conferences with lawyers as well as referrals to civic classes. In all, Dominicanos USA was able to complete 13 citizenship applications.
DUSA was also pleased to receive Senator Marisol Alcantara, of the 31st District of New York senate, in their office on Saturday. The senator came to support DUSA’s vision and movement towards mobilizing U.S. permanent residents and helping them achieve citizenship. Alcantara explored the ins and outs of the citizenship workshop. At the event, she spoke to the lawyers, warmly greeted applicants, and encouraged them to become U.S. citizens. All in all, senator Alcantara was impressed by the work and assistance DUSA had to offer to our community.
Helping people obtain American citizenship is essential to the work we do at DUSA. Becoming an American citizen enables the immigrant community to have a greater influence in politics. Through American citizenship, residents are able to exercise more civic rights and become more involved in their communities, which is exactly what DUSA aims for.
NOVEMBER 7 GENERAL ELECTIONS WERE CRITICAL FOR DOMINICAN AND LATINO COMMUNITIES
Dominicanos USA has always aimed to engage and empower the Dominican community. In fact, we have been able to register 150,000 people to vote since 2015. This past week we made sure to remind as many people as possible to go out and vote in the 2017 general elections in NYC and other areas. This election season Dominicanos USA sent out 55,000 texts and made 4,500 calls to ensure our people exercise their right to vote. We believe that through voting we can impact our community in a powerful way.
DUSA team calling and texting voters to remind them to participate in the latest elections.
Motivating the community to participate in these local and state elections has allowed our fellow Dominican and Latino politicians to represent us in throughout the U.S., including the first Latinas ever elected as state representatives in Virginia. Electing these Latino officials has greatly contributed to the empowerment of our community and our influence in the American political system. We plan on continuing to encourage our community to keep voting, and therefore make sure our voices are heard.
DUSA team engaging millennials in the electoral process by providing poll site location and reminding them to get out vote.