“We need to know what the Latino community wants,” said Jerry Gonzalez, head of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO), in a video. “We bring a lot to the table in Georgia. Georgia is prospering because of the Latino community … so elected officials and policy makers need to listen to our concerns [and] what we want to have happen here in our state ... The survey will play a vital role in being heard.”
GALEO is collaborating on the Puente survey with a slew of other local nonprofits, including the Hispanic-serving CASA and the Latino Community Fund. That coalition will be analyzing the data produced by the survey with the help of BSP Research, a national firm with extensive experience polling Latinos.
According to Gonzalez, the goal is to compile at least 30,000 survey responses. He said that Georgia Latino community leaders last organized an effort to poll the state’s Hispanic population roughly 20 years ago, but that there’s no precedent for the widescale nature of this ongoing campaign.
Since the early 2000s, the number of Hispanic residents in Georgia has more than doubled, from 435,000 in 2000 to over 1 million by 2020, according to U.S. Census data. Latinos now make up roughly 10% of Georgia’s overall population.
The Puente survey includes demographic questions, as well as questions about respondents’ daily lives and struggles they may face (‘Had to depend on credit cards to pay basic bills?’). Respondents are also asked to indicate the policy issues most relevant to them.
To reach a diverse cross section of respondents, GALEO will have canvassers knocking on doors in Latino dense neighborhoods across the state and attending community events. The organization will also host town halls and conduct house parties to drive up survey completion. It aims to hear from citizens and noncitizens alike, and from folks based in both urban and rural parts of the state.
In contrast with many of the polls conducted in the leadup to elections, the Puente survey will be accessible in multiple languages, to not shut out non-English speakers.
People with 15 minutes to spare can find and complete the survey here: www.puentesurvey.com
“The only way we will be respected as a community is if we lift up our voices,” Gonzalez said.
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