November 4, 2008

Young family votes for those who cannot

LeiLani Camacho may be the youngest person at the polls in Racine today. The three-week-old baby came with Mom, Vanessa Tellez, and Dad, Roberto Camacho, to vote at Festival Park.

I joked LeiLani was on her way to being a politician, and Vanessa jumped right in.

"She better be," she said. "She better grow up to be something."

There was a kindness to the answer, but also a fierce determination. Voting for Vanessa and Roberto, both 21, is not something to take for granted.

When asked why they voted, Vanessa answered: "We have the right to. It's a right we had to fight for."

She added: "We also voted today for all of the people who can't vote."

Roberto saw voting as critically important.

"It's the way to a better life," he said.


  1. Can you explain how Vanessa personally had to "fight for their right to vote". If they are American citizens, people already fought and many of them died to give them that right - with a bow tied around it.

  2. She added: "We also voted today for all of the people who can't vote."

    What is that suppose to mean? Makes it sound like they voted more than once?

  3. Well, either no one read this but us or no one wants to answer us -

  4. Any further comments from Racine Post on how these people fought for their votes and who they voted for who couldn't vote? These are honest, legitimate questions from someone who not only reads your paper but has told MANY people about it (just call me viral host).

  5. You're over-thinking this, Viral Host. It's a figure of speech.

  6. Pete - I would like to see them clarify these statements - the Racine Post put this out there, what did they mean? Were they personally involved in some fight or is this hyperbole? Was someone they know not allowed to vote when they should have?

  7. I interviewed the family and wrote the story. There was a personal story behind the quote that they didn't share with me. My take is they were talking about undocumented workers who live in the U.S. but cannot vote. Because they have the right - and know people who don't - it added to the importance of the moment for them.

    White Americans - particularly men - take voting for granted because we've always been able to do it. But we're not that far removed from a time when women of any race couldn't vote, and poll taxes and flat out intimidation kept minorities from the polls.

    It's been a "fight" for many people to vote. For many, Nov. 4 was about more than filling in a dot next to a name. It was about being an American.

  8. By "undocumented workers" you mean illegal aliens, correct? Well...they shouldn't be able to vote and shouldn't even be here!

  9. Dustin - I (we) appreciate your answer, although I disagree on the characterization of "the fight". The people you interviewed simply had to become citizens in order to vote, the right to vote was paid for previously with the blood of patriots.

    . . . now do you have any thoughts on the "Deborah L. Embry, MBA" question? She signs her name like that - is it a real MBA or mail order? Inquiring minds and all that -

  10. So professionals are going to move here to take advantage of free tuition for their children? No, they'll ask what kind of hell hole has people in charge who think this will work. Don't worry, this is actually just a high-visibility attempt to justify the employment of grant coordinator Deborah L. Embry, MBA.