Actress America Ferrera kicked off her Ohio voter registration campaign for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with a visit to Ohio State.
She began her visit by speaking to a crowd of supporters in front of the Ohio Democratic Party office in the Gateway development Saturday afternoon. During her speech she stressed the importance of voting in the upcoming presidential election, especially in the swing state of Ohio.
“Your vote matters that much more because it’s a swing state, and we have this opportunity to stand up and say this is not what my America stands for, this is not what my America looks like,” Ferrera said referring to voting against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
As the daughter of Honduran immigrants, Ferrera reflected on the first election she remembers from her childhood, at age 9 and how Proposition 187 in California, where she grew up, impacted her. The proposition aimed to prohibit people who are undocumented from using public services, including enrolling their children in public school.
“I remember the day my mom had to take me aside and say, ‘If someone teases you, if someone harasses you, if someone asks you questions because you’re Latina, it’s not your fault, you did nothing wrong,’ and I remember not understanding any of it other than at that moment I felt very different from my friends and very separate from my friends,” she said.
Ferrera also addressed the idea of choosing to not exercise the right to vote come November.
“You actually don’t have the option of not making a choice because to not vote and to not register and to not organize your family, your colleagues, your community, your friends is to make a choice,” Ferrera said. “It’s to leave it up to someone else to define what this country is going to look like for you.”
After Ferrera’s speech, supporters were invited by the actress and event organizers to march down North High St. from Gateway to the Ohio Union with their “Love trumps hate” signs and ask others to register to vote. The crowd also chanted, “Love trumps hate” during their walk to the Union. The actress then led the crowd in a chant outside the west entrance to the Union yelling, “I believe that she (Clinton) will win.”
Ferrera also discussed the importance of this year’s election to the Latino community, and the political power the community has by saying that the responsibility begins with voting.
“There’s been rhetoric and conversations about immigrants that has been really disheartening and has stripped people of their dignity, not just Latinos, but Muslims and African-American communities. We need to stand up for our own dignity,” she said.
Sebastian Bolona, a third-year in industrial design and the President of the Latino Student Association at Ohio State introduced the actress before she spoke at Gateway and spoke about why he also believes Clinton is the best candidate for the presidency.
“Trump is wanting to build walls, but Hillary wants to build bridges between different cultures and the world,” Bolona said.
Ferrera will also be campaigning in Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo and Cleveland.