Washington State Democrats Courting the Latino Vote

Latinos traditionally vote Democratic, come election time. Northwest Democrats want to keep it that way. They also want to capitalize on the momentum of the huge turnout of Hispanics last spring at immigration marches across the region. Correspondent Carol Cizauskas went out with Democratic canvassers in Sunnyside, Washington and files this report.

Rosario: “If we sleep through this election, we’ll lose a lot, which is why we’re trying to get the vote out.”
Tania Maria Rosario is the director of the 2006 Democratic Latino Vote Project in Washington state.

 

Central Washington Democratic canvassers

Central Washington Democratic canvassers
PHOTO BY CAROL CIZAUSKAS


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Summer Program Feeds Poor Children

Public schools are for education. For low-income families, they’re also a source of child care and meals. But what happens in the summer, when children in poverty might be left alone while their parents work? Correspondent Carol Cizauskas visited White Swan in south-central Washington to look at a program that bridges the summertime gap.

Bell: “They’re probably of the poorest children and families in the area, especially out in White Swan. I mean, you’re out as far and as rural as you could possibly be. We have a lot of farm workers, and a lot of times they aren’t even making minimum wage, and they work very, very long hours. Parents work six days a week.”
Belinda Bell runs a summer program for five dozen children from the community of White Swan. The social worker started the project at the Yakama Christian Mission eight years ago.

 

Summer program

Yakama Christian mission summer program sign
PHOTO BY CAROL CIZAUSKAS


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Washington Asparagus Growers Switch to Fresh Spears

Washington state is the second-largest asparagus producer in the country. But the industry had a near-death experience last year when the last of three major processors picked up shop and moved to Peru. The survivors in Washington are determined to compete in the worldwide market armed with just fresh spears. Correspondent Carol Cizauskas visited a mid-Columbia field of asparagus and files this report.

Nerell:  “I’ve told the people, this is a competition. You’re in a world economy, and this needs to be the most efficient shed in the world.”
Allan Nerell is plant manager for Gourmet Trading Company, where about three hundred workers bundle and box fresh asparagus.

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