America Ferrera comes to Eastfield, urges students to vote

America Ferrera speaks at the voting drive in front of an audience at Eastfield’s lower courtyard on Oct. 7.

CARMEN GUZMAN, Editor in Chief

After voter drive attendees celebrated the end of a mariachi’s Mexican serenade, Emmy Award-winning actress America Ferrera took the stage, summoning another wave of fanfare.

The smell of beef and tortillas captured in a cool breeze blew over Eastfield’s packed courtyard. Food and festivities created an active hotspot on campus. Students and faculty rallied around the actress, and she spoke when the chatter died into an attentive silence.

“Don’t forget that right here, right now, you can register to vote on campus,” Ferrera said.

Battleground Texas hosted a voter registration drive with Ferrera as a celebrity guest star on Oct. 7 in the courtyard outside C building. State representatives and voting officials hosted panels instructing students on the importance of voting.

As a political action committee with the goal of making Texas a swing state, Battleground Texas is part of an effort to encourage young voter turnout in the upcoming 2022 midterm election.

“You have the privilege of being at an institution where we get to come to you and tell you how much your participation matters,” Ferrera said.

Ferrera is best known for her leading roles in ‘Ugly Betty’ (2006) and ‘Superstore’ (2011), but also gained prominence for her political activity.

Since 2008, she’s been outspoken about her progressive positions and has maintained support for the Democratic Party.

A core part of her politics involves trying to get Latinos to vote.

“I am an actress, I’m a director, I’m a producer, but I’ve also spent my entire life caring about the issues that impact me and my family,” Ferrera said.

State representatives Ana-Maria Ramos and Victoria Neave Criado introduced the actress after a statement encouraging students to vote.

“Three days ago, she was at the White House talking with Latina speakers, which is incredible,” Neave Criado said. “Now we’re here at Eastfield.”

Events for voting registration have popped up around Dallas College as the last day to register approaches.

“This wasn’t difficult to organize because everyone was so excited to be involved,” Jess Weldon, Battleground Texas program director said. “Everyone worked together so wonderfully, so it just came together.”

The last day to register is Oct. 11. Several political action committees are focusing efforts on the last-minute rush to create a wave of first-time voters.

“There’s also people who are undocumented and don’t have the right to vote but need us to show up for them because their voice can’t be counted in an election,” Ferrera said.

Governor candidates such as Beto O’Rourke and candidates for political seats are counting on Latino voters to deliver victory in Texas.

Enthusiasm for turning Texas blue was high among the attendees.

“We can show up for one another,” Ferrera said. “And for those of us who don’t have a voice in the process, let’s not give our power away.”