By: Nathaniel J. Greene, Community & Culture Reporter

Women of color, particularly AAPI, Black, and Latina/x women, represent a formidable voting bloc that policymakers cannot afford to overlook. According to a new poll released on May 9 by Intersections of Our Lives, a collective of three leading women of color-led reproductive justice organizations, these voters feel their issues are not being prioritized.

During a recent Ethnic Media Services Zoom briefing, a panel of experts discussed the poll’s findings and explored the key issues for these voters. The experts emphasized the necessity for candidates to engage effectively with this critical voting bloc.

Sung Yeon Choimorrow, Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, highlighted the collective strength of women of color voters.

“We are here together as what we named Intersections of Our Lives. That’s made up of three organizations focusing on civil rights, justice, reproductive health, and equity issues driven by the intersectional experiences of women of color.”

Choimorrow stressed the importance of recognizing the interconnectedness of these issues.

“Our poll found that the connections among Asian American and Pacific Islander, Black, and Latina/x women are abundant,” Choimorrow said. “We’re happy to be joined by our research partners, Lake Research Partners and HIT Strategies, who worked with us to collect the data, do the analysis, and help ensure that the voices and priorities of women of color voters are shared.”

Celinda Lake, President of Lake Research Partners, praised the collaboration and emphasized the significance of the data collected.

“This is the first survey that actually has the stand-alone groups and also invests in the most accurate data. What excites me is how unique this data set is, bringing unheard voices to the table,” she shared, and also highlighted a critical insight from the poll. “Women of color think things have gotten worse in the country over the past year. Motivation among women of color to vote is enormous if they see change, values represented, and policies that matter in their lives.”

Regina Davis Moss, President and CEO of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, discussed the pervasive impact of systemic racism.

“A solid majority of women of color, especially 91% of Black women, believe it’s important for Congress to address the high maternal death rates among women of color. There’s going to be a need to address systemic racism,” Moss said.

Moss underscored the importance of comprehensive policy solutions. “Women of color voters want comprehensive policy solutions. Earning the vote of women of color means recognizing that we do not live single-issue lives.”

Lupe M. Rodriguez, Executive Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, pointed out the high motivation among Latina/x voters. “The data says that 53% of AAPI women, 57% of Black women, and 60% of Latina/x women are very motivated to vote in this November’s elections. Latinas are voting with their values and our poll highlights that Latinas are crucial to outcomes in this year’s election.”

Rodriguez emphasized the importance of addressing rising costs and reproductive health care. “We want to see our experiences reflected in politics and policy change. Rising costs and access to reproductive health care are top concerns for Latina/x women.”

Roshni Nedungadi, Chief Research Officer & Founding Partner of HIT Strategies, discussed the frustration among women of color. “Women of color are frustrated with the state of the country and believe that the upcoming election is important to lift up issues faced by women and communities of color. They are voting with their values and looking to elected officials to speak to those values.”

Nedungadi emphasized the need for candidates to communicate effectively with this voting bloc. “Candidates need to communicate with women of color, particularly on the issues they care about. These communities have been overlooked as reliable voting blocs, but women of color are looking for that communication and reassurance.”

The poll’s findings make it clear: women of color are a powerful and motivated voting bloc that policymakers and candidates cannot afford to ignore. As the 2024 elections approach, candidates must prioritize the issues that matter to these voters and demonstrate their commitment to addressing systemic racism, economic inequality, and reproductive justice.