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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 October 2004, 20:39 GMT 21:39 UK
Latino voters: Jesus Enrique Zuniga
We asked eight BBC News Website readers from the Latino community in the US to share their views with us ahead of the presidential election. Latinos are a key target group for both Democrats and Republicans in the election on 2 November.

Jose Bahamonde:
Miami, Florida

Geraldo Alonso:
San Antonio, Texas

Leslie Ramos:
New York, New York

Mario G Corzo:
N Bergen, New Jersey
Maria Chaboudy:
Houston, Texas

Alfonso Trujillo:
San Diego, California

Julian Gonzalez:
Washington DC

Jesus E Zuniga:
Chicago, Illinois

Jesus Enrique Zuniga

Jesus Enrique Zuniga
Name: Jesus Enrique Zuniga
Age: 30
Lives: Chicago, Illinois
Works: Account Manager
Current voting intention: Democrat

Senator John Kerry recognises the importance of education, job creation, and healthcare.

Though President Bush was the governor of a state with a large Latino population, he has clearly turned a blind eye to the issues that concern Latinos.

As a group, Latinos drop out of high school at a much higher rate than any other group in this country.

In addition, most Latinos are concentrated in urban areas that suffer from ailing primary and secondary educational systems. Education is clearly an issue that concerns most Latinos.

The growing Latino population often lack the necessary education and skills to compete for higher wage jobs.

Our panel: Where they live

John Kerry has repeatedly talked about the state of education in this country and how he intends to improve it. He understands that education leads to greater job opportunities for Latinos and all Americans.

As a percentage, Latinos hold more low-wage jobs in the US than most other groups.

Most of these low-wage jobs do not offer healthcare benefits. Millions of Latino adults and children are going without even basic medical care.

Skyrocketing healthcare and medication costs are hitting Latinos who do not have medical insurance.

John Kerry has presented a plan to expand medical coverage and address the rising costs of healthcare in this country.

His recognition of the importance of education, job creation, and healthcare to Latinos and all Americans is the reason I support him.

Your comments:

I agree with you Jesus E 100%. You made many valid points that unfortunately many Latinos are blind to. It is a no-way-out situation for those with low-wage jobs. Anyone would think that that is tough enough but it only gets worse with, as you mentioned, the high-rising costs of healthcare and medications. Certainly education is a major concern for the Latino Community. Hopefully supporting Senator Kerry will get the right man in the White House. I personally believe that the President Bush supporters need to educate themselves first before being concerned for education as a whole.
Sonia Barajas, Aurora, IL USA

As a Cuban American I urge Latinos like Jesus to think about assimilation. We Latinos cannot be like other minorities and blame the federal government for all our troubles. Want a good job? Learn English. Want good health care? Educate yourself and get a job with a good company with good benefits. The Cuban people came to this country with nothing. No welfare, no country to go back to. Yet we have prospered most of all Latinos. Why? Because we worked hard and we assimilated. As for voting Democrat? What did Clinton do for Latinos? Nothing.
Rick Exposito, Boca Raton, USA

"Senator Kerry has a plan", what is it? Nobody knows because he will not say. George Bush on the other hand does tell us what his plan is. First, healthcare costs are rising because of abuse, and frivolous lawsuits. Bush is for stemming the tide of these lawsuits which do nothing more than benefit trial lawyers. John Kerry was apposed to and voted against a bill which would limit damages awarded in malpractice suits.
Tommy Lopez, Denver, CO, USA

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