Hispanic community is focus of new political website

Evelyn Perez-Verdia

Evelyn Perez-Verdia is hoping to use her passion for politics bring a new awareness of the Hispanic community to Florida politicians and create a love for politics among Hispanics.

Her new website, Political Pasión, is aimed at the nation's fastest growing bloc of voters.

Perez-Verdia, a Weston resident who's a veteran of political campaigns and government offices, is a no-party affiliation/independent voter and she said her effort will be non-partisan.

"My focus is to get more Hispanics to understand politics, and those with political power to understand the importance of Hispanic inclusion," she said via email.


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Perez-Verdia has an ambitious agenda including encouraging Hispanics to vote and encourage new citizens to become voters, mentoring Hispanics for political positions and getting politicians to better engage with the Hispanic community.

John Ramos, Palm Beach County's Democratic state committeeman and secretary of the Democratic Hispanic Caucus of Florida, said Perez-Verdia's site is "a wakeup call to both parties to pay attention to and to engage" with Hispanic voters. He's not affiliated with Perez-Verdia or Political Pasión.

"It's an uphill battle," he said.

More than one in five residents of Broward and Palm Beach counties is Hispanic, but that hasn't translated into power at city halls, county commissions or in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C.

One reason is that Hispanics who are eligible don't vote in line with their numbers. With the notable exception of Cuban-Americans in Miami-Dade County, Hispanics traditionally haven't turned out at the rates of other groups.

But that's changing.

"What makes the Hispanic vote really so significant is it's trending up when the white vote is trending down," said Charles Zelden, a professor of history and legal studies at Nova Southeastern University who specializes in politics and voting.

There's potentially a large audience, for Perez-Verdia's effort said Felipe Korzenny, director of the Florida State University's Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication and author of the 2011 book "Hispanic Marketing: Connecting with the New Latino Consumer."

However, he said, that doesn't guarantee success in a competitive media landscape.

Perez-Verdia, 34, is a Colombian-American who was born in Bogota – her father's from Louisville, Ky., and her mother from Bogota – and raised in Florida and in the South American country.

She is a former spokeswoman for Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes, working in that office from mid 2008 until February 2013. She also worked in Tampa for two Democrats: former U.S. Rep. Jim Davis and former state Rep. Bob Henriquez.

Perez-Verdia said she'll share her own experiences and views as well as experts and Hispanic leaders from around the state.

The website is at www.politicalpasion.com

aman@tribune.com, 954-356-4550