Today, HRC released a new digital ad in Florida: “Ricardo.” It features Ricardo Negron-Almodovar, an Orlando resident and survivor of the tragic June attack on the Pulse nightclub, who emphasizes the importance of voting to make real change. Today is the first day of in-person early voting in Florida.
Ricardo, who will cast his first-ever vote in a presidential election this November, talks about what it means for him to participate in the political process: “You have to vote. Let your voice be heard. Every issue that we face has a root at the political level. We are a force to be reckoned with if we organize.”
Watch: “Ricardo” (30 seconds, English)
Watch: “Ricardo” (30 seconds, Spanish)
In a longer version of the ad, Ricardo movingly shares the horror he experienced during the Pulse nightclub shooting that left 49 people dead and 53 wounded, and how it underscored the importance of political participation by Latinx and LGBTQ people: “Many of [the victims] were immigrants coming here looking for a better life, only to lose their lives in such a tragic way. But what it brings out is how Latino issues and LGBT issues are issues that affect everybody.”
Watch: “Ricardo Full Story” (90 seconds, English)
“What happened in Orlando wasn’t just an attack on the Pulse nightclub that stole the lives of 49 innocent people, most of them members of the Latinx community — it was an attack on the fundamental right of LGBTQ people to live and love,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “People like Ricardo are a reminder that despite this horrific attack, our community will never be silenced or defeated. We must continue to stand up and ensure our voices are heard. The most effective way to do that is at the ballot box this November.”
“Ricardo” is part of HRC’s digital campaign that is targeting pro-equality voters across Florida, focusing on Orlando, Jacksonville, Broward, and Miami-Dade. In Orlando, half of the millennial voter contacts HRC is making are Hispanic. There are an estimated 550,000 LGBTQ voters in Florida, a state where the margin of victory in the 2012 presidential election was 74,309.
The campaign is part of a larger get-out-the-vote effort aimed at mobilizing the 10 million LGBTQ voters nationwide.