Black Eyed Peas Singer Urges Millenials to Vote
Vocalist of the hip-hop group Black Eyed Peas, Taboo urged students to vote at an event held at Cal State San Dominguez Hills on Tuesday in support of National Voter Registration Day.
NVRD is a non-partisan campaign comprised of trade unions, human rights groups, and government organizations. The campaign was created in response to six million voters who did not vote in 2008 because of a lack of understanding of how to vote and of registration deadlines.
The Los Angeles division of NVRD stated that there are “6.4 million unregistered eligible voters in California, three million of those voters are in L.A. County.” In an effort to reduce those numbers, and reach their goal of 50,000 registered voters by Oct. 22, the division targeted millennial voters at college campuses.
The Cal State campus designated its Student Union plaza to host the NVRD event where congressmen, politicians, and celebrities including Taboo spoke about the importance of the millennial voters.
“Students are our future, they are the ones who make our world go around," Taboo, whose real name is Jaime Luis Gomez, said. "These are the future CEO’s and the future code writers, and the future senators and congressmen, and possibly president so if you can inspire them and spark that energy in them, then you’re golden.”
The vocalist appeared at Tuesday’s event supporting Voto Latino. The organization focuses both on registering and on raising awareness among Latino Youths regarding voting. “It does make a difference if you get your community to vote, especially the Latinos. You know sometimes we get complacent and comfortable, we think ‘Nah, I’m not going to make a difference. It doesn't matter if I vote or not, it is always going to be the same’, but in actuality it does help,” stated Taboo.
Born in Boyle Heights, Taboo is very proud of his culture. “I’ve always been one to make sure I never forget where I came from.” Taboo believes that his accomplishments like performing at the Superbowl, at the World Cup, and on "Oprah" are not just about the accomplishments. It’s the about the voice he can give Latinos and students through his fame.
“If I could do it for a great cause like activating kids to vote, then I used my power to reach the masses for that, and that’s why I’m here, to reach the masses,” he said.
Last week the state of California began online registration. By Tuesday, 25,000 people had already registered to vote. Taboo believes that whether the millennial generation registers to vote online or by mail, participation is key. “If I inspire one person to not be like me, because I used to be one of those people who hated when people tried to tell me ‘you gotta vote,’ then that’s what I want to do. I didn't really know about issues, about laws, but as I grew older I started understanding how important it is. Everyone needs to vote.”
Taboo continues to host events and support organizations such as Voto Latino to mobilize students for the upcoming November election.