The New Voters: Looking long-term

Marco Roman (Photo by Jovelle Tamayo.)
Marco Roman (Photo by Jovelle Tamayo.)

This election season The Seattle Globalist is featuring the stories of first-time U.S. voters, asking them why this year has inspired them to register to vote.

”Some way, somehow — my vote is going to count,” said Marco Roman, a first-time voter from Auburn.

Roman pursued citizenship last year — which was 25 years after moving to this state and more than a decade after marrying his wife, a U.S. citizen. He doesn’t know why he put it of for so long.

OneAmerica’s Washington New Americans Program helped him through the process. The program connects eligible permanent residents to the resources they need to pursue citizenship.

This November, he will cast his vote for the first time.

I care about this country and the direction it’s going,” Roman said. It’s a civic responsibility to vote, he said.

Roman wants to be more politically engaged and believes the Hispanic community lacks the political representation and unity he wants to see.

“It’s missing something,” he said of the area’s Hispanic community. “The support is not there. We can be a force.”

He says he pushes people in his community to participate and stay informed — including his wife and his 7-year-old daughter.

If he has time off from his work in the hospitality industry, Roman now attends rallies and organizes with OneAmerica to give back to the organization that helped him through citizenship.

Roman’s biggest concerns are for immigration reform, Supreme Court nominations, and the economy.

“I’m just looking at my future,” Roman said. “I know how important this election is and how it’ll affect the next 5-10 years.”