The Hispanic Federation, the Labor Council for Latin America Advancement (LCLAA), and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) announced their partnership in an unprecedented non-partisan effort to increase voter registration and mobilize the Latino vote. The campaign’s goal is to register 200,000 voters and mobilize at least 100,000 Latinos to polls in the November 2012 elections. The combined group effort will be known as Latinos for Democracy which is part of Movimiento Hispano that also includes curtailing voter suppression, educating voters about key Latino issues and facilitating Latino immigrants to become citizens.
The effort will call upon the extensive resources and contacts of these three leading organizations including: LCLAA’s network of 2.1 million Latino Trade union members organized into 51 chapters in 23 states; LULAC’s network of approximately 135,000 grassroots volunteer members organized into 900 councils, 55 community technology centers and 14 LULAC National Educational Service Centers in 37 states; and finally, the Hispanic Federation’s brick and mortar presence of 100 community-based organizations. Their ability to work closely with community leaders provides these organizations with the strategic advantage of understanding the needs and concerns of the Latino community.
The initiative will be focused on targeted counties within key election states and prioritized according to Latino demographic growth and the number of Latino citizens of voting age. The voter registration and mobilization effort will also focus on counties where the Latino vote can make a difference and areas where there is a significant density of union activity. The states where the effort will be ongoing include:
Hispanic Federation – CT, FL, NJ, NY, PA
LCLAA – AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, MI, NJ, NM, NY, PA, TX, VA
LULAC – AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, IA, IL, IN, MA, MD, MI, MO, NC, NM, NV, NY, OH, PA, TX, UT, VA, WI
The strategies that make Latinos for Democracy: Movimiento Hispano a unique endeavor between the nation’s leading civil rights and labor groups include the following:
Digital Voter Registration Website – In order to guide citizens on how to engage online, the website contains numerous links to voter and civic information. Most importantly, Movimiento Hispano’s Election Impact Tool allows visitors to register online 24 hours per day/7 days a week using any of the 50-state voter registration forms. www.Movimientohispano.org
Motivational Public Education Campaign – There will be a multi-media bi-lingual communication component consisting of a public education campaign on television, radio and print focused on encouraging Latinos and others to register and vote.
“On the Ground” VR and GOTV Training – The campaign will develop local, state and regional training programs to give organizers and volunteers specialized training in voter registration and GOTV techniques, volunteer recruitment and media management.
Latino GOTV – There will be voter education training sessions targeting Latino eligible voters who are either registered or non-registered in order to educate community members about the electoral process and the various ways they can engage in civic activities.
Voter Registration – LFD voter registration efforts will recruit volunteers to register people to vote at key sites, and operate a bilingual Registration and Information Hotline to allow callers to ask questions concerning voting, voting rights and obtain voter registration forms.
Issue-Based Forums – On a local and national level, issues based forums will incorporate the importance of voting with extremely important policy issues affecting Latinos, such as education, immigration, health, civil rights, economic stimulus and labor rights.
Voter Protection Monitoring/Voter Suppression Advocacy – During GOTV and the education efforts, LFD will work to reduce barriers for Latino voters, enforce voter protection laws and fight against voter suppression and voter ID issues affecting Latinos. LFD will also train volunteers to provide voter protection monitoring at the polls. LFD’s voter protection campaign will ensure that all votes are counted.
“The thrust of Movimiento Hispano is to do just what its name indicates: create a movement of Latinos that are connected, engaged and voting on the issues that are important to them, their families and their community,” stated Jose Calderon, Interim President of the Hispanic Federation.
“Whether it’s political empowerment, educational attainment, unemployment, health care coverage or environmental quality, Latinos are facing challenges on every front. But every election cycle is an opportunity for Latinos to make their voices heard and demand that our community’s needs are met. From the door step to the ballot box, LCLAA will be on the ground, protecting, promoting and expanding the participation of Latinos in the electoral process,” said Hector E. Sanchez, Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.
“Our shared vision of ensuring that all Latinos maximize their role in representative government combined with our established records of representing Latino interests made this partnership a seamless collaboration,” said Brent Wilkes LULAC National Executive Director. “In order to increase Latino civic engagement and have a successful voter registration initiative we also recognize the unique needs of our community with a focus on working families.”
Movimiento Hispano (Hispanic Movement) is a project of Latinos for Democracy (LFD) aimed at increasing Latino civic engagement and voter turnout. LFD is a coalition comprised of the Hispanic Federation (HF), The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).