By Omar Araiza
Burnt Orange Report (September 20, 2014)
With so much at stake in this year’s midterm elections, it is of high importance to register and reach out to as many eligible voters all across Texas. As Texas Republicans continue to vocally push xenophobic and anti-Latino messages as part of their campaigns, Latinos in Texas must now then hold these members accountable for their actions. Voting is a privilege our community simply cannot take for granted.
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Latino groups have launched a massive voter registration campaign across our state, so that the voices of our community can be well represented this upcoming Election Day. The organizations participating in this drive include Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, Voto Latino, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Latino Victory Project, and over 50 other organizations and groups.
An important part of their goal is to engage young Latinos to vote. As demographics in Texas become increasingly Latino, the future of our state depends more and more on these voters. Mi Familia Vota Education Fund will be running field registration drives for students eligible to vote across Texas, including Dallas ISD and Aldine ISD campuses, and in university and college campuses located in North Texas, Houston and San Antonio.
You can read a press release below with additional information sent earlier this week by the organizations:
Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, Voto Latino, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Latino Victory Project and 50-plus groups Launch Robust National Voter Registration Drive
MFVEF TX takes #PowerOfOurVote campaign to college campuses to help deliver record Latino turnout in 2014 Midterm Elections
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sept. 15, 2014 – Today, Mi Familia Vota Education Fund (MFVEF), Voto Latino and more than 50 partners are launching an online and grassroots voter registration campaign in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Our collective voice will ensure elected officials no longer ignore us or the issues that impact the Latino community.
The campaign kickoff urges Latinos to register to vote and then take their families, neighbors, and friends to the ballot box on Election Day, November 4. Only by exercising the power of their vote, can the Latino community influence real policy changes.
The campaign will have three main voter registration pushes: today (September 15), September 23 (National Voter Registration Day), and October 15 (the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month). The initiative is the first of its kind to mobilize Latinos during Hispanic Heritage Month and brings together partners across all industries to put the needs of the Latino community above individual politics.
Hispanic Heritage Month of Action relies heavily on digital and social media assets, along with ground components in key states like Texas, including focused outreach by MFVEF Texas to young Latinos who have reached voting age as well as Latinos who are eligible to vote but have not yet registered.
In Texas, MFVEF is helping students register to vote at Dallas ISD and Aldine ISD campuses, as well as college campuses in North Texas, Houston and San Antonio, including: Texas Woman’s University, University of North Texas (Denton and Dallas campuses), University of Texas at Arlington, University of Texas at Dallas, Mountain View Community College, Eastfield Community College and El Centro Community College, Lone Star Community College, Tarrant Community College, Collin County Community College, University of Houston (main and downtown campuses), Houston Community College, University of Texas San Antonio, Our Lady of the Lake University, Northwest Vista Community College, San Antonio College, St. Phillips College and Palo Alto College.
Ben Monterroso, executive director of MFVEF, said the Latino community will not remain silent after the political stalemate in Washington over immigration reform.
“Latinos understand that the only real way to impact our future is with a strong showing of our voting power. We began the immigration debate with our record turnout in the 2012 Election, and we will continue fighting for our community and for immigration reform by voting,” Monterroso said.
The initiative is led online by Voto Latino, on the ground by Mi Familia Vota Education Fund in key Latino states, and nationally with partners, including the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, ImpreMedia, Entravision, Liberman Broadcasting, Cosmo Latina, Being Latino, Alliance for Citizenship, Latino Victory Project and others.* Voto Latino Chairwoman Rosario Dawson, Voto Latino Artist Coalition co-Chairs America Ferrera and Wilmer Valderrama, and Latino Victory Project co-founder Eva Longoria are also lending their voices to the campaign, which runs through October 15, the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month.
“We are calling American Latinos to rise above our political differences and to unite as a community this November,” said María Teresa Kumar, President and CEO, Voto Latino. “Today and for the next month, we will show that Latinos stand tall because we have pride in our culture, and we recognize the power of our vote.”
“Pride in our Latino culture includes pride in our Nation. As Americans, we are proud to exercise our right to vote and elect officials who reflect the values of our communities. We stand with our partners to mobilize our communities, register our family and friends, and ensure a path to reach the polls on Election Day,” said Cristóbal Alex, President of the Latino Victory Project. “Exercising our right to vote builds power in the Latino community so that the faces and voices of Latinos are reflected at every level of government and in the policies that drive our country forward.”
More than 7.8 million Latinos are expected to vote this November, up from 6.6 million Latinos who voted in the last midterm election in 2010, according to projections by National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO). The record Latino voter turnout in 2012 propelled immigration to the top of the policy agenda. Latino voters must be heard again to create the political climate to find solutions for immigration, the economy, and other issues important to the Latino community.
For more information about Hispanic Heritage Month of Action, visit www.latinos2014.com or find out more about Mi Familia Vota Texas at https://www.facebook.com/MFVTX.