National Organizations Call on Latinos to Vote for Respect on November 2
October 6, 2010
Contact: Paco Fabián, (202) 785-1670
Washington, D.C. — At a press conference today, a coalition of national Latino organizations issued an urgent call to Latino voters—who are likely to be key factors in several highly contested elections across the nation—to participate in the upcoming midterm election. The coalition members also outlined their plans to energize Hispanic turnout in November through a series of new public service announcements, a national voter hotline, and stepped-up get-out-the-vote efforts focused on transforming voter anger toward the tone of this year’s campaigns into action. The event gathered a number of national Latino organization engaged in voter registration, education, and protection, including Democracia U.S.A., Hispanic Federation, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Mi Familia Vota, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), Voto Latino, and NCLR (National Council of La Raza).
“We are urging Latino voters to take a stand for respect and against the attacks on our long and proud history in America,” said Clarissa Martínez De Castro, Director of Immigration and National Campaigns at NCLR. “We have an opportunity to show politicians who are blocking progress on issues that matter to our community, as well as those who stand on the sidelines while our community is under attack, that they need to start working toward solutions or get out of the way. These issues matter to all Americans, and fixing our immigration system, jobs, health care, and education is also part and parcel of fixing our economy.”
“While midterm election years are often challenging, Latinos realize that there are many important issues at stake and we can’t afford to sit this one out,” added Rafael Collazo, National Deputy Director of Democracia U.S.A. “I think that’s why we’ve seen such great voter registration numbers and an increased interest in participating; our job will be to keep that momentum going so that we show a strong turnout on November 2.”
“American Latinos understand that politics is not a one-inning game. Our participation reached its height in 2008, but it will not end there. As a community, we have the highest unemployment and foreclosure rates. Participating at the polls on November 2 ensures that we have a voice at the table," said Maria Teresa Kumar, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Voto Latino.
“Without question Latinos feel increasingly marginalized and targeted by the anti-immigrant rhetoric plaguing this election,” said Chris Espinosa, National Director of Advocacy for the Hispanic Federation. “Nearly one-third of all U.S. Latinos feel that racism and prejudice are dominating the current immigration debate. However, the wave of anti-immigrant sentiment is also motivating Latinos to participate in the electoral process.”
“Full participation of the Latino electorate is essential for a healthy and vibrant democracy,” said Julissa Gutierrez, Northeast Director of Civic Engagement for the NALEO Educational Fund. “The provision of bilingual nonpartisan election information—and coordinating efforts to turn out Latino voters—will ensure that Latinos make their voices heard on November 2 and in the decisions that will affect children, families, and all Americans for years to come.”
“This is our time to use the power of the Latino vote to fight back against petty politics that only serve to blame and attack us," said Ben Monterroso, Executive Director of Mi Familia Vota. “Latino voters must take stock of who is with us and who is against us. This is the moment to vote for leaders who will engage our issues, offer real solutions to our broken immigration system, and commit to building an economy that benefits all working families.”
“On November 2, every eligible Latino must make it to their polling place and vote,” said LULAC National President Margaret Moran. “With every election, the Latino electorate has increased considerably. We cannot let this end in 2010. We must all be united on Election Day to ensure that Latinos have their voices heard. Latinos are an empowered electorate and will continue to make a difference in every election.”