National Latino, Immigrant, Progressive Groups Launch Voter Outreach Campaign in Colorado

August 21, 2014

Contact: Jossie Flor Sapunar

DENVER, CO – The national voter mobilization campaign for 2014 by immigrant and progressive voters began here Thursday, with the kickoff of the Colorado Immigration Voter Accountability Project, a campaign designed to mobilize tens of thousands of Latino and Asian American voters in one of the most competitive electoral states in November.

Following the Colorado launch, Latino voters and volunteers will canvass neighborhoods across the South and Southwest this Saturday as the national Latino civic engagement campaign gets underway. The national coalition will team up with Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in coming days and weeks.

In Colorado and across the U.S., the message is clear: voters must hold the Republicans accountable for obstructing immigration reform. The GOP-led House is particularly at fault for directly rejecting commonsense immigration reform, and instead adopting the “deportation only” agenda of nativists in the House. By contrast, a bipartisan immigration reform bill passed the Senate by a solid majority in June, 2013.

Nationally, Latino voter advocacy groups expect to register at least 300,000 Latino voters. They also will help bring to the 2014 November Election a total 7.8 million Latino voters, up from 6.6 million Latino voters in the last mid-term election in 2010, according to projections by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO).

The Latino voter canvassing this Saturday will take place in Colorado, as well as Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, and Texas. The national Latino civic engagement campaign is a joint effort of Center for Community Change Action, Fair Immigration Reform Movement, League of United Latin American Citizens, Mi Familia Vota, National Council of La Raza Action Fund.

“This weekend’s voter canvassing is the earliest start for any recent election year,” said Leo Murrieta, National Field Director for Mi Familia Vota. “The Latino vote has grown in every mid-term and presidential election year since the turn of the Century, resulting in historic gains. That is why year-round, civic engagement is important to the Latino community, and why 2014 is a building block toward another historic Latino voter turnout in 2016. Our time is now,” Murrieta added.

"Congressional candidates’ positions on immigration reform will be critical for Latino voters in New York when they go to the polls in November. In Congress, there are family defenders and family dividers. The family defenders have come out in support of immigration reform, while the family dividers have not, and we have been watching,” said Carlos Reyes, a member of Make the Road Action Fund and a Long Island resident. “Among them, Rep. Tim Bishop has strongly supported and identified with the values of immigrants and as an advocate for our families. Meanwhile, Rep. Michael Grimm has not supported us—supporting someone who does not support the values of our community would be catastrophic," Reyes said.

“Latino voters will remember the lazy and obstructive inaction on the part of the GOP House over the last year when they go to the polls this November. While the GOP has delivered nothing but lip service and empty promises, Latino voters will deliver results when the make their voices heard in the polling booths,” said Matthew McClellan, Executive Director of the NCLR Action Fund.

"With the launch of the voter registration and education campaign, we can raise up the strength of the Latino electorate, just as we did during the 2012 elections," said LULAC Executive Director Brent Wilkes. "By voting in the midterm elections, our community is empowered to elect only the candidates that have a history of championing our issues."

“It’s clear the House Republican caucus dismissed the united voice of Latino voters after the 2012 election. Latino families will not forget that House Republicans threw away the best chance in more than a decade to pass comprehensive immigration reform. The Voto Latino Action Fund will work diligently to register Latino voters in Colorado and across the U.S., and we will keep our communities informed about who in Congress stood with us on immigration reform, and who stood against us,” said Jimmy Hernández, Communications Director, Voto Latino Action Fund.

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