The Nation’s Leading Latino Advocacy Groups Discuss Recent Voter Empowerment and Registration Efforts
Contact: Paloma Zuleta
Today, Hispanic advocacy groups provided an update on their joint efforts to register new voters and turn out a record-setting 12 million Latino voters in the November 2012 elections. Each group took the opportunity to share key insights on Latino voter engagement and discussed the importance of the Latino vote in this high stakes election. All reported that Latino voter enthusiasm was on the rise.
The press call was hosted by Brent Wilkes, Executive Director of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and included Eliseo Medina, SEIU International Secretary-Treasurer and board member of Mi Familia Vota (MFV), Maria Teresa Kumar, CEO and President of Voto Latino, Evan Bacalao Senior Director of Civic Engagement for NALEO Educational Fund, Clarissa Martinez, Director of National Campaign for National Council of La Raza (NCLR), Hector Sanchez, Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), Jose Calderon, President of the Hispanic Federation, Eugene Inocente, Florida Field Director for NCLR, Nathieli Diaz DREAMer from MFV, and Rudy Lopez with FIRM.
The groups issued the following statements regarding their aggressive voter outreach on the ground and through social media that has reached hundreds of thousands of Latino voters:
“LULAC is proud to lead a dedicated group of volunteers who have been tirelessly working to register eligible voters, civically engage the public, and expand the electorate so that our elected officials are held accountable for their policies,” stated LULAC Executive Director Brent Wilkes. “By urging others to participate in their civic responsibility, the volunteers are themselves participating in civic engagement, which generates a self-proliferating cycle that improves our community and ultimately our nation.”
“We will seize this moment and prove that we are Americans with a powerful voice and we will be heard, not just on Election Day but in the months and years that follow as policies are set in Washington,” Eliseo Medina, board member of Mi Familia Vota and International Secretary-Treasurer. “Over the next 35 days, we will make sure our families, friends and neighbors know why, when and where to vote. Because at the end of the day, this election is about us, the futures of our children and our communities. Latinos will vote on Nov. 6th. We will make a difference. And we will make history. Count on it!”
“From coast to coast, Latinos are increasingly enthusiastic about participating in our political process,” Hector Sanchez, Executive Director of LCLAA “The Latino table’s unprecedented coordinated grassroots efforts will help ensure our community votes in record numbers this election.”
“The Latino community is integral to the economic, cultural, and social vitality of the United States,” said Evan Bacalao, Senior Director of Civic Engagement for the NALEO Educational Fund. “Through the historic non-partisan collaboration of the NLCET, we will help ensure that Latinos can also contribute to the vitality of our nation’s democracy.”
“We have been working in 14 states to make voter registration opportunities available to our community, and Latinos are responding to the invitation to participate and to take a stand for our community and the future of the country,” said Clarissa Martinez-De-Castro, director of civic engagement for the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). “Our efforts contribute to a very important fact: Latinos have the fastest rates of registration and voting participation of any group, and will play a decisive role in shaping the political landscape of the nation now and in the future.”
“I'm a DREAMer and there are so many students like myself whose future lies in the hands of eligible voters. That’s what motivates me to be actively involved...I know that one vote can potentially better my life and the life of many DREAMers who are contributing to this great country, “ said Nathieli Diaz, a student at UC Riverside, who has been helping register voters as a volunteer for Mi Familia Vota. “My message to the Latino community is, if you have the right to vote, vote for your family, your children, your parents, your brothers and sisters, and for all of those like me who hope to be able to vote some day!”
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 900 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.lulac.org