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Voting registration campaign to mobilize Latino voters

The voter registration campaign ‘Yo Voy a Votar ¿Y Tú?’ hopes to reach one million people throughout the state.
The voter registration campaign ‘Yo Voy a Votar ¿Y Tú?’ hopes to reach one million people throughout the state. Special to Vida en el Valle

With the goal to register a record number of Latinos for the 2016 Election, the Latino Community Foundation joined forces with NextGen California and Latin Life to launch a multi-media outreach campaign aimed to mobilize Latino voters in California in this upcoming election.

This major effort is part of the voter registration campaign ‘Yo Voy a Votar ¿Y Tú?’ and its goal is to reach one million people throughout the state. The social media component of the campaign by Latin Life will be targeting Latino millennials to share their reasons on why they plan on voting.

“Latinos are paying attention,” said Jacqueline Martínez Garcel, CEO of the Latino Community Foundation, adding that it is critical to engage Latino millenials.

The campaign will kick off at a series of music concerts in targeted Latino communities in the Central Valley, Southern California and the Bay Area.

As part of the initiative, the Latino Community Foundation partnered with three grassroots Latino-led community organizations – Services Immigrant Rights & Education Network (SIREN), Fathers and Families of San Joaquín (FFSJ), and Mi Familia Vota – to recruit, train and deploy 100 bilingual volunteers to register Latino voters during the popular concerts of internationally known Latino artist Marc Anthony, Marco Antonio Solís and Gloria Trevi taking place later this month and early October.

“This is such an important issue,” said Sammy A. Núñez, executive director for Fathers & Families of San Joaquin of the importance to not only register Latinos voters but for those Latinos voters and other people of color to get out and vote.

Núñez said that for community of color who are vulnerable population is very important to come out to vote not only for the next president but for their local issues such out education, criminal justice and public safety as well as to run for public office like local school board, city council or even board of supervisor.

This organizations, which have experience and capacity to register Latinos, will work closely to make sure that newly registered Latinos get out the vote on or before election night.

The deadline to register to vote for the Nov. 8 election is Oct. 24.

In the Central Valley, the campaign was scheduled to start in Fresno on Sept. 11, during the concert of Latino artist Juan Gabriel and then in Stockton on Oct. 2 during Marco Antonio Solís’ concert. However, due to the unexpected death of Juan Gabriel in late August, the campaign in the Valley will continue as scheduled in Stockton only.

The music concerts include Gloria Trevi on Sept. 30 in San José, Marco Antonio Solís on Oct. 1 in San José; Marcho Antonio Solís on Oct. 2 in Stockton and Marc Anthony on Oct. 7 and 8 in Los Angeles.

With election night quickly approaching, the concert outreach series would provide a unique and direct opportunity to not only register Latinos to vote but also an opportunity for Latinos to be active in engaging their own community to participate and exercise their civic duty such as voting.

One of the long term goals of the foundation’s campaign is to build a culture of civic engagement among Latinos.

Núñez said it is important to motivate Latinos to vote in the issues that affect them where they live, and be a deciding factor on those issues.

Some of the ways Latinos can get involve in the campaign includes volunteering to register Latinos at the concerts, connecting through social media by sharing why you are voting and using the hashtag #YoVoyaVotarYTu and #LatinosVote as well as register to vote and make the commitment to show up on the polls on Nov. 8, election night.

“If we want to strengthen our democracy and boost voter turnout, we must engage the Latino community,” said NextGen California president Tom Steyer in a statement. “In 2014, Latinos made up 39 percent of California’s population but represented only 15 percent of electorate. I’m partnering with the Latino Community Foundation because we need to ensure that every community has a voice this election.”

According to the Foundation, there are 6.9 million eligible Latino voters in California making it the largest eligible Latino voter population in the United States. However, only 17 percent of them are likely to vote.

Núñez said that in Stockton the voter turnout is less than 10 percent and throughout the Central Valley the voter turnout is very low too.

Martínez Garcel said that at a national level, every 30 seconds a Latino citizen turns 18 and becomes eligible to vote. She said Latinos and non-Latinos in the 18-24 years old age group are less likely to show up at voting polls.

“Latinos would make the majority in 30 or 40 years. We can’t afford to have less then 17 percent of Latinos showing at the voting polls,” Martínez Garcel said, adding that the majority of them are naturalized citizens, which are more likely to vote.

María G. Ortiz-Briones: 559-441-6782, @TuValleTuSalud

To learn more about the campaign or to volunteer visit:

http://latinocf.org/mobilize_latino_vote.html

To register to vote:

https://vote.nextgencalifornia.org/registrants/new?source=LCF

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