Major Latino Labor Leaders Launch California-wide Hispanic Voter Registration Campaign

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California, the California Teachers Association (CTA) and Latino leaders announced a major statewide marketing campaign, “Por Nuestras Familias – Todos a Votar!,” aiming to register thousands of new Latino voters and boost November’s Latino election turnout by signing up Latinos as new, permanent absentee (PAV) voters.

At a news conference in Los Angeles’ historic Placita Olvera last week, Eliseo Medina, International Executive Vice President of SEIU and David Sanchez, President of the California Teachers Association announced that they will embark on the 9- city “Por Nuestras Familias – Todos a Votar!” bus tour beginning August 14, with the goal of reinvigorating Latino voter participation and empowering those who do not regularly cast their ballot on election day. The campaign will provide non-registered Latino voters the tools they need to vote and generate motivation among all Latino constituents through a permanent absentee application drive.

“For Latinos, the 2010 election is more than merely electing one candidate or another; it is about taking an active role, now more than ever, in the decisions that will affect our families and creating a brighter future for our children and grandchildren,” said Eliseo Medina, International Executive Vice President of the Service Employees International Union. “We have the potential to swing elections and the time for our voices to be heard is now.”

The bus tour is the first effort launched by “Por Nuestras Familias – Todos a Votar!” to ensure that Latino voices are respected in the political process. Goals for this campaign include:

  --  Registering Latinos to increase the proportion of voters statewide
  --  Signing up Latinos as permanent absentee voters to increase Latino
      voter turnout from 34% in the last gubernatorial election to 40% this
      November - and make Latinos the decisive demographic this fall.

Angelica Salas, Executive Director of CHIRLA said, "With jobs and immigration being the two most important issues in November's elections, participating in the political process gives Latinos an opportunity to demand respect for our contributions to the economy and civic life of our communities."

While Latinos make up 32% of the adult population eligible to vote, they represent only 20% of the state’s registered voters – statistics “Por Nuestras Familias – Todos a Votar!” aims to change.

At each stop of the “Por Nuestras Familias – Todos a Votar!” bus tour, Eliseo Medina, CTA leaders, clergy and elected officials will join local community and labor leaders to urge Latinos to make their voice heard this November. The religious leaders said engaging Latinos in the election process is more important than one party or candidate, but about giving Latinos a voice in the political process and enabling them to build a better future for their families.

“Our message to Latinos is that we have the power to change California, and we’re putting the tools in their hands to improve the future of our communities,” said Medina.

Following the bus tour, the campaign will continue to mobilize Latino voters to generate enthusiasm for the November election.

The “Por Nuestras Familias – Todos a Votar!” bus tour will start August 14 in San Diego, California and visit 9 cities before reaching the State Capitol in Sacramento.