Latino voters across the United States are expected to be a key constituency in the upcoming elections. LUPE is launching a voter education and registration drive in an effort to organize that constituency into a powerful voting block.
“We had a successful event,” reports LUPE organizer Javier Parra, “since we formed a team of active members and organizers for this event that officially kicked off our voter registration campaign.”
Javier said that the event was successful because of all the involvement, not only by LUPE members but by Junior’s Supermarket and the office of Congressman Ruben Hinojosa. “We had enough people to invite every person that entered the store to register themselves,” he said. “And [District Director] Salomon Torres, of the office of Ruben Hinojosa gave us support with his presence.”“Though this event was only for the one day, the director of Junior’s gave us permission to return in the coming weekends to continue with our campaign to register voters.”
Our voter registration efforts with NCLR will be a precursor to our civic engagement campaign with the Valley’s Equal Voice Network, which after the October 3 voter registration deadline will focus entirely on getting out the vote in precincts with a history of low voter turn out.
As a leading advocate of colonia residents in the Rio Grande Valley, LUPE believes in the importance of the participation of all citizens in the decisions that affect our lives. The membership of LUPE is a key stakeholder in some of the top national issues, including immigration reform and healthcare. Therefore LUPE is interested in making sure that those suffering the most have their voice heard in the results of the election.
In the 2008, 58% of Texas registered voters voted. In Hidalgo County, however, only 42% of registered voters voted. And with voter turnout expected to be lower because it is a mid-term election, voter education and registration will be crucial to increasing voter turnout.
LUPE is one of 21 organizations selected by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) to be part of the Latino Empowerment and Advocacy Project (LEAP) Ya es hora! Campaign designed to animate Latino voters throughout the country to raise their voice on issues affecting the Latino community and participate in the electoral process.