"For me, the most important lesson
[of the Freedom Movement] is that by respecting the fact that fellow activists could passionately disagree over strategy and tactics—yet remain allies—they strengthened SNCC and the Movement as a whole."
From Bruce Hartford's article in the current issue of Urban Habitat.
View Kathy Emery, PhD's LinkedIn profileView Kathy Emery, PhD's profile

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Latino Vote--Media, GOTV, and SEIU

From the NEW YORK TIMES today:
For Latino Groups, Grass-Roots Efforts Paid Off in Higher Number of Voters

MIAMI — On Election Day, President Obama got 71 percent of the Latino vote nationally....

....Hispanic television and grass-roots groups working together generated a civic campaign they called Ya Es Hora. Now Is the Time.

In countless households, Latinos tuned their television sets to Univision and heard Jorge Ramos, the host of “Al Punto,” the Spanish version of “Meet the Press,” discuss the candidates’ positions on issues critical to them. They switched on Spanish-language radio and heard myriad reasons their vote could spur change.

And if voters in some battleground areas needed a ride to the polls, television and radio stations owned by Entravision Communications, Univision’s largest affiliate, offered those, too.

The drumbeat lasted months.

Univision, which reaches 96 percent of all Hispanic households; Telemundo, the second-largest network; and their affiliates ran information about the election and the issues regularly. And not just on newscasts, but also on their most popular news programs. They sponsored hundreds of public service announcements, giving Latinos local information on where to register and vote. The effort, by and large, was nonpartisan.

“I invite you to join me, so they can’t say Latinos don’t care what happens to this country,” Natalie Perez, a Univision news anchor for WVEA-TV in the Tampa Bay area, said in a public service announcement, as she asked viewers to join her at a local voter registration drive.

The television stations even staffed phone banks so people could inquire about finding their precincts or taking the correct form of identification.
..... Ben Monterroso, the executive director of Mi Familia Vota, a large nonpartisan voter education group that worked closely this year with the networks. “The Spanish media became one of the most informative instruments in our community.”

....Beginning in 2006, the networks and advocacy groups rolled out similar smaller efforts to encourage citizenship and explain the importance of the census.

..... An estimated 12.5 million Latinos voted in 2012, 1.8 million more than in 2008.

....Aggressive fund-raising also played a role, elevating Latino influence in the corridors of power. Prominent Latinos like Eva Longoria, the actress; Henry R. Muñoz III, a Texas architect; and Andrés W. López, a Puerto Rican lawyer, led the national effort to raise money for Mr. Obama. The Futuro Fund, the Hispanic outreach and fund-raising committee for Mr. Obama’s campaign, raised $30 million, significantly more than in 2008.

“All this earns us not just respect from the highest levels of the campaign, but also a seat at the table going forward,” said Mr. López, the national chairman of the Futuro Fund and an Obama campaign adviser.

.....Entravision took the television spotlight one step further, moving out of the studio and onto the street, by working with Mi Familia Vota and giving viewers rides to the polls during early voting and on Election Day.

......Latino leaders said their power in the voting booth was already being felt in Washington. The Dream Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for young immigrants, and immigration changes are now high priorities.

If lawmakers need additional prodding, Latinos like to remind them that in the next 20 years, 50,000 Latinos will turn 18 — voting age — every single month.

“The way we describe it is we are getting ready for 2014 so we can start rewarding our friends and punishing those that get in the way,” Mr. Monterroso said.

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