In a Pivotal Election Year, HF’s Civic Engagement Work Yielded Results
Every election is important but some elections are more important than others. So much was at stake in the presidential race of 2016, that it’s hard to think of another election in the last quarter century that meant so much to so many Americans. For Latino voters and communities the presidential contest was especially important because so much of the rhetoric of the campaign revolved around issues with a disproportionate impact on them. That’s why making sure that Latino were thoroughly engaged in the electoral process was a priority for Hispanic Federation in 2016.
“We knew this was going to be a really important election year,” said Hispanic Federation's Assistant Vice President for Policy Jessica Orozco. “We started planning our civic engagement work in 2015 in order to give us time to implement a comprehensive program that focused on voter registration, education and turnout,” he said. “While the result of the presidential race took us and so many others by surprise, I know that the work we did was important and it’s something we can build on.”
That work resulted in successfully engaging and mobilizing 275,000 Latinos to participate in the elections in 2016. Hispanic Federation registered more than 25,000 new Latino voters during the year. Due in part to Hispanic Federation’s efforts, record numbers of Latinos cast their ballot in Central Florida, New York City and elsewhere.
“We focused on registering voters, educating them about the issues, and then using traditional and new media to urge them to head to the polls,” Orozco said. “We held candidate forums, canvassed, we phone-banked, we used text-messaging and it worked. Turnout among Latino voters in this election was higher than ever before. The fact is that Latinos want to actively participate in the political life of the nation and we showed than with a lot of hard work and outreach we can help them do just that. And given the state of politics in our nation, we know moving forward that we have to double down on getting our community to actively participate in and protect our democracy."