Letter from HF President: Rise Up and Vote!
Por fin. Election Day is tomorrow. I know that many of you are exhausted and extremely disappointed with this year’s campaign. I am too! There has been so much negativity, so much recrimination, so many attacks on our communities that some days I have been reticent about reading a newspaper or another story about the race for the White House.
Despite our collective exhaustion - as we enter the homestretch of these elections - we need to be more focused than ever. Too much is at stake for us not to be.
The great news is that we get it! Latino voters across our nation have been mobilized like never before. The New York Times reported just today that “about one million of the nearly 6.2 million early votes counted as of early Sunday had been cast by Hispanics, an increase of almost 75 percent over 2012.” Similar record Latino turnouts are being reported in Arizona and Nevada.
I am very proud that we have been there with several of our national sister organizations to help drive Latino voter turnout. In fact, the Hispanic Federation has spent the better part of 2016 making sure that we registered, educated and mobilized tens of thousands of Latino voters in places such as Florida. Now, with Election Day around the corner, we are focused on mobilizing a minimum of 150,000 Latino voters in the final days before Election Day through door knocking and a new texting technology operations. Hundreds of thousands more Latinos will be engaged through our Spanish-language television, radio and digital PSAs and platforms. In short, we’re doing more than ever before because we knew we needed to.
This campaign season has been difficult. Really difficult. But it has also been inspiring. Really inspiring. Faced with ugliness and vitriol, Latino voters have responded by actively engaging in the electoral process. They have organized, attended debates, written letters to their local papers and helped their neighbors to register to vote. They have done all of this because they know that the stakes couldn’t be higher. I can’t remember a time when so much of what we value as a community is under threat. But I also can’t remember a time when I saw my community—our community—rise to the occasion. When so many people in our neighborhoods have felt simultaneously challenged by and determined to have their say in the future of the nation. This is more than just about an election. This is about us. About our families. It’s been a long and difficult road. I know. But on Tuesday, it’s time to rise up and vote!