HF Gears Up for 2020
Suffice it to say that next year will be an important one for our community. Crucial. Critical. Defining. Transformative. There are not enough weighty words to underscore how important next year is for all of us. The decennial census that will be carried out next year will determine not just legislative apportionment but also how federal dollars are allocated. And next year’s Congressional and Presidential election will be the most important this country has seen in a generation.
“There is so much at stake next year,” said Hispanic Federation’s Executive Vice President Frankie Miranda.
Let’s start with Census 2020. After months of legal wrangling, the Trump Administration lost in its attempt to add a citizenship question to next year’s census survey. But the government’s attempts have sown a great deal of confusion in Latino communities throughout the U.S. “We know that this administration has tried everything to depress our community’s participation in the Census, and their failed campaign to add a citizenship question has scared so many of our people,” Miranda said.
In July of this year, Hispanic Federation launched its We All Count! /¡Todos Contamos! Campaign, a yearlong effort to educate, engage and mobilize communities across the country to participate in the decennial census. We have created bilingual, culturally competent census education materials, including Frequently Asked Questions-FAQ’s, Census pledge cards, our census outreach toolkit, and our Census information website movimientohispano.org.
In addition to this, our 2019 Census Street team has worked tirelessly throughout the summer across NYC, focusing on areas deemed "hard to count," to provide community members with important census information and encourage them to complete the Census pledge card. Our team, in a matter of weeks, has collected and distributed thousands of census pledge cards and census informational materials.
Our 2020 Census Get Out the Count (GOTC) campaign will seek to mobilize hundreds of thousands of community members across the different states where our network has a presence, including Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania. These efforts will include major texting operations, on the ground canvassing and social/ traditional media campaigns to mobilize and encourage our communities to complete the census questionnaire.
“Our work on Census 2020 will be one of the largest campaigns in our history,” Miranda said. “It’ll be tough but so much rides on the Census that we have to do whatever it takes to get our community counted.”
In addition to our census mobilization campaign, Hispanic Federation has been working to maximize Latino participation in next year’s elections for Congress and President. During the last several months that campaign has focused on voter education and building the infrastructure to register and mobilize voters. In New York, for example, we have educated and registered thousands of newly naturalized immigrants through our voter registration efforts in citizenship ceremonies. “Getting to people right at the moment of their naturalization is key because folks are excited about their new rights as citizens,” HF’s President José Calderón said. “So far this year our team has registered over 11,000 new voters in Central Florida and New York City alone.”
Florida promises to be, yet again, a battleground state in 2020. And Hispanic Federation continues its efforts to register and mobilize voters in the Sunshine State.
“We think that Florida will play a crucial role in the 2020 elections and we have been ramping up our voter engagement efforts there,” Calderón noted. “There is a great deal of work to be done with the new Latino populations in Central Florida, especially in the areas around Orlando. That’s why we are getting a jump on registering folks there and explaining the voting process.”
In addition to Florida, for 2020 Hispanic Federation will launch its major civic participation strategies in Wisconsin, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Georgia, aimed at mobilizing thousands of Latino voters to make their voice heard for the 2020 election cycle. Our efforts will include site-based voter registration, Get Out the Vote, and voter education campaigns via traditional and social media, to ensure that our communities hit the polls and exercise their electoral power. For more information about our civic engagement work, contact Emily Paez.