Today is National Voter Registration Day, an annual holiday where we affirm our right to vote by becoming registered voters.
At the Latino Community Foundation, we believe that our vote is our voice. Through our “Yo Voy a Votar, ¿Y Tú? Campaign, we registered 6,500 Latino voters during the 2016 Presidential Election. Few community foundations across the country provide nonpartisan voter registration, and we are leading the way in ensuring that our community can participate in our democracy.
Today, we are building on that work: by releasing original research into how we can mobilize Latino youth – our leaders of today – to the polls. Titled “Unleashing Latino Voting Power: Strategies to Boost Voter Participation Among Latino Youth,” this report interviewed leaders from across California to ask how we can achieve this goal.
From members of congress and nonprofit leaders to philanthropists and young people in Los Angeles, the Central Valley and the Bay Area, what we learned from the experts was profound.
• Latino youth yearn for engagement with our electoral system and our elected leaders. We must expose them to opportunities in person and digitally as well!
• To increase voter turnout, we must register more Latino youth to vote.
• As philanthropists, we have a unique role to unleash this civic engagement by working with grassroots leaders who are doing community organizing.
“It’s important for Latinos to see their elected officials working hard for them. If you show up once a year and say vote for me, you won’t build voter loyalty.”
– Assemblywoman Anna Caballero (30th District -Salinas)
Our young people are our community’s greatest asset. We hope to continue the conversation around how we can build an inclusive democracy where everyone can participate, no matter how young or old.
And lest we forget, remember to register to vote!