National Latino Civil Rights Organizations Come Together to Stress Unity of Purpose in Wake of 2020 Election
Historic Hispanic voter turnout shows electorate key to winning battleground states
UnidosUS: Christopher Allbritton, [email protected]
NALEO: Kevin Perez-Allen, [email protected], 714-499-4481
LULAC: David V. Cruz, [email protected] (818) 689-9991
MALDEF: Sandra Hernandez, [email protected], 310-386-5768
Mi Familia Vota: Kristian Ramos, [email protected] (202) 5102809
WASHINGTON, DC—The Latino vote has proven a critical and decisive part of the 2020 story, the National Latino Civic Engagement Table, a national panel of the leading Latino civil rights organizations, emphasized today in a press call with reporters. According to exit polls, Hispanic voters overwhelmingly chose Vice President Joe Biden over President Donald Trump by 43 points, even as the country awaits the final results.
Leaders of the organizations said that it would be clear that after all the votes are counted, the Latino vote would never again be ignored or taken for granted.
Hector Sanchez Barba, CEO and Executive Director of Mi Familia Vota said: “This election cycle Latinos have faced unprecedented challenges, whether it has been COVID-19, high unemployment or food scarcity. Yet they turned out, and they showed the power of the Latino vote. Mi Familia Vota is proud of our organizing work in Arizona and eight other states, we were in the field, hitting the doors, talking to voters or on the airwaves. When the dust clears, history will remember the incredible contributions of the Latino community during this trying time for our democracy. We will continue to build Latino political power and hold all politicians accountable to the priorities of the Latino community”
“When all the votes are counted, we expect to see historic Hispanic voter turnout,” said UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía. “This is a testament to our community, and to the advocacy and hard work of many organizations, including those around this table, and our networks. UnidosUS invested more than $5 million, registered nearly 130,000 voters and engaged more than million voters to help them make their voices heard at the polls. While outreach by the candidates and campaigns still leaves much to be desired, our community continues to organize and Latinos have shown in this election that they are a force to be reckoned with. Our community’s voters were motivated by a desire for unifying leadership and political change, and they will continue to fight for it until it is realized in 2021 and beyond.”
“This is a tipping point moment in America’s history when every person in our country shares a responsibility for the fate of democracy in our republic,” said Domingo Garcia, LULAC National President. “During this time, we must step up, not stand aside. We must rise up, not sit still and we must speak up so every voice and every vote resounds, not submit silently to suppression. LULAC is proud to stand with every other major Latino legacy civil rights and social justice organization in demanding that the principles of our constitutional freedoms be respected and we are more vigilant than ever in these critical days to ensure that every vote is counted,” he added.
“The silver lining we can appreciate is that record-breaking Latino voter turnout is a clear sign that Latino voter engagement will continue to increase each election cycle. We also have troves of talented, qualified Latino and Latina candidates who are running for congressional bids across the country,” said Nathalie Rayes, Latino Victory Fund President & CEO. “But voters and candidates cannot do this alone. We need an all-hands on deck approach from progressive and Latino organizations to invest in Latino voter outreach and in congressional races. While the Latino electorate broke records across the country, such as Arizona and Texas, we have a lot of work to do to help congressional candidates make it to the finish line. This is a marathon, not a sprint.”
“During the past seven months, we have witnessed the resilience of Black and Brown communities, whose lives, jobs and health—as well as that of their families—have been shaken and in many cases even crippled,” said Yanira Merino, LCLAA National President. “But despite all this, we continue to be hopeful and to fight for the democracy of a nation that has given us countless opportunities. We know that reasons that brought us to the United States are different, but these differences are what unites us in our commitment to defining our future.”
“With record setting early voting numbers and strong Latino turnout across the nation, the Latino community brought a fierce dedication to civic participation, diversity of thought and strength in numbers during Election 2020. The enormous surge in participation by young Latinos has signaled that the next generation of America’s second-largest population and electorate is invested, involved, and eager to make their voices heard,” said Arturo Vargas, CEO at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund. “COVID-19 served as a rallying cry for many Latino voters this year, and despite the significant challenges the pandemic has posed to securing safe elections, Latino voters made plans to vote and delivered.”
“After yet another election in which pundits only belatedly recognize the critical importance of the Latino vote to the outcomes, both parties need to reassess and reshape their approaches to the ever-increasing Latino electorate,” said Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund). “Latino voters cannot be taken for granted by any political party; conversely, putting forward candidates who demonize, exclude, and alienate the Latino community is a definite path to political irrelevancy. Latinos demand clear and consistent messaging that speaks to their major concerns, and actions that demonstrate commitment to equitable inclusion for the Latino community.”