As Voter Registration Deadline Nears, NCLR and Miami Dade College Join Forces to Get All Eligible Florida Latinos to Register
MIAMI—Today, National Council of La Raza (NCLR), Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy, and NCLR Affiliate Mexican-American Council revealed the results of their combined efforts to increase the number of registered Latino voters in Florida, as they announced their continuing work to register all eligible Hispanic voters before the state’s registration deadline of Oct. 11.
To date, NCLR has registered over 46,000 voters in Florida through statewide community canvassing by teams of trained canvassers, many with years of community outreach experience who are helping prospective voters navigate the registration process. Studies have shown that person-to-person contact is one of the most effective methods to help those who are eligible to register to vote.
“We have seen how important Florida is to the outcomes of national elections, and this election will be no exception. The number of Latino voters in the state doubled between 2000 and 2012, and these numbers have continued to grow. As we near the registration deadline, we’ll continue knocking on doors, making phone calls, and running that last mile to make sure that everyone who is eligible is registered,” said Renata Soto, Chair of the NCLR Board of Directors.
“This is not about partisanship—it’s about participation,” Soto said. “It’s about making sure that our elected officials focus on the issues that are important to us: good schools, safe streets, healthy communities, a better economy, sound immigration policies, and building a strong and inclusive society. Unfortunately in this election, Latinos in general and immigrants in particular have been used as scapegoats, or ignored outright. But today I am here to say that we will be heard loud and clear on Nov. 8!” Soto added.
Dr. Rick Soria, President of Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus, spoke about the steps the academic institution has taken to create a culture of civic engagement for young Latinos.
“As Democracy’s College, MDC proudly serves students from over 190 nations, speaking over 90 languages. Our institutional leadership continues to stress “your vote is your voice”. We actively engaged our students through all of our many student clubs, and have partnered with TurboVote to create a college-wide series of events across all eight of its campuses, helping thousands of students register to vote and learn about the key issues on the ballot. We are a large and strong population and we must be heard,” added Dr. Soria.
NCLR’s national Latinos Vote 2016 nonpartisan voter registration campaign has included both proven traditional methods and innovative tactics. NCLR is reaching prospective voters in person through multistate community canvassing, Affiliates, service providers and small businesses. Online, the groundbreaking Latinos Vote app and web tool put registration at users’ fingertips and allow them to help others register just by sharing their phones. In schools, the newly developed High School Democracy Project provides an easy curriculum to help schools register their eligible high school seniors. NCLR also continues to engage potential voters with proven methods such as issue education and engagement and collaborations with media partners.
Led by its President Maria Garza, NCLR Affiliate Mexican-American Council has registered approximately 300 voters this year in the rural, working-class community of Homestead, Florida.
“We serve hardworking American families who are eager to participate fully in our democracy,” said Garza. “What we tell people is that it doesn’t matter who you vote for—what matters is that you vote. By becoming a voter, our people can ensure that elected officials hear their concerns and create policies that provide them with better opportunities to succeed.”
NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Miami Dade College (MDC) is the higher education institution with the largest undergraduate enrollment in the America, with more than 165,000 students. It is also the nation’s top producer of Associate in Arts and Science degrees and awards more degrees to minorities than any other college or university in the country. The college’s eight campuses and outreach center offer more than 300 distinct degree pathways including several baccalaureate degrees in education, public safety, supervision and management, nursing, physician assistant studies, film, engineering, biological sciences, and others. In fact, its academic and workforce training programs are national models of excellence. MDC is also renowned for its rich cultural programming. It is home of the Miami Book Fair, Miami Film Festival, the MDC Live Arts Performing Arts Series, the National Historic Landmark Miami Freedom Tower, a major sculpture park and large art gallery and theater systems. MDC has admitted more than 2,000,000 students and counting since it opened its doors in 1960. For more information please visit www.mdc.edu.