HipLatina is proud to be a partner of Voto Latino in support of voter registration. Both of our organizations seek to inspire people to become educators, entrepreneurs, and leaders in whatever field they pursue. We will soon be publishing our interview with Maria Teresa, CEO of Voto Latino. In the meantime, we caught up with Natasha Marquez, Digital Media Manager for Voto Latino to learn more about their Boricua Elige program:
HL: Boricua Elige is your program focusing on people originally from Puerto Rico living in the US. What is your objective for this campaign?
NM: Boricua Elige is an unprecedented campaign that that comes at an important time in the island’s history as it prepares for the U.S.-appointed Fiscal Board to take control and it continues to deal with the mass migration of Puerto Ricans to the mainland. We wanted to create a program to build awareness and that creates urgency among Boricuas as the presidential election nears. This is exactly why we want Puerto Ricans on the island to engage with their friends and family on the mainland on the importance of registering to vote and showing up at the polls this November. This campaign will integrate Puerto Rican residents on the island so that they can promote, between their friends and family in the US, through a campaign based on phone-banking, and digital that will focus on the importance of the Puerto Rican vote in November’s presidential and congressional elections.
HL: What do ‘Boricuas’ need to know about the election 2016?
NM: First, Boricuas need to know that their vote is truly important. Currently, there are more that 5.1 million Latinos of Puerto Rican heritage in the U.S. and many of them who have strong emotional ties back with the island. And after Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans are the second most powerful Latino electorate. Half of Puerto Ricans eligible to vote in presidential elections in 2012 did not vote. Half! If all Puerto Ricans voted, we would duplicate our influence overnight. Historically, the participation rate for Puerto Rican local elections is around 50% higher than the percentage of Puerto Ricans voting in national elections. Puerto Ricans vote, until they move to the United States. This year we have the opportunity to change that if all Boricuas understand the impact they will have by being registered active voters for the upcoming election and that they show up this November at the polls.
HL: How does this campaign integrate with Voto Latino?
NM: Our Boricua Elige campaign integrates into our broader activations for Hispanic Heritage Month of Action (HHMA) that run from September 15 through October 15. HHMA is our signature civic engagement effort to register as many voters as possible. We use the month as a celebration of Latino culture in the U.S., but calling on young Latinos to use the political power that has been built during the last ten years. Voto Latino understands just how valuable the Puerto Rican vote is at this moment and that Puerto Ricans living in the United States should continuously exercise their right to vote. Puerto Rican residents living in the US have power with their voice and their vote in this election, which is something that those living back on the island, who are facing important challenges with their governance and their economic development, do not have. Voto Latino wants to educate and empower them in everything they need to know for this upcoming election and give them the tools that they need like VoterPal to register themselves, their families and friends.
Thank you for sharing this program with HipLatina! There is still time in the US to get registered to vote. Start here.