The ¡Todos A Votar! (Let's Vote!)* non-partisan campaign rallied community leaders in Pueblo and Denver for increased voter participation so that Hispanics can decide who gets elected and help shape a 2013 national policy agenda that reflects their issues.
"Our message is getting through," said Eliseo Medina, SEIU's International Secretary-Treasurer, of the historic Latino presence at the two major party conventions, including a first-ever keynote address by a Hispanic leader. "But it is really up to us to seize this moment and to prove to ourselves and to the naysayers that we are Americans who have a powerful voice and that we will be heard."
The goal of the national voter registration tour through key Latino voter states is to register 650,000 Latino voters nationally, including 35,000 in Colorado, and turn out a record 12 million Latino voters in November. In 2008, Colorado's Hispanic voters proved to be the swing electorate. Hispanics made up 13 percent of the 2008 electorate in the presidential election, compared to 8 percent in 2004. http://www.pewhispanic.org/files/reports/98.pdf
A key factor in the 2012 election is the unprecedented assault on voting rights -- attacks that target Latinos, communities of color, the poor and the elderly.
"We will not be intimidated. We will stand together. We will not be marginalized. We will not be disenfranchised. We will not be second-class citizens in the U.S.," said Tom Duran, a Catholic chaplain in Pueblo who also serves as Colorado director of the League of United Latin American Citizens.
In Denver, Victor Galvan with the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition said he had the privilege of knocking on the door of a 65-year-old Fort Morgan resident who became a citizen this year. Registering the first-time voter "was awesome," said the 21-year-old Latino vote advocate. "I am sure that the Latino voice; the immigrant voice will be heard"