The energy is contagious. Members are excited to re-elect President Obama, volunteers opened up about how current policies on the table would personally affect them, and the resounding consensus is - we need to vote.
Wednesday, SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Eliseo Medina and long time DC and immigrant justice activist Cecilia Munoz hosted a Tele Townhall with 14,000 Latino SEIU members who are volunteering this election. With less than 2 weeks to go until election day, the excitement is evident in the passion and momentum displayed through member leader stories.
The driving objective is we need 12 million Latino voters at the polls this election. If Latino voters show up at the polls in the numbers we expect, we will show our strength as a political force and can use our political power to move action on issues that are important to us.
SEIU member leaders Laura Richardson, of Colorado, and Marilyn Ralat-Albernas, a registered nurse from Florida, spoke passionately about the Affordable Care Act, which provides health care to 9 million Latinos and is at risk of repeal if Republican candidate Mitt Romney is elected. As a cancer survivor, Richardson testified to the life saving benefits that she will receive under Obamacare.
Ralph Suarez, SEIU member leader of Florida, talked about his work to fight voter suppression. And Maria Dorantes, of Nevada, spoke of working hard in memory of Yolanda Neal, a ULTCW member who was killed in a traffic accident in Nevada where she was working hard to get out the vote.
This election will decide whether we will create good jobs with a living wage and benefits, and whether we will have a tax system where everyone pays their fair share. It will also help decide whether we finally fix our broken immigration system and allow 11 million immigrants to legalize their status. These issues will affect every Latino in America, and we must ensure Latinos voice their opinions on these issues in numbers that reflect their growing political strength.
The call ended in both celebration and resolve. We've succeeded in growing our Latino volunteer force to unprecedented numbers, but we now need to drive unprecedented numbers to the polls.