A few weeks ago, I spent a little time at my favorite off-off-Broadway performance: my granddaughter Charlotte’s annual spring dance recital.
Watching her wave and spin among her friends, I felt so grateful to be a part of her big day. I can’t say that I’m completely free from the frustration and sadness I felt after the 2016 election, but spending time with family never fails to give me hope.
The same can be said for the time I’ve spent lately with some incredible leaders, from the group of women journalists I met in DC last month who have risked their lives to report on human rights violations in Georgia, corruption in China, and more, to the the artists, authors, and thinkers at the PEN World Voices festival who are fighting to defend free expression and freedom of the press — around the world and right here at home.
And of course, I’m always inspired by the incredible organizations that Onward Together partners with. On Monday, we held our first-ever Onward Together convening, where the organizers and activists behind these groups and I had the chance to make plans for the next few months and beyond. I was so glad to see all of them, including the team at Voto Latino, who are behind some of the most thoughtful organizing of the last few years. Take a moment to learn a little more about them, and then head back out into the fight re-energized and ready to win.
Onward Together works to build a brighter future for generations to come by supporting groups that encourage people to organize in their communities or run for office. Because you’re an important part of Onward Together, we wanted you to get a chance to know these groups a little bit better. To learn more about Onward Together, click here.
The organization: Voto Latino
The organizers: María Teresa Kumar, President and CEO
The mission: To build a stronger and more inclusive democracy by providing culturally relevant programs that engage, educate, and empower Latinos to shake up politics.
The story: Voto Latino began as a PSA-based project in 2004 and evolved into a pioneering civic media organization that shakes up the political process by engaging the fastest growing, second largest group of citizens — American Latinos. In the last 14 years, they’ve built a dedicated social media following that reaches over 10 million people weekly and cultivated a strong base of support from cross-industry arts, media, and pop culture influencers. Through three core competencies — issue advocacy, leadership development, and civic engagement — they have registered more than half a million voters, co-founded National Voter Registration Day, and can run and scale digital programs aimed at Latinos in all 50 states through tested social platforms, partnerships, and strategic digital targeting.
The latest: Voto Latino is launching a massive nationwide voter registration and civic engagement campaign leading up to the 2018 elections and 2020 census, including a strong digital campaign and a new version of VoterPal, the first-of-a-kind peer-to-peer voter registration app that promises to disrupt how we engage new voters. Voto Latino deeply believes that it’s time to go back to basics. By May, they will have trained over 300 new organizers in California’s Central Valley alone. Look out for them in eight states this summer, in addition to Los Dells, the nation’s premier Latin American music festival over Labor Day, where Voto Latino will be the official voter registration partner.
The next step: Head to votolatino.org to learn more about where and how Latino voters can shape the 2018 elections.