Latino Organizations Announce Historic Georgia Latino Voter Mobilization Campaign

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 17, 2020
Contact: Lillian Rodriguez Lopez | 973-699-8767 | lillianrodriguezlopez@gmail.com

Latino Organizations Announce Historic Georgia Latino Voter Mobilization Campaign

Engaging and Empowering Latinos in U.S. Senate Runoff Election

The Latino Community Fund of Georgia (LCF Georgia), GALEO, Hispanic Federation and Mi Familia Vota, announced a historic mobilization campaign in Georgia to engage Latino voters in the upcoming Senate run-off races. Through the collaboration, the four partners will leverage their collective expertise, resources, and field operations to maximize Latino voter participation across the state for the run-offs and for future elections including the 2022 Gubernatorial race.

As statewide organizations, LCF Georgia and GALEO have spearheaded initiatives to build Latino civic and voter participation in the state. Their efforts helped fuel an unprecedented Latino voter turnout in Georgia during the November 3rd general elections. For decades, the Hispanic Federation and Mi Familia Vota have coordinated national, nonpartisan Latino voter mobilization campaigns to engage Latino and immigrant communities in local, state, and federal elections.

The four partners will work collaboratively on a comprehensive multi-media, grassroots campaign to bolster Latino voter turnout during the election process. The Senate run-off efforts will reach and engage over 400,000 Latino and multicultural voters through strategies such as phone and text banking, canvassing, mailers, billboards and digital ads, radio spots and election protection measures.

Gigi Pedraza, Executive Director of LCF Georgia stated, “Our team is excited and determined to continue educating, registering, mobilizing, and protecting the civic participation of the Latinx community in Georgia. We welcome the collaboration of the Hispanic Federation and Mi Familia Vota during the run-off efforts. Our community is growing, is increasingly influential and is here to stay. It is time for elected and appointed officials to champion policies that create opportunities for our families, workers, students, and entrepreneurs. This is about our lives.”

Jerry González, CEO of GALEO noted, “Georgia Latinos are ready for this moment in history to have their voices heard and respected in the runoff elections. Our partnerships will ensure we collaborate and strategically work together to ensure the highest Latinx voter participation rate our state has seen. Issues like immigration reform, a permanent fix to DACA, access to affordable healthcare and COVD19 economic relief hang in the balance and Latino voters in Georgia care deeply about these issues and are motivated to vote.”

Frankie Miranda, President of the Hispanic Federation stated, “We are excited about deepening our work and partnership with LCF Georgia, GALEO and Mi Familia Vota to advance the social, economic and political interests of our growing community in Georgia. Latino voters in Georgia continue to have a critical impact on elections, and we want to ensure that the knowledge and tools for engaging in the run-off elections are available to them. The continued growth of the Latino electorate in Georgia will empower Latinos all across the country and advance the values of democracy, transparency and equity for all people residing in the US.”

Hector Sanchez Barba, President of Mi Familia Vota affirmed, “Our policy priorities must be at the center of our national agenda after 4 years of attacks. To achieve these goals, we are excited to announce that we will be partnering with the Latino Community Fund (LCF Georgia), GALEO and the Hispanic Federation to make sure Latino voters voices are heard and to implement a strategic collaboration and coordination in Georgia. We know that when Latinos are engaged, they vote, that is why we will be texting, calling, and on the doors educating our community about what is at stake in this special  election.” The campaign will run from November 17 until January 5, 2021, the date of the Senate run-off elections.

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The mission of the Hispanic Federation is to empower and advance the Hispanic community. Hispanic Federation provides grants and services to a broad network of Latino non-profit agencies serving the most vulnerable members of the Hispanic community and advocates nationally on vital issues of education, health, immigration, civil rights, economic empowerment, civic engagement, and the environment.

Mi Familia Vota is a national civic engagement organization that unites Latino, immigrant, and allied communities to promote social and economic justice through citizenship workshops, voter registration, and voter participation. Mi Familia Vota has operations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Texas.

Latino Community Fund of Georgia supports Latino-serving nonprofit organizations in Georgia with advocacy, program development, technical assistance and grant making. Our mission is to be a catalyst for investment, collaborative work, and positive narrative with and within the Latinx/Hispanic Community in Georgia.

GALEO’s mission is to increase civic engagement and leadership of the Latino/Hispanic community across Georgia. GALEO strives for a better Georgia where the Latino community is engaged civically and its contributions and concerns are recognized.

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GALEO Institute for Leadership Graduated 22 New Leaders in the State of Georgia

GALEO Institute for Leadership Graduated 22 New Leaders in the State of Georgia

Graduates Join 725 Alumni of the GALEO Institute for Leadership

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jerry Gonzalez, GALEO

jerry@galeo.org, 678.691.1086

Opening Reception- February 14th, 2020

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 (Norcross, GA) – GALEO graduated 22 new leaders from the GALEO Institute for Leadership (GIL), which held a graduation reception on Saturday, November 14, 2020 at The Nett Church in Lilburn, GA.  The graduation was held with strict safety measures in place to protect against COVID19 by keeping graduates in their cars, listening to the graduation program over zoom, wearing masks and social distancing.

This is the 23rd group of graduates resulting from GALEO’s leadership development efforts. The total number of GALEO Institute for Leadership alumni now stands at 725 people from across the state.

This year’s cohort marks a commendable commitment to service in their community by completing the program during a challenging pandemic and a contentious 2020 election. The cohort is made up of a diverse set of professionals who are teachers, organizers, service workers, entrepreneurs, legal professionals, students and much more. GALEO commends the class for their perseverance and their commitment through not only the completion of the program but an additional five service projects all focused on the 2020 Presidential Elections.

GALEO Institute for Leadership graduates heard inspiring words from GALEO Chief Executive Director, Jerry Gonzalez and GALEO Coordinator for Operations & Communications, Polo Vargas. The cohort also heard from two of their own graduating class, Nancy Vicente and Claudia Valencia.

Jerry Gonzalez took a moment to remind the cohort that Georgia would not be where it is today, breaking records in voter turnout, without the efforts of every 2020 GIL participant who took it upon themselves to advocate and get out the vote through their projects.

Nancy Vicente reminds us that through the exposure of new experiences and opportunities we will more often than not see people reflect the same sense of duty we feel to our community. She says, “Through this experience I have learned that leaders aren’t the people giving speeches, winning awards, or getting credit for their work. Leaders are the people willing to do the groundwork, the people willing to organize movements and step back from the spotlight to make sure people are focused on issues, not people.”

This year’s class also challenged GALEO’s program to continue pushing for more in language accessibility. Claudia Valencia, co-creator of Platicando Politix, delivered her speech to the graduating class in Spanish. As part of her group project, her teammates created a bilingual podcast in the middle of a competitive 2020 election, exposing community members to leaders in our backyard through educational charlas. She encouraged the 2020 cohort to continue seeing through our collective commitment to the needs in our community.

Credits to group members: Jasmin Alvarez, Karen Perez, and Orayka Alexander

Polo Vargas, closed out the graduation through only what can be best captured in a quote by saying,” ‘The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He or she is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.’ This was said by President Ronald Reagan. Let your actions inspire others; motivate your community to participate civically. We are all sparks (or “chispitas”) that have the potential to light up this world. Let’s light it up as GIL alumni.”

This year’s graduation would not be possible without a cohort of 22 GALEO Institute for Leadership facilitators trained and certified by UGA’s J.W Fanning Institute for Leadership. GALEO thanks them for their years of commitment to the leadership program.

The graduation follows a serious commitment to a year-round program that develops basic leadership skills while also exposing the participants to other community leaders and potential opportunities for continued leadership development.  The participants were connected with via zoom presentations to the following community leaders:

  • Antonio Molina Esq., Heidari Power Law Group & COO for Consultorio Medico Hispano
  • Brenda Lopez, State House Representative
  • Christian Bello Escobar, UNG Director of Migrant Services
  • Cassandra Johnson, CC ALB
  • Diana Vela, Hispanic Organization Promoting Education – Director of Leadership Chapters
  • Dax Lopez, State Court Judge of Dekalb County
  • Donna Arriaga Edmonds, Associate Director of Programs at Beyond 12
  • Elizabeth Silva, Field Coordinator for GALEO
  • Gabriela Esperanza, Empreza Tax – Middle Georgia Small Business Owner
  • Genny Castillo, Blue Institute
  • Polo Vargas, GALEO Operations and Communication Program Coordinator
  • Hector Gutierrez, Council member for City of Forest Park
  • Jaime Rangel, FWD.US – Georgia Immigration Associate
  • Juliana Henao, GALEO Leadership Council
  • Jeniffer Chow, GALEO Civic Engagement Coordinator
  • Jennifer Zenteno, GALEO Leadership Development & Citizenship Coordinator
  • Jerry Gonzalez, GALEO Executive Director
  • Johnette Brown, Director, Housing – Wealth Building and Community Development, Urban League of Greater Atlanta
  • Katherine Narvaez, Vice President of Los Vecinos de Buford Highway
  • Katherine Vega, Project Manager for Global Payments, Inc.
  • Maria Palacios, Community Advocate & GALEO Leadership Council Chair
  • Marisol Estrada, Kuck Baxter Immigration
  • Rebecca Pool, GALEO Leadership Council
  • Samuel Aguilar, FWD.us – State Director
  • Zulma Lopez, State House Representative-Elect, Georgia House of Representatives

The GALEO Latino Community Development Fund has implemented the GALEO Institute for Leadership to focus upon the leadership development of the Latino community across our state. As part of the GALEO Institute for Leadership, GALEO formed a strategic partnership with the University of Georgia’s Fanning Institute to expand and develop our joint efforts for the Community Leadership Program.

The graduates dedicated more than 40 hours during 2020 to complete eight modules, additional presentations and a community group project. In addition, this GALEO Institute for Leadership Class of 2020 represented a diverse class with participants from various counties in Georgia:

  • Cherokee
  • Cobb
  • DeKalb
  • Fayetteville
  • Forsyth
  • Fulton
  • Greene
  • Gwinnett
  • Hall

The graduates were also encouraged to engage with the GALEO Leadership Council (GLC), which is made up of alumni from previous GIL sessions, as well as active GALEO Members.  Several of the graduates are already serving leadership roles within the GLC and plan to contribute to significant plans in place for 2021.

This leadership program was made possible in part by the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, the Sapelo Foundation, Southern Partners Fund, University of Georgia-Fanning Institute, Georgia Power, State Farm Insurance Company, GALEO and individual donors.

Recruiting will begin on Friday November 20th for the GALEO Institute for Leadership class of 2021.  Check back with us this Friday for updates and open enrollment for the 2021 sessions and the application process at http://galeo.org/leadership/gil/.

For other questions regarding the upcoming GALEO Institute for Leadership, contact Jennifer Zenteno jennifer@galeo.org.

Pictures of the graduation are available upon request and are posted on GALEO’s Facebook page.

About GALEO

GALEO’s mission is to increase civic engagement and leadership development of the Latino/Hispanic community across Georgia.

CORE BELIEFS: Inclusive, Non-Partisan, Diversity, Responsive

Website: http://www.galeo.org

About Georgia Votes

Georgia Votes is a bold, trusted and diverse collaborative that champions an equitable and inclusive democracy, for and with traditionally underrepresented communities.

Website: https://www.govotega.org

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Latinos in Georgia Have Something to Say

Latinos in Georgia Have Something to Say

Friday, November 13th, 2020 (Atlanta, GA)-  It has been a historic election with more than 145 million voters casting their ballots. Among them, millions of Hispanic/Latinos/Latinx(*) voters turned out to say, “Presente, Estamos Aquí.” Latinos, the largest minority group in the United States, have a growing influence on American politics. Approximately every 30 seconds, a Latino in the US turns 18 and becomes eligible to vote.

Georgia’s Latinx civic and political voice is unique, young, powerful, and increasingly influential.

Early voting numbers show that 48% of advance voters, either in person or via absentee ballot, had not participated in the 2016 election, and 50% of those Latino early, in-person voters were under 40 years old as compared to 29.9% of non-Latino voters in the state.

Georgia’s over one million Latinos, many of them immigrants, play a vital role in building and strengthening the state’s social, economic, and political fabric. From 2000 to 2019, the Hispanic population in Georgia grew from 435,000 to over one million-plus residents, a 132% increase in population. Today, we comprise nearly 10% of the total state population. As one of the fastest-growing states, Georgia draws Latinos from all over the US and world, with Mexicans and Puerto Ricans leading as the largest communities. The 2020 Census results will provide us with an updated picture; however, this growth expands eligible Latino voter representation in Georgia, particularly in the counties of Gwinnett, Cobb, Fulton, DeKalb, Clarke, Whitfield, Hall, Rockdale and Newton.

Historically, it has been local Latinx leaders, volunteers, and organizations who have concentrated their efforts to engage, inform, register, translate, advocate for language access, mobilize and ensure our communities do not go another election unnoticed or unheard. Like other communities, we promoted early voting, provided voter assistance, trained volunteers to navigate the electoral process, provided outreach in various languages, and ran voter protection efforts. Our numbers show our strategies and campaigns worked. Even with these Herculean efforts, there is still much work to be done as challenges remain.

Unlike states or cities with dense population areas, Georgia has a dispersed population outside of the Atlanta metro area with critical pockets of Latinos residing in rural areas. A scarcity of resources, conflicting voter information, and voter suppression tactics create real obstacles to participating in elections. Through statewide grassroots engagement and the strengthening of Latino networks, the Latino community is exercising their fundamental right to vote and be heard in this country.

Today, thanks to thousands of community voters and volunteers, and local Latinx leadership, Georgia will play a critical role in elections for years to come. We hope that this time, as we prepare for runoffs and a new cycle of elections and redistricting, input from local Latinx grassroots leaders is sought and integrated into strategies and tactics that reach our unique and diverse community in Georgia.

The South has something to say, and our voice as a diverse Latinx community gets stronger every year. Our vote will impact future federal, state, and local elections, bolstering the power of communities of color and multicultural groups, which without a doubt, will re-shape the political narrative in our country and Georgia.

We are ready to continue to do this work.

Gigi Pedraza, Executive Director, Latino Community Fund (LCF Georgia) http://www.LCFGeorgia.org

Jerry Gonzalez, Chief Executive Officer, GALEO and the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund  http://www.galeo.org

America Gruner, President, Coalition of Latino Leaders (CLILA) http://www.clila.org

Marco Palma, President, Los Vecinos de Buford Highway http://www.vecinosbh.org

Rebeca Gibbons, Executive Director, Unidos Latino Association, Inc https://www.facebook.com/unilatinos/

David Araya, CEO & Co-Founder, HoPe (Hispanic Organization Promoting Education), Inc

(*) Latinx is new gender neutral term often times used to include individuals of Latin American descent and cultural identity without prioritizing a binary narrative.  We use it in this document interchangeably with Latinos and Hispanic.

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GALEO & Voting Rights Organizations Insist “Every Vote Must Be Counted”

Wednesday, November 4, 2020 (Norcross, GA) – As the nation awaits the final results of the presidential election, a coalition of Georgia based civic engagement and voting rights organizations are urging election officials to continue counting ballots until every vote is counted. “In what has been an unprecedented year, from the global outbreak of COVID-19 to a series of natural disasters and economic recession, we must show that our democracy can withstand even the greatest challenges,” said Helen Butler, Executive Director for the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda. “All voices matter and every vote must be counted.”

Counties continue to count absentee ballots and early votes, as well as provisional ballots issued amid technical difficulties at several polling locations on Election Day. “It is not lost on us that this election marked the first time in more than two decades that Georgia is considered an actual battleground state,” said Jerry Gonzales, CEO of GALEO. “In roughly that same period of time, we have increased the population of registered Hispanic voters by 2,560%! Now more than ever, our people need to appreciate just how much their voices and votes do, in fact, matter. That only happens by counting every vote.”

Stephanie Cho, Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta, echoed this sentiment. “Issues of diversity, inclusion, and representation were all on the ballot this election, and Georgia voters have the right to make sure that our representatives reflect our values and are committed to improving our communities. The will of the people will only be fully expressed,” she said, “if all votes are counted.

All of the leaders, whose organizations are part of the Georgia Votes collaborative, have a common message: the process is working and we must give election officials the time and space to safely and adequately count and process all votes.

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About GALEO

GALEO’s mission is to increase civic engagement and leadership development of the Latino/Hispanic community across Georgia.

CORE BELIEFS: Inclusive, Non-Partisan, Diversity, Responsive

Website: http://www.galeo.org

About Georgia Votes

Georgia Votes is a bold, trusted and diverse collaborative that champions an equitable and inclusive democracy, for and with traditionally underrepresented communities.

Website: https://www.govotega.org

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We Have the Power: Know Your Rights When Voting (Tu Tienes el Poder: Conoce Sus Derechos Al Votar)– Bilingüe

Jennifer Manzano

30 October 2020 

From the television commercials, political text messages, and canvassers at your door or through your phone, word of the 2020 U.S. presidential election has been prevalent in all aspects of our daily lives. Though profuse, this is a result of individuals exercising their rights and encouraging others to do the same in aspiration to shape a system that will favor their liberty and progression.

This presidential election will mark history for the Latinx community. With a projected 32 million eligible voters, Latinxs are expected to be the nation’s largest racial or ethnic minority in the U.S. presidential election. With 40% of the population vote in New Mexico and 30% in California and Texas, Latinx voices are being represented and amplified.

However, when exercising our rights, we must also be educated and confident in the fundamental laws put in place to protect us. These are cemented not only in our presidential elections, but in effect during elections year round.

These include:

 Basic Rights

  • You have the option to vote early
  • If the polls close while you are in line – stay in line. You still have the right to vote.
  • If you make a mistake on your ballot, you have the right to request another ballot.
  • If the machines are down, you can ask for a paper ballot.

What if I have difficulty understanding English?

Under federal law, voters who have difficulty reading or writing in English may receive

in-person assistance at the voting polls from anyone they would like. This can be a relative, friend, or anyone else. The only people not allowed are employers or agents of the voter’s union, or the candidates themselves.

Jurisdictions covered by Section 203 of the Voters Rights Act are required to have resources for bilingual voters in specific languages; Gwinnett County is an example of this. This includes poll workers proficient in the languages and election materials as well election-related information.

  • To check if your location is protected under this section visit:

 https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/newsroom/press-kits/2017/esri/esri_uc2017

 _voting_rights_act.pdf

What if I go to the poll and am told my name is not registered?

If you are early voting and have time before the end of an election, reevaluate your status and registration (this being your information and voting location). If necessary, you have the right to a provisional ballot. These are ballots that are counted after the eligibility of the voter is confirmed.

 Please note: Your ballot will not be counted if you are at the incorrect voting location.

 Tip: If you cast a provisional ballot, ask for a number to call to ensure your vote was counted.

I have a disability or need accomodations when voting

Under federal law, all polling locations must have accessibility for older voters and people with disabilities. During a federal election, every polling place must have at least one machine that allows people with accommodations to vote privately and independently.

  • You can bring a person of your choosing to assist you with the voting process.
  • Poll workers are required to be readily available if you need assistance

 Tip: In the state of Georgia, on election day, if you are a person who needs accommodations, you are not required to wait in line between the times of 9:30 am – 4:30 pm.

I am a convicted felon. Can I vote?

These circumstances vary by state. Currently in the state of Georgia, if you have completed your sentence and have no active tickets or parole, you are able to vote.

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Tu Tienes el Poder: Conoce Sus Derechos Al Votar

Desde los anuncios de televisión, mensajes de texto políticos, y los representantes electorales en su puerta o a través de su teléfono, la palabra de la elección presidencial de EE.UU. 2020 ha sido frecuente en todos los aspectos de nuestra vida. Aunque es profuso, esto es el resultado de que los individuos ejerzan sus derechos y animen a otros a hacer lo mismo con la aspiración de formar un sistema que favorezca su libertad y progresión.

Esta elección presidencial marcará historia para la comunidad latina. Con una proyección de 32 millones de votantes elegibles, se espera que los Latinos sean la minoría racial o étnica más grande de la nación en la elección presidencial de EE.UU. Con altos números como el 40% de la población vota en Nuevo México y el 30% en California y Texas, las voces de los latinos están siendo representadas y amplificadas.

Sin embargo, al ejercer nuestros derechos, también debemos ser educados y confiados en las leyes fundamentales establecidas para protegernos. Estos se consolidan no sólo en nuestras elecciones presidenciales, sino en efecto durante las elecciones de todo el año.

Estos incluyen:

 Derechos Básicos:

  • Usted tiene la opción de votar temprano
    • Nota: Todos los estados tienen diferentes fechas para comenzar y terminar la votación anticipada. Para más información sobre las fechas de su estado visite:

 https://www.vote.org/early-voting-calendar/

  • Si el lugar de votación cierra mientras usted está en línea – permanezca en línea. Usted todavía tiene el derecho a votar.
  • Si comete un error en su boleta de votación, tiene derecho a solicitar otra boleta.
  • Si las máquinas no funcionan, puedes pedir una boleta de papel

¿Qué pasa si tengo dificultad para entender inglés?

Bajo la ley federal, los votantes que tienen dificultad para leer o escribir en inglés pueden recibir asistencia en persona al de votar de cualquier persona que deseen. Esto puede ser un pariente, un amigo o cualquier otra persona. Las únicas personas no autorizadas son los empleadores o agentes del sindicato de votantes, o los propios candidatos.

Las jurisdicciones cubiertas por el artículo 203 de la Ley de Derechos de Votantes deben tener recursos para votantes bilingües en idiomas específicos; el condado de Gwinnett es un ejemplo de esto. Esto incluye a los trabajadores electorales competentes en los idiomas y materiales electorales, así como información relacionada con las elecciones.

  • Para comprobar si su ubicación está protegida bajo esta sección visite:

 https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/newsroom/press-kits/2017/esri/esri_uc2017

 _voting_rights_act.pdf

¿Qué pasa si voy a votar y me dicen que mi nombre no está registrado?

Si usted está votando temprano y tiene tiempo antes del final de una elección, reevalúe su estado y registración (esta es como su información y lugar de votación). Si es necesario, usted tiene el derecho a una boleta provisional. Estas son boletas que se cuentan después de que se confirma la elegibilidad del votante.

 Tenga en cuenta: Su boleta no será contada si se encuentra en el lugar de votación incorrecto.

 Consejo: Si usted emite una boleta provisional, pida un número para llamar para asegurarse de que su voto fue contado.

Tengo una discapacidad o necesito alojamiento al votar

Bajo la ley federal, todos los lugares de votación deben tener accesibilidad para los votantes mayores y las personas con discapacidades. Durante una elección federal, cada lugar de votación debe tener al menos una máquina que permita a las personas con alojamiento votar de forma privada e independiente.

  • Usted puede traer a una persona de su elección para ayudarle con el proceso de votación.
  • Los trabajadores electorales deben estar disponibles si necesita asistencia.

 Consejo: En el estado de Georgia, el día de las elecciones, si usted es una persona que necesita alojamiento, no se le requiere esperar en la fila entre las 9:30 am – 4:30 pm.

Soy un delincuente condenado. ¿Puedo votar?

Estas circunstancias varían según el estado. Actualmente en el estado de Georgia, si ha completado su sentencia y no tiene entradas activas o libertad condicional, puede votar.

 Para comprobar las circunstancias de su estado visite: https://campaignlegal.org/restoreyourvote

 

Works Cited

Voting and Election Laws. US gov. September 1, 2020. https://www.usa.gov/voting-laws

Felon Voting Rights. National Conference of State Legislature. October 1, 2020.

 https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/felon-voting-rights.aspx

The Americans with Disabilities Act and Other Federal Laws Protecting the Rights of Voters With Disabilities. U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. September 2014.

 https://www.ada.gov/ada_voting/ada_voting_ta.htm

Conner, Katie. You have Voting Rights: Know What They Are Before You Hit the Polls. CNet.

October 8, 2020.

 https://www.cnet.com/how-to/you-have-voting-rights-know-what-they-are-before-you-hit-t

 he-polls/

Election Protection: Know Your Rights as a Voter. Voter. September 18, 2020.

 https://www.vote.org/election-protection/ 

NOTE: The opinions expressed in this blog are the opinions of the author only. It is not to be assumed that the opinions are those of GALEO or the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund. For the official position on any issue for GALEO, please contact Jerry Gonzalez, CEO of GALEO at jerry@galeo.org.  

Questions or concerns about voting? Call us at 1-888-54GALEO (1-888-544-2536) or visit georgialatinovote.com.

¿Preguntas o inquietudes sobre la votación? Llámenos al 1-888-54GALEO (1-888-544-2536) o visite GeorgiaVota.com.

To Pledge to Vote for these upcoming elections, please visit bit.ly/P2VGALEO2020.

Para comprometerse a votar por estas próximas elecciones, por favor visite bit.ly/P2VGALEO2020.

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Record-breaking Voting in Georgia

Natalia B. Dutra

30 October 2020

Record-breaking voter turnout is making headlines across the US. People everywhere are casting their ballots for the November election. According to MSNBC, as of October 24th, the number of people who have voted has already surpassed one-third of total voters in the 2016 election, and about twenty percent of those votes were cast by people who did not participate in the presidential election four years prior.

Many of these votes are coming from typically underrepresented communities. A report from Tufts University shows that the number of young voters in states like Florida and North Carolina has more than quadrupled. Many of my friends, some who recently turned 18 and others who had simply never voted, felt an urgency to make their way to the polls. Latinx voters are also creating waves this election, with over 30 million people eligible to vote.

Whether you are voting in-person or absentee, it is important to have your voice heard. Our community has the power to influence the future of our country. Not only are we choosing the next president, we are choosing the next senator, the next sheriff, the next judge, the next school board member. More than likely, we will feel the direct impact of local officials like sheriffs, who have the power to reject harmful programs like 287(g), or school board officials, who decide the future of our children, in our daily lives. Now, more than ever, it is imperative to exercise your rights and vote. Your vote is your power!

 

Works Cited

MSNBC. “First-time Voters, Young Voters Making Their Voices Heard in 2020.” MSNBC.com, 24 Oct. 2020, www.msnbc.com/the-reidout/watch/first-time-voters-young-voters-making-their-voices-heard-in-2020-94537797543.

Tufts University. “Absentee and Early Voting by Youth in the 2020 Election.” CIRCLE, 22 Oct. 2020, circle.tufts.edu/latest-research/absentee-and-early-voting-youth-2020-election.

 

NOTE: The opinions expressed in this blog are the opinions of the author only. It is not to be assumed that the opinions are those of GALEO or the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund. For the official position on any issue for GALEO, please contact Jerry Gonzalez, CEO of GALEO at jerry@galeo.org.

Questions or concerns about voting? Call us at 1-888-54GALEO (1-888-544-2536) or visit georgialatinovote.com.

¿Preguntas o inquietudes sobre la votación? Llámenos al 1-888-54GALEO (1-888-544-2536) o visite GeorgiaVota.com.

To Pledge to Vote for these upcoming elections, please visit bit.ly/P2VGALEO2020.

Para comprometerse a votar por estas próximas elecciones, por favor visite bit.ly/P2VGALEO2020.

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Thank Your Phone Bankers: Getting Out the Vote During a Global Pandemic

Laura Jimenez, Fall 2020 Intern

30 October 2020

We have all received phone calls that we wish we would not have answered. We often regret picking up the phone for telemarketers, bill collectors, scammers, and now, more prevalently, phone bankers. As the 2020 General Election comes to a close, politics and civic duty has progressively become more relevant to every constituent in the United States. Information about this extremely polarized and complicated election has flooded even the most private areas of our lives. Because the topic consumes much of our attention often in a negative way, phone bankers are often met with reluctance and hostility. However, their persistent contribution to “Get Out the Vote” efforts has significant effects on elections.  Because of their commitment to democracy,  phone bankers deserve much more admiration than they receive.

I will preface this by saying that as a phone banker myself, I understand your aversion to phone calls about anything to do with voting during heated election cycles. Receiving cold calls about private information such as your vote is uncomfortable, especially when the call interrupts your lunch break, important meeting, or family time. I will be the first to say that I understand why we are often met with refusal to discuss these topics,  but I will also be the first to advocate for my fellow phone bankers and all of the important work they do.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it quickly became apparent that campaigning tactics would have to change in order to rise to the challenge of contactless voter outreach. Since door-to-door canvassing was no longer a viable option, many campaigns began to invest greater percentages of their funds into phone banking, pamphlets in the mail, social media marketing, and other pandemic-friendly ways to inform voters about how to register, where to vote, how to vote by mail, and other important election questions. Here at GALEO, we have a team of phone bankers who work between two to four-hour shifts in order to contact as many voters as possible. Our team text banks and phone banks daily in order to answer every voter’s pressing questions about the election process.

Though we encounter many voters who are unwilling to engage in these conversations, data suggests that the effects of our phone calls are significant despite the fact that we often do not visibly see their fruits. According to a 2006 study performed by Political Scientist  David Nickerson at the University of Notre Dame, phone calls from nonpartisan organizations increased voter turnout by 3.8% (Nickerson, 2006). Now, I know that does not sound too impressive, but in a country with approximately 240 million eligible voters (Hauck, 2020), increasing voter turnout by 3.8% is an increase of 9 million voices heard. That is enough to sway the results of many elections state and nationwide.

Since COVID-19 has caused a greater reliance on phone banking, this percentage might be even higher as more constituents receive vital voter information from these two to three minute calls. GALEO and many other nonpartisan organizations strive to give every voter a voice within the United States. We acknowledge how crucial it is for all of our voices to be counted, and we call your phone with this intent in mind. Thanks to phone bankers, we have been able to contact thousands of people across Georgia, providing them with vital information for this general election. We understand the discomfort surrounding these phone calls, but we ask that you take some time to commend a phone banker the next time you get a call from one. You will never know if you will learn something without answering! Finally, to my fellow phone bankers, keep it up. Do not be discouraged because we are making a difference in our country during every conversation we have!

 

Works Cited

Hauck, Grace. More than 56 Million People Have Already Voted. Here’s How That Compares with Past

Elections. 24 Oct. 2020, www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/10/22/voter-turnout-2020-ranking-us-presidential-elections/6006793002/.

“Volunteers Phone Banking in a School.” A Level Playing Field: CPS Back To School Phone Banking, City

Year Chicago, 28 Aug. 2012, cityyearchicago.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/a-level-playing-field-cps-back-to-school-phone-banking/.

Nickerson, David W. “Volunteer phone calls can increase turnout: Evidence from eight field experiments.”

American Politics Research 34.3 (2006): 271-292.

NOTE: The opinions expressed in this blog are the opinions of the author only. It is not to be assumed that the opinions are those of GALEO or the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund. For the official position on any issue for GALEO, please contact Jerry Gonzalez, CEO of GALEO at jerry@galeo.org.

Questions or concerns about voting? Call us at 1-888-54GALEO (1-888-544-2536) or visit georgialatinovote.com.

¿Preguntas o inquietudes sobre la votación? Llámenos al 1-888-54GALEO (1-888-544-2536) o visite GeorgiaVota.com.

To Pledge to Vote for these upcoming elections, please visit bit.ly/P2VGALEO2020.

Para comprometerse a votar por estas próximas elecciones, por favor visite bit.ly/P2VGALEO2020.

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Voting Rights Advocates in Georgia Win Expanded Language Access for Critical Limited English Proficient (LEP) Swing Voters In Time for Election Day

DeKalb County Becomes First in State to Voluntarily Create Officially Translated Sample Ballots in Korean and Spanish

Atlanta, GA — Today the #DearGeorgia, It’s Time campaign led by Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta (Advancing Justice-Atlanta) and supported by more than 30 voting rights organizations announced new in-language voting resources including officially translated ballots in Korean and Spanish that are available immediately. DeKalb County becomes the first county in Georgia to offer an officially translated ballot in an Asian language, and in doing so, also becomes the first county to voluntarily take steps beyond those required by the federal Voting Rights Act to expand meaningful language access.

Stephanie Cho, Executive Director of Advancing Justice-Atlanta, shared, “Today’s announcement marks a turning point for our fight to strengthen voting rights, ensuring that more Georgians will be welcomed and included in our democracy. We are moving from defense to offense. As we continue to protect voting rights, we will also focus our efforts to increase language access for Georgia’s more than 165,000 Limited English Proficient (LEP) voters.

Georgia is a critical state in the election with rapidly growing Asian American, Pacific Islander (AAPI) and Latinx communities. By providing in-language voting resources, DeKalb County’s election officials are demonstrating statewide leadership on how to make it possible for all Georgia voters to have a voice in shaping our state and country’s future.”

Earlier this month Advancing Justice-Atlanta’s Policy Director, LaVita Tuff made a series of language access recommendations to DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson and the Board of Commissioners’ County Operations Committee. Tuff’s recommendations coincided with the DeKalb Board of Registrations and Elections (BRE) being awarded a $4.8 million grant to improve election processes and restore voter confidence.

“The infusion of resources and the collaboration with Advancing Justice-Atlanta will be meaningful as we work together to advance language access ahead of Election Day. We must have every voice and vote heard and counted to continue to make this democracy better.  DeKalb County is committed to that!” said Commissioner Larry Johnson, who chairs the DeKalb County Operations Committee, which works in partnership with the BRE to ensure DeKalb County offers exceptional voter experience.

Jerry Gonzalez, Chief Executive Officer of Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials added, “This is part of a years’ long fight to deepen democracy across Georgia. In Gwinnett County though we fought for the election board to voluntarily adopt Spanish language accommodations, they only acted once the Census Bureau determined that Gwinnett County was required to under the Voting Rights Act. It was a significant win to have both the moral and legal backing to expand the franchise and we kept on fighting.

None of us have forgotten that the 2018 gubernatorial race was decided by just 55,000 votes, making the estimated 377,000 eligible Latinx voters and the nearly 240,000 eligible AAPI voters in Georgia a decisive constituency. In Georgia, over a third of Latinx and nearly half of AAPIs speak limited English. In DeKalb county alone, there are nearly 34,000 AAPI and Latinx voters.”

Today’s in-language resources roll-out include: translated sample ballots; frequently asked questions and answers; absentee voter guide; poll location changes; and dropbox locations in Korean and Spanish. The resources will include Advancing Justice-Atlanta’s multilingual voter hotline and will be posted on DeKalbVotes.com and available at polling stations. The county also announced a rapid response plan to give poll workers information on language access rights and resources at the polls.

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GALEO Teams up with State Farm Arena for Early Voting Translations

Voting at State Farm Arena

Friday, October 16, 2020 (Atlanta, GA) – GALEO and Atlanta’s State Farm Arena have teamed up for early voting efforts. The State Farm Arena website includes instructions on how citizens who are registered to vote in Fulton County residents can vote early at this location. GALEO has helped State Farm Arena translate these instructions here:

For SPANISH website: https://www.statefarmarena.com/about-the-arena/early-voting-esp

For ENGLISH website: https://www.statefarmarena.com/about-the-arena/early-voting

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UGA law school honors alumnus and former SEC commissioner, Luis Aguilar, with portrait unveiling

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jerry Gonzalez, GALEO

jerry@galeo.org, 678.691.1086

UGA law school honors alumnus and former SEC commissioner, Luis Aguilar, with portrait unveiling

1st Latino distinguished with honor and Aguilar was also former GALEO Board Member

 

Friday, October 16, 2020 (Athens, GA) – As the month celebrating Latinx heritage draws to a close, the University of Georgia School of Law recently held a virtual portrait unveiling for Luis Aguilar, a 1979 graduate of the law school whose service on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission helped lead the country out of the economic upheaval of the 2008 recession.

“It is fitting that as we celebrate Latinx Heritage Month, that we celebrate this distinguished Cuban American who has contributed so much not only to the University of Georgia but to our country as well,” said President Jere W. Morehead.

Aguilar – who immigrated to the United States as a child refugee from Cuba and who describes himself as “the product of the generosity of the American people and the opportunities offered by the United States” – was originally appointed as a commissioner with the Securities and Exchange Commission by President George W. Bush in 2008 and reappointed by President Barack Obama in 2011. He ultimately served from 2008 to 2015 – making Aguilar the eighth longest-serving commissioner in SEC history as well as only the third individual to have been nominated by two U.S. presidents from different political parties.

Shortly after his tenure with the SEC began in 2008, Lehman Brothers went into bankruptcy and the stock market crashed. In the aftermath of the recession, the SEC entered one of its most active periods in history, helping to restore confidence and accountability in the agency and capital markets.

“Luis embodies our school’s ethic of service, and his instrumental role in salvaging the economy during the Great Recession will long be remembered as a great point of pride,” law school Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge said.

Prior to his work at the SEC, Aguilar was active in both business and law. He has served as the general counsel, head of compliance, executive vice president and corporate secretary of Invesco. He also has been a partner at several prominent law firms, including McKenna Long & Aldridge, Alston & Bird, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, and Powell Goldstein Frazer & Murphy.

“It is a great honor to have my portrait displayed at the University of Georgia School of Law,” Aguilar said. “Much of what I have been able to achieve in my life resulted from the tremendous education, training and support I received at the School of Law. I will always remember this recognition with great pride and humility.”

In addition to Morehead and Rutledge, several friends and colleagues of Aguilar’s spoke about his life and career. They included J. Antonio “Tony” DelCampo of DelCampo & Grayson; Richard Best, the director of the New York Regional Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission; and Walter Jospin, of counsel with Finch McCranie and the former director of the Atlanta Regional Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“It truly is a fitting honor for someone who has always worked diligently within the Latino community and has accomplished much for our nation, our state and the Latinx community,” added Jerry Gonzalez, CEO of GALEO recognizing the Honorable Luis Aguilar as a former board member of GALEO in its early years.

### Writer/Contact: Lona Panter, 706-542-5172, lonap@uga.edu

An image is online at https://news.uga.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Aguilar-portrait-unveiling-copy.jpg Cutline: President Jere W. Morehead and School of Law Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge stand beside the portrait of Aguilar.

This release is online at https://news.uga.edu/law-school-honors-alumnus-aguilar-portrait/

UGA School of Law: Recognized as the best value in legal education in back-to-back years, the School of Law is also consistently regarded as one of the top law schools in the nation. Since 1859, the school has been preparing the next generation of legal leaders. It currently offers three degrees – the Juris Doctor, the Master of Laws and the Master in the Study of Law. The school’s accomplished faculty includes nationally and internationally renowned scholars, and its approximately 11,000 living graduates are leading figures in law, business and public service throughout the world. Connecting students to these thought leaders and opportunities to serve state and society is central to the school’s mission. For more information, see www.law.uga.edu.

NOTE: This press release was sent out in coordination with the UGA School of Law.

About GALEO GALEO’s mission is to increase civic engagement and leadership development of the Latino/Hispanic community across Georgia.

CORE BELIEFS: Inclusive, Non-Partisan, Diversity, Responsive

Website: http://www.galeo.org

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