The Nov. 8 Election Day is a little more than a month away, and local organizations are trying to get more Latinos and Hispanics to register to vote and participate in the upcoming election.
According to "A Data Profile of Latinos in the Inland Empire" done by UCR Center for Social Innovation, voter registration and voting among eligible Latino voters in the Inland Empire is significantly behind registration and turnout among non-Hispanic Whites.
The study reports that in 2020, only 56% of Latinos were registered to vote
in the Inland Empire when compared to 74% of non-Hispanic Whites. Voter turnout in 2020 was also lower for Latinos (50%) versus turnout among non-Hispanic Whites (68%).
Nonprofit Alianza Coachella Valley helps communities on the eastern side of the Coachella Valley that are predominantly Latino. A spokesperson for Alianza told News Channel 3 that in preparation for the upcoming election, the group will be canvassing and helping with voter registrations in the coming weeks to empower Latino voters.
"They think, 'Oh, my vote doesn't count.' You know, their vote is so important because, through their vote, they're able to vote for people who they believe are going to make that change within their community," said Alianza's director of development and external relations, Patricia Carrillo. "Through phone banking through door-to-door canvassing, as well as through workshops and panel discussions to make sure that [latino voters] are informed on who's running and who might be the best fit."
Also, Alianza's Youth Organizing Council and the Community Justice Campaign have organized a Q&A panel with the four candidates running for the Trustee position in Area 1 Coachella for the CVUSD School Board. The panel will be on Oct. 14 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Coachella Library, 1500 6th St, Coachella.
"Making sure that they feel comfortable enough and know that us as community members, we want them to receive the information on how the process look like and who's in the running so that they can make a decision," said Carrillo.
TODEC Legal Center is also helping empower and educate local Latino voters through the Get Out The Vote campaign.
"We're doing nonpartisan work, where we're telling the community, the importance of getting out to vote, the dates, you know, where to do it, and you know, the different information that they might have," said TODEC civic engagement coordinator, Ismael Cruz.
Nonprofit Inland Congregations United for Change is also helping engage local Latino voters. On the organization's website, it says, "We actively engage our communities explaining the importance of voting in local, state and national elections. Ensuring our community is registered to vote, has access to vote and is educated on their choices before taking part in our democracy."
ICUC is hosting a Coachella Valley Unified School District candidate forum on Friday, Oct. 7, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Candidates will be present to address questions from parents, students, and clergy leaders. It will be at at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Mecca.
In addition, ICUC is hosting a panel for the Desert Recreation District candidates on Saturday, Oct. 8th, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Mecca.