OneAmerica's 2012 Civic Engagement Program
Register, Educate, Mobilize, & Win!
The 2012 election will help shape Washington State for many years to come. That’s why OneAmerica is hard at work strengthening the power of the immigrant vote through an aggressive civic engagement campaign.
There’s no organization in Washington that’s doing what we do and reaching who we reach – at this scale. OneAmerica is the only immigrant advocacy organization with statewide reach and infrastructure and who works across all immigrant communities, finding the common thread that brings us together to advance our democracy.
For more than five years, OneAmerica has been successfully registering, educating, and mobilizing immigrant voters, including Latino, Asian and Pacific Islander, and East African voters. Since 2007, we’ve registered more than 25,000 immigrant voters, drawing connections between the issues that affect their lives and the decisions of their elected officials.
In 2012, we have an ambitious goal of mobilizing more than 30,000 immigrant voters and keeping them involved for years to come. To accomplish this, we’re engaging more than 200 volunteers, many of them youth. Some of these youth seized the opportunity to apply for Deferred Action and are finding other ways to build a stronger America for all of us.
In addition to the work being done in our constantly-buzzing Seattle office, we’ve set up satellite phonebanks and canvassing centers in Mount Vernon, Yakima, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, Lynnwood, and throughout South King County. We made over 50,000 phone calls to registered immigrant voters, and are asking them to pledge to vote in the upcoming elections.
One of the major stories driving these elections is the impact of the Latino vote. We know firsthand the growing power of the Latino community in Washington and we’re helping drive it. We also know the growing strength of the Asian Pacific Islander vote and the East African vote. The youth vote? Look out! We see the future and, together, we can ensure it works for all of us.
To get involved, contact Lead Organizer Maha Jahshan.
What’s at stake?
The 2012 election is right around the corner. Voters will start receiving ballots shortly after October 19 and you can mail them in up until Tuesday, November 6.
Here in Washington State, the stakes are high. Voters will elect a new Governor, several statewide office holders – from a U.S. Senator to Secretary of State – and determine who serves in more than half of the state’s legislative seats. Voters will also decide numerous ballot initiatives, including a potentially-historic one, Referendum 74, which affirms marriage equality.
Our voice, our vote
Each election cycle, OneAmerica’s aggressive voter engagement work gets bigger and stronger. In 2010, we educated and mobilized thousands of immigrant voters through door-to-door canvassing, phonebanks, multi-lingual direct mail, earned media, and paid media on Spanish-language radio and in ethnic press.
Our civic engagement work is an essential part of a cycle that builds our capacity and strengthens the movement. After the election parties are over, volunteers stay engaged, participating in our Immigrants Day at the Capitol event in Olympia or testifying in public on important issues. This advocacy work builds leadership, keeps our membership energized, and makes immigrant-friendly policies a reality – in cities, counties, and statewide.
OneAmerica has an active and energized youth program, including youth action squads at high schools across the state offering ways for students to get involved and registering seniors to vote, plus we’ve developed dynamic partnerships with community colleges and universities that help connect academia with advocacy.
While other electoral efforts may target the largest number of potential voters, OneAmerica is fighting for the long haul. Our 2012 civic engagement goals are ambitious, but we also want to convince voters who only occasionally vote to not miss a single future election.
We reach out to newly registered and “low propensity” immigrant voters – or voters who have only voted in one of the last four elections – and have conversations with them about the issues and why it’s important to vote. As our state’s demographics change, young immigrants turn 18, and immigrant voters start seeing their issues prioritized at city hall and in Olympia, our state’s politics will be transformed.
It’s up to you
This election is about issues and candidates. More importantly, this election is about you and your family. Get involved! Join us in calling immigrant voters, knocking on your neighbor’s door and talking with them about the importance of getting involved and voting in this election. Donate to OneAmerica and help us realize the power of the immigrant vote.
To get involved, contact Lead Organizer Maha Jahshan.
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Seattle Times on our Civic Engagement Program
David Ayala-Zamora, organizing director of OneAmerica pointed to elections where Latinos made the difference, including the 2010 re-election of U.S. Sen. Harry Reid in Nevada.
[...] Groups like OneAmerica are sending volunteers door to door to get not just Latinos but other naturalized citizens from Asia, Eastern European and Somalia to register to vote.
While it's important for this year's general election, Ayala-Zamora said, it's also important given that the state's first minority-majority district encompasses parts of South King County, where many immigrants have settled.