In a Trump administration Latino voters are under attack. There are countless reasons not to vote: ICE, photo ID and hateful rhetoric are just the tip of the iceberg. That’s why in 2018, one of the organizations we were most proud to work with was Voces de la Frontera.
Voces de la Frontera became the poster-child of what OEP could bring to groups across the country if Relational Organizing were done the right way. After receiving late money, they began implementing an RO program in September and spent several weeks struggling to get it off the ground. Our team spent the month of September coordinating the design of the program with Voces making sure that the specific challenges of their community could be met in the overwhelming timelines of a campaign funding cycle - without that intense level of support they likely would have simply given up and attempted to revisit it after the election. However, once the planning and training took hold, they were able to recruit 5,881 voters in one month and truly begin to flex their muscle as a small but important community organizing institution. One of the districts they did work in, Assembly District 8 historically has the lowest turnout in Wisconsin.
Turnout showed amazing improvement in 2018 with an increase over the 2014 elections of 31.2%. Moving forward, Voces intends to use RO on a year round basis to organize around everything from threats to the community from ICE to local community building events and legislative accountability activities. After cycles of largely being funded to do last-minute Latino paid canvasses, they finally have an organizing technique that compliments their goal to expand their power and reach further in to the community they serve.