– With just one day left until the election, El Centro de la Raza and Washington Environmental Council’s Voter Education Program worked together to reach out to 60,000 voters. Together, the two organizations have conducted bilingual phone banks reminding Washington Latino voters to send in their ballots.

This voter-outreach campaign is the largest outreach program yet from Washington Environmental Council and El Centro de la Raza, building on three years of collaboration.

“The partnership between Washington Environmental Council and El Centro de la Raza is built on our shared values,” said Joan Crooks, Executive Director of Washington Environmental Council. “And one of our biggest shared values is the importance of voting.”

Despite an increasing population in the US and Washington, Latino voters historically turn out in lower numbers than other groups.  This partnership is focused on turning that tide in Washington, by drawing on the community outreach know-how of El Centro de la Raza and the voter contact skills of WEC’s Voter Education Program.

“This joint effort highlights the values that connect the environmental and social justice communities,” said Estela Ortega, Executive Director of El Centro de la Raza. “We’re working together to active voters who might not hear from other voter outreach campaigns.”

The campaign is drawing on community groups to help conduct outreach. Unidas Seremos, a University of Washington student club along with Chief Sealth High School’s MECh/LA student club have brought volunteers each week.

One of the student volunteers at last week’s phone bank Yajaira Flores Zamora said, “Most of us [volunteers] are from a Latino background and we feel our voices need to be heard this election.  It feels good to motivate the Latino community and it’s rewarding to know I’ve connected directly with people in our community encouraging them to vote.”