CHIRLA’s civic engagement department builds a culture of civic action among immigrants, Latinos and other hard-to-reach voters in our community. This means, most importantly, getting them to the polls as knowledgeable voters who understand how to participate in our democracy and vote their best interests.
CHIRLA began its civic engagement in 2004, with a project that reached out to 1,200 new and infrequent voters through phone banking and canvassing. That was only the beginning. Two years later, we more than doubled those contacts at 3,800, and we kept growing. In 2014, we worked our first primary election. In 2017, we worked our first special election.
In 2018, we founded the Immigrant Political Power Project (IPPP), a joint initiative with our political arm, the CHIRLA Action Fund. It laid out our plan for a voter base made up of new American voters, English learners, and untouched voters who are out of reach to political parties but could eventually wield enough power to sway our state’s politics. The point is to keep contacting these voters with information about prospective laws, candidate education, and the census, to get them interested in the political process. In 2018, the IPPP reached more than 240,000 voters.
Every year, the IPPP engages a team of paid and volunteer canvassers and phone bankers, many of them undocumented immigrants, to get out the vote, increase census participation, and inform voters about new issues, such as changes in the voting process. That way, everyone can be involved in our democracy, regardless of status.
We are also part of the Million Voters Project, an unprecedented coalition of California organizations working to expand the electorate with Californians until now excluded from the political process.
To register to vote, click: Online Voter Registration.