Advocating Electoral Participation

CHIRLA’s civic engagement department builds electoral participation among immigrants, Latinos, English learners, hard-to-reach and new voters in our community.

We work to first inform them and then get them to the polls to participate in this democracy in an empowered way,  voting their best interests.

To that end, we work to educate voters about the electoral process and convince them to participate in EVERY election, not just the presidential cycle. Candidate campaigns tend to overlook these voters, but we aim to make them cultural voters, building a progressive, empowered voter base from scratch.

We are also part of the Million Voters Project, a coalition of California organizations working to expand the electorate with Californians who tend to stay out of the political process.

Timeline

  • Aug 5, 2020

    2004

    CHIRLA begins a civic engagement program with a project to reach 1,200 new and infrequent voters in the San Fernando Valley through phone banking and canvassing.

  • Aug 5, 2020

    2004

    CHIRLA runs its first electoral campaign, in a non-partisan election.

  • Aug 5, 2020

    2006

    CHIRLA reaches 3,800 new and infrequent voters.

  • Aug 5, 2020

    2009

    Call center transfers 350,000 voters throughout the country to their congressional representatives to support the DREAM Act.

  • Aug 5, 2020

    2014

    CHIRLA conducts its first primary election civic engagement campaign.

  • Aug 5, 2020

    2017

    CHIRLA conducts its first special election campaign to get out the vote.

  • Aug 5, 2020

    2018

    CHIRLA founds the Immigrant Political Power Project, a joint initiative with the CHIRLA Action Fund, its political arm.

  • Aug 5, 2020

    2018

    The IPPP reaches 240,000 voters in 43 California counties and three other states, with a turnout rate of 80 percent.

  • Aug 5, 2020

    2020

    CHIRLA launches a permanent, not campaign-based, call center.

  • Aug 5, 2020

    2020

    The Immigrant Political Power Project reaches more than 90,000 voters for the March primaries.

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Our Projects

Immigrant Political Power Project

Targets new citizens, Latinos, and English learners to build enough voting power to sway state politics. On average, we speak with these voters 4-7 times before election day, in their language, over the phone and in person. We train allies, members and community partners to also talk with them about the political landscape, volunteer recruitment, and electoral strategy. Teams of paid and volunteer canvassers and phone bankers, who range in status from LPR to undocumented, work to build a constant culture of voting among their neighbors. This electoral program is for immigrants by immigrants.

Our Campaigns

Contamos Contigo

CHIRLA’s third census campaign aims to empower Latinos, immigrants, refugees, and English learners -- who have a history of invisibility in the census -- to fill it out. Our communities often get plenty of federal resources, but the wrong kind--detention centers and police enforcement instead of schools and hospitals. Filling out the census ensures we get what we truly need. We aim to reach 2.7 million Californians in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Bernardino, the San Fernando and Antelope valleys, the High Desert, and Sacramento.

Schools and Communities First

CHIRLA helped collect 1.7 million signatures to put the Schools and Communities First initiative on the November 2020 ballot as Proposition 15. It redistributes tax responsibilities so that big business pays its fair share to fund schools and infrastructure.

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Helpful Resources

Voters Choice Act

CHIRLA leads efforts to educate and make voting accessible to everyone. We are part of the steering committee for the Voter Choice Act LA County working group, Future of California Elections, and the Voter Choice Act working group in Orange County. We participated in a mock election and hosted training sessions to show voters the new voting system in Los Angeles County.