Latino-serving organizations came together to announce the launch of the Ranked Choice Voting Latino Week of Action to promote a week-long series of public events urging New York City Latinos to register to vote by the deadline and highlighting education efforts on Ranked-Choice Voting, early and absentee voting and the importance of the Latino vote as New York City recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the 2019 General Elections, New Yorkers voted in favor of amending the City Charter to institute Ranked-Choice Voting for primary and special elections for the city offices of Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate, Borough President, and members of the City Council. Proponents championed its adoption based on the benefits of eliminating costly run-off elections, ensuring a more diverse pool of public elected officials, and reaching greater levels of consensus about candidates for public office. Under the revised City Charter, the city’s Campaign Finance Board (NYC Votes) is responsible for educating voters about RCV. NALEO Educational Fund, Hispanic Federation, Dominicanos USA, LatinoJustice, and Rank the Vote NYC are partnering with NYC Votes, DemocracyNYC and the New York City Board of Elections to implement a robust, culturally-and-linguistically accessible outreach and education campaign targeting Latino voters to increase their awareness of the new method of voting and to increase excitement about voting in general.
“Latino New Yorkers have been especially hard hit by COVID-19, and the pandemic’s effects will be felt in our city’s diverse communities for years to come. Given this reality, and the newly-implemented Ranked Choice Voting system, it is imperative that we educate, engage and empower Latinos to vote in this year’s crucial local elections. Hispanic Federation is committed to ensuring that Latinos have the tools they need to continue building a culture of educated voting within the Latino community,” said Frankie Miranda, President and CEO of Hispanic Federation.
“’Su voto es su voz!’ Those are true words and we, Latinos, need to make sure we are clearly heard by registering to vote and becoming familiarized with Ranked Choice Voting. It is crucial that we equip all Latino voters—especially our older adults who are historically the most reliable voters– with the education and knowledge they need to cast a well-informed voting choice in the upcoming election. We older adults take voting seriously because we know elected officials shape the future of the communities we helped build and we want to continue to make a difference. I want to thank the NALEO Educational Fund, Hispanic Federation, LatinoJustice and Dominicanos USA for organizing Ranked-Choice Voting Latino Week of Action and helping us reach and inform our Latino communities,” said Department for the Aging Commissioner Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez.
“The Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs is proud to join forces with NALEO Educational Fund, the Hispanic Federation, LatinoJustice, Dominicanos USA and all of our governmental and community partners in making sure that New Yorkers are prepared to use Ranked Choice Voting. Through robust education and outreach, our communities will have the tools to exercise their right to vote,” said the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit Commissioner Roberto Perez.
“Our mission at DUSA is to empower our community to vote and show them there’s a place for their voice in the electoral process. Our goal for Ranked-Choice Voting is to create educational resources that will not only teach how it works but also let them understand the value of Ranked-Choice Voting and how it can impact elections and their communities,” said Eliana Santos, Director at Dominicanos USA.
“Seeing that Latinos have access to information around Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV) is paramount to making sure community members can make their voices heard,” said Juan Rosa, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Community & Northeast Programs of NALEO Educational Fund. “Ensuring voters register by the May 28 deadline for the June 22 election must be accompanied by direct engagement through English and Spanish resources around RCV. Without this community work, it will be impossible to know whether RCV can be successful in New York City. We are proud to work alongside great partner organizations like LatinoJustice and Hispanic Federation to do our part in empowering the Latino community.”
“LatinoJustice is pleased to join Hispanic Federation, Dominicanos USA and NALEO Educational Fund for the Latino Week of Action on Ranked Choice Voting as part of our collaborative’s continuing efforts to encourage NYC Latino voters to actively participate in every step of the electoral process from voter registration to casting the ballot. When we think of a government of the people, by the people, we envision a democracy centered around the collective voices of all our communities. LatinoJustice will continue to advocate to ensure that as one of the largest racial minority groups in New York, Latino voters are fully informed and educated about Rank Choice Voting while exercising their right to vote in the June primaries. It is critical for Latinos to flex their electoral muscle and use their voting power to elect officials who are committed to addressing our community’s many pressing needs as we recover from the devastating impact of the pandemic upon our families,” said Fulvia Vargas De León, Associate Counsel, LatinoJustice.
“We are four weeks away from the 2021 June Primary that will shape the future of our city. With so much at stake, effective and robust community outreach and education has never been more important,” said Laura Wood, NYC’s Chief Democracy Officer. “DemocracyNYC is thrilled to participate in the Ranked Choice Voting Latino Week of Action to educate New Yorkers in the communities they live and in the languages they speak. We thank LatinoJustice, NALEO Educational Fund, Dominicanos USA, Hispanic Federation, Rank the Vote and all of the elected officials and other organizations involved in the week of action for their partnership and continued leadership on civic education throughout the five boroughs.”
“Ranked Choice Voting gives voters more power at the polls to choose the best leaders for our communities. We are thrilled to join with NALEO to make sure all New Yorkers take advantage of this exciting new way to vote,” said Omar Suarez, Director of Partnerships and Outreach, NYC Campaign Finance Board.
“The New York City Civic Engagement Commission is proud to support the Ranked-Choice Voting Latino Week of Action. It is essential that everyone come together to make sure that all New Yorkers receive the information they need to understand this new voting system and how they can make their voice heard in this critical election,” said Lilliam Perez, Bronx Commissioner of The New York City Civic Engagement Commission.
“Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) is the pro-voter reform that puts power back in the hands of the people where it belongs. Starting this year, New Yorkers will have more choice and more voice thanks to the outstanding education and outreach efforts of the broad coalition working together to introduce RCV to New York City. We are committed to empowering every New Yorker to make the most of our first city-wide ranked choice voting election,” said Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY.
“As one of the communities most affected by the public health and economic emergencies that stemmed from COVID-19, Latino workers and their families must make their voices heard in the 2021 New York City elections. In order to do so, they need up-to-date information and culturally-and-linguistically accessible information on election procedures,” said Eduardo Rosario, President of the NYC Labor Council of Latin American Advancement (LCLAA). “That is why I am proud to join NALEO Educational Fund, Hispanic Federation, LatinoJustice and Dominicanos USA on behalf of NYC LCLAA and NYC Labor Votes, the labor electoral program of the NYC Central Labor Council, to launch a week of action to talk to voters about the upcoming voter registration deadline and all the options available to them to exercise the right to vote. We especially need to inform voters in our community about the new way for them to vote: Ranked Choice Voting.”
The Latino Week of Action will feature social media outreach along with two virtual town halls, two phone banks, street visibility and a livestreamed concert on the last day for residents to register with the New York State Board of Elections to be able to cast their ballots in the June elections.