Photo: Latino Vote in 2012
With the goal of expanding the size and influence of the nation’s fastest-growing electorate—Latino voters—NCLR (National Council of La Raza) and Democracia U.S.A. (DUSA), the nation’s largest Hispanic voter registration organization, announce the formal integration of DUSA into NCLR.
“The growing Hispanic voting bloc is poised to determine the outcome in crucial electoral states in the upcoming presidential election. Integrating NCLR and DUSA’s efforts will allow us to create a long-term, sustainable Latino civic engagement program,” stated Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO. “If we are going to change public policy affecting the Hispanic community in the country, we must grow the Latino vote and increase our political influence.”
Since its inception in 2004, DUSA has registered nearly half a million Hispanics to vote, expanding the size and power of the Latino electorate. Meanwhile, NCLR’s public policy component, which includes six issue-based policy-focused areas, has worked on issues ranging from immigration and health care reform to education, housing, and wealth-building. Throughout their existence, both organizations have worked not only to increase the Latino community’s participation within the country’s political process, but also to ensure that those issues important to Hispanics—such as job creation, safe communities, affordable housing, health care, education reform, and most importantly, immigration reform—are achieved.
“We are excited about the opportunity to grow NCLR’s civic engagement work by integrating DUSA into our ongoing advocacy work, so that we can register more Latino voters and help connect more Hispanics to the urgent public policy debates of our time,” said Eric Rodriguez, Vice President of NCLR’s Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation, where the new effort will be housed.
Rodriguez will assume all management, operational, and fiscal oversight responsibilities over DUSA. Former DUSA President Jorge Mursuli will continue as a strategic consultant, advising NCLR’s leadership in developing a new strategy for the 2012 election cycle.
Over the coming weeks, NCLR and DUSA will work together to develop a voter registration, engagement, and mobilization strategy for the 2012 elections while developing and carrying out current work that includes timely issue campaigns in key states.
“We firmly believe that integration of the DUSA project is an important step forward,” Murguía said. “Together, we will be able to engage the Latino voters and translate the benefits of our community’s demographic growth into influence at decision-making tables.”