TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Hispanics make up around 40% of Pima County’s population but many are hesitant to pick up a ballot and make their voices heard. One organization called Mi Familia Vota is trying to change that. Their 2020 annual report estimates that there are 430,000 Latinos in Arizona that are eligible, but not registered to vote.
“Voting is one of those things that you have to look for it, you have to take multiple steps to participate when in reality it should be much easier,” Carolina Rodriguez-Greer, Arizona State Director for Mi Familia Vota.
Carolina Rodriguez-Greer has worked with Mi Familia Vota in Arizona for last two presidential elections. The organization has been canvassing Arizona voters for around 14 years and made its mark on local politics. In 2020, volunteers registered more than 11,000 voters in Pima County.
“I’m an immigrant myself, I was born in Mexico and set roots in Tucson and started becoming aware of the ways that people didn’t want people like me to participate,” Rodriguez-Greer said.
The group often organizes workshops with legal experts to help immigrants apply for citizenship. In 2018, they helped almost 400 Tucsonans with their applications. Mayor Regina Romero has supported Mi Familia Vota since the beginning. As the first Latin American woman to become Mayor of Tucson, she’s a staunch advocate of representation in politics.
“My parents always told me, especially my dad who was very into politics and policy and all that to participate in my country and in my community,” said Regina Romero, Mayor of Tucson.
She says Mi Familia Vota has changed the game for working families that often lean away from political involvement.
“They take the time to knock on doors and canvas at voters' homes," Romero said. "They keep elected officials like me in line in terms of what the priorities are for working families.”
The organization has locations in five other states - all with large Latino communities. You can volunteer or get help through their website - mifamiliavota.org
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