Chicanos Por La Causa in 2022 invested $10 million in an unprecedented Latino voter outreach campaign via its sister advocacy organization, Sí Se Vota CPLC Action Fund.
We use the term “invested” because that’s the objective of the Latino Loud campaign: an investment in our community, our families, our future, our democracy and our political empowerment.
Was Latino Loud successful?
Our projections, based on recent voter rolls and primary election turnout numbers, are that 400,000-plus Latinos voted in Arizona’s 2022 general election − a record for midterm elections. Nearly 37,000 new voter registrations in 2022 can be directly credited to the Latino Loud campaign, with likely thousands more spurred by the statewide get-out-the-vote effort.
That’s a return on investment that will be compounded with interest every election cycle.
Our focus was especially on young Latino voters
Sí Se Vota CPLC Action Fund enlisted, empowered and funded Latino-owned businesses and voter-outreach organizations the help with our voter outreach. That strategy paid off, with preliminary data suggesting more than 50,000 additional Latinos having voted this midterm, many of whom were first-time or first-time-in-a-long-time voters. Final numbers are still being tallied.
With the median age for Arizona Latinos about 26, younger Latinos were our primary target. The Latino Loud logo with its open mouth was more evocative than provocative, resonating with younger members of our community who have something to say and want to be heard.
Latino Loud engaged low-propensity Latino voters via digital and social media, including Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Mi Familia Vota, a national civic engagement nonprofit, conducted voter registration.
A whopping 743,526 doors were canvassed; 210,655 text messages and 3 million mailers were sent. Events were hosted statewide at rallies, festivals and college campuses.
The message from young people: Our voice matters
Focus groups helped define the messaging, with the LatinoLoudAZ.org website and digital media featuring young Latinos speaking to young Latinos. Video vignettes included a local restaurant chef, yoga instructor and “Dreamer” who underscored the importance of voting.
“Just like doing a bad tattoo, if you’re not educated when you vote, you can make a decision that may not be able to be reversed,” Arizona tattoo artist Hector Valenzuela said in one video.
“The Latino vote for me is power. There are so many of us. Together, we have power. Your voice matters,” Valenzuela added.
'We know our vote is important':More Latino voters supported Democrats, survey finds
While Latino Loud did not advocate for specific candidates, the foundational message was often repeated: The ballot amplifies what Latinos want to say about affordable housing, climate change, a woman’s right to choose, economic opportunities, education equity, health insurance, LGBTQ rights, and the defense of democracy at a time when voting rights are under attack.
Since its April launch, Latino Loud messaging was conveyed more than 263 million times – including more than 31.8 million digital media impressions and 14.4 million weekly average impressions via billboards in the Phoenix area, Tucson and Yuma. A colorful Latino Loud wrap on the Valley Metro Light Rail featured English messaging on one side and Spanish on the other.
Latino voters should never be taken for granted again
News media took even greater notice of the Latino vote this midterm.
Latinos represent nearly a third of Arizona’s population and nearly a quarter of eligible voters – and growing, with the Latino population dominating Arizona’s demographic trends.
Latino political power, however, has lagged due to lower voter turnout. That dynamic changed in the 2022 midterm. This election included headliner contests for U.S. Senate, governor, secretary of state and attorney general, as well as key ballot propositions, such as the successful Proposition 308, which offers in-state tuition for Arizona “Dreamers.”
The Latino vote undoubtedly affected several key races this midterm, but the Latino Loud/Sí Se Vota campaign was never about the 2022 election or even the upcoming 2024 presidential election.
It’s about generational change. Among our most popular swag were children’s T-shirts that featured the Latino Loud logo on the back and the words “Future Voter” on the front.
Going forward, we believe both major political parties will have a greater appreciation of Latino empowerment, which comes in many shapes, sizes and colors – Democrat, Republican, independent; white, brown and mixed ethnicities; progressive, conservative, moderate; white collar, blue collar, no collar; and friend, neighbor, colleague, coworker or family member.
No longer will the Latino vote be taken for granted or ignored by candidates or political parties, but instead be courted and earned. More importantly, the Latino vote will be respected and heard: Latino Loud and clear.
Joseph Garcia is vice president of public policy at Chicanos Por La Causa, and executive director of Sí Se Vota CPLC Action Fund. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @CPLCActionFund.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona Latinos voted in record numbers in 2022. Here's why