UPDATE: FULL CHAT TRANSCRIPT FOR LATISM’S LATINOS & CITIZENSHIP CHAT ON MAY 12, 2011 [PDF file]
PARTY POSTWith the growth numbers the Latino population has been experiencing – over 50 million according to Census data – more and more Latinos are embracing the American way of life by becoming citizens of the United States.
This is good news, and yet, there’s lots of work to be done in order to increase those numbers and make them truly count. As the 2012 elections loom upon us, time is ticking for our community to truly show our influence in the place where it can make a difference: the polls. There are only about 60% of Latino citizen adults registered to vote now, which means millions of eligible legal permanent residents who have not yet applied for U.S. citizenship or who encounter barriers in the naturalization process might miss out on the possibility to be full civic participants in the democratic process of this country.
The ground is fertile for a comprehensive outreach program that not only drives more voters to the urns… but one that goes deeper into driving educational efforts to encourage Latino legal residents to embrace the rights, privileges, and duties of citizenship.
This is the premise for the campaign “It’s time for Citizenship! [¡Ya es Hora, Ciudadanía!]. Headed by The Univision Network in conjunction with the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) and various organizations -including LATISM- the campaign aims at creating awareness about the benefits and importance of attaining citizenship while providing access to tools, information and support to eligible residents to pursue the citizen path.
Since the campaign’s launch, it has contributed to the record 1.4 million eligible immigrant residents who applied for U.S. citizenship in 2007, held 300 assistance workshops, hosted over 30 naturalization assistance workshops across 16 states and plans to host more such events throughout 2011 and 2012. What an amazing, timely initiative!
- What factors contribute to the disparity between Latino population growth and citizenship attainment?
- How can we help those who need it master the maze of US Citizenship?
- What resources are available out here for those who would like to pursue citizenship?
- What kind of efforts could help us harness and grow Latino political influence at the polls?
- How can we promote voter participation and advocacy for the half-million of potential Latino voters who will reach the legal voting age each year for the next 20 years?
Join us tonight as we discuss the importance of citizenship as a bridge to civic engagement!
About ya es hora ¡CIUDADANIA!
ya es hora ¡CIUDADANIA! is an unprecedented national campaign coordinated by an alliance of national and local partners across the United States to inform, educate, and motivate eligible legal permanent residents to apply for U.S. citizenship. For more information on ya es hora and its efforts in 2011, please visit the Ya Es Hora site.
About Univision Communications Inc.
Univision Communications Inc. (UCI) is the premier media company serving Hispanic America. Univision Network is one of the top five networks in the U.S. regardless of language and the most-watched Spanish-language broadcast television network in the U.S. reaching 97% of U.S. Hispanic households. Headquartered in New York City, UCI has television network operations in Miami and television and radio stations and sales offices in major cities throughout the United States. For more information, please visit the Univision site.