Nuestra Voz Year End Review
One of our big goals this year was to amp up our voter engagement work around three campaigns that addressed issues facing our community members. This included a series of workshops geared at addressing the barriers communities of colors face when deciding to go to the polls. We started building our campaigns from the bottom up and chose to engage our community around immigration, environmental justice and Get Out the Vote. We developed a curriculum to train members and volunteers, as well as hired Voter Engagement Promotorxs from around our community, many of which were already active members, volunteers and movement workers. It was important for us that our promotorxs were WTF'S ( women transgender and femmes) centered. By the end of the year, our short campaigns brought in 701 voting commitments, 2,767 policy item sign ons, 1,336 folks added to the SWU familia, 45 community members were trained to block walk and phone bank, and we had 41,000 door knocks and phone calls made!
Here's how we did it:
We started our voter engagement work on the small from February 2018 to March 2018 with five promotorxs making patch-through calls with voters in congressional district 23. The ask for voters was to call their congressperson, Will Hurd-R) and urge him to support a Clean Dream Act that our community was asking for across the country. In addition, promotorxs were reminding voters of the primary elections in March.
During the summer, our efforts were a lot more ambitious as we set out with 10 block walkers. Our work centered around the historical toxic triangle near the now shut down Kelly Air force Base and was multi-pronged. We set out to ask community members if they would sign on to ask the City of San Antonio to truly invest in more renewable sources of energy and to keep impacted communities in mind and halt coal and gas production near San Antonio. Promotorxs also conducted health surveys so that our center could gauge at the issues our community has been facing and will continue to face. We also connected folks with some of our resources at SWU and by the end of the campaign, we were able to share our findings with the community at large and with CPS energy. Our campaign ended with a community Health Feria at South San High School.
With the election looming, we knew that our final campaign had to be GOTV focused. We set out with 10 promotorxs on our final phone bank campaign of the year. Our non-partisan calls were simple: to get out the vote and to offer additional aid with any questions voters may have prior to or on election day. In addition, we partnered up with Nuestra Voz Our Power to craft four workshops centered around reclaiming elections and sharing voting rights and helping community members organize rides to the polls, however small they may be. The workshops culminated in a power mapping effort post election and planning on where Nuestra Voz is headed next year.
With an final closing event, the organization held a gathering mid-November which focused on skills building and aligning for broad goals for the next year. Three successful workshops geared members towards reflecting on the recent elections, and understanding the policy pipeline of accountable governance. The three workshops included Power Mapping, Decolonizing Data: Building Community Powered Campaigns, and La Lucha Sigue, Reclaim, and Recharge Post Elections.
Historical overview of SWU's Nuesta Voz Campaign visit: www.swunion.org/community-voices-rising
Information on SWU's vision of accountable governance check out these videos.
Materials used at the Workshops: