Movimiento Hispano is on a mission to register Latinos to vote for the 2012 election. Every Thursday and Friday they come to the Brooklyn federal courthouse for the naturalization ceremony to register 200 to 300 new citizens.
“Movimiento Hispano is a project of Latinos for Democracy which is a coalition of three national Hispanic organizations: Hispanic Federation, LULAC and LCLAA and our goal is to register 200,000 new voters, latino voters,” explains Frankie Miranda, Vice President of the Hispanic Federation.
Its an important effort because it is estimated that 12 million latinos that can vote will not do so.
“Latinos are right now the biggest minority in the United states however our demographic growth have not been reflected in the number of Latinos that are registered,” says Miranda.
And Movimiento Hispano is reaching new citizens.
“Before, to be honest with you guys, I didn’t know what was the difference between voting or not voting, didn’t really care, now I do care, why I do care because Im looking for a better job for myself. Im looking for a better community where I live Im looking for better opportunity where I live not only for me but for my people,” said newly registered voter Jorge Hiraldo.
“Every single year 500,000 latinos will be come 18 years old, that’s 500,00 new latinos who have the ability or the possibility to register to vote,” says Miranda.
And Director of Immigration and Civic Engagement, Jessica Orozco, is tapping into that possibility and attending community events in an effort to register young Latino voters.
“Today we are at el Puente academy for their Fly girl fest. And I was like do you want to register to vote and this boy said no. And I said why and he said I don’t want to vote. I was like did you know that these people make everyday decisions that affect your life?”
And her message is getting through to people.
“I kind of am excited because I feel like I haven’t voted before, I haven’t really had a choice to do something like this,” explains Saul, a student who says he will be voting this election.
And choice is something young latinos will have come November.
Reporting for NBCLatino, Gabriela Jerez