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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Caravan to Increase Latino Voter Participation in Oregon

April 8, 2008

Francisco López, Voz Hispana Coordinator (503) 269-5694
Erik Sorensen, CAUSA Communications (503) 488-0263


Salem, OR- In commemoration of the 81st Anniversary of the Birthday, Life and Legacy of Cesar E. Chavez, Voz Hispana Causa Chavista, a non-profit organization composed of parents, workers, students, small business owners and community organizers, will participate in a car caravan with allies this Saturday to register voters and encourage Latinos to vote in the upcoming elections. This weekend's caravan is just one of the many activities Voz Hispana has planned this year to encourage Latino voter turn-out.

"The mission of this Saturday's voter registration caravan is to empower Latinos by increasing our participation in the American democratic process", said Juan Argumedo, Organizer with Voz Hispana. "We are dedicated to preparing and delivering thousands of Latino voters for Oregon's 2008 primary and general elections."

Voz Hispana has been a pioneer and one of the leading organizations conducting voter registration and "Get out the Vote" campaigns for the Latino community in Marion county. Since its establishment in 1997, the organization has been committed to creating a healthy community where members have the opportunities and access to resources to achieve their highest potential.

"Our organization promotes the active involvement of Latinos in the civic and democratic system" said Ana Luisa Sanchez, President of Voz Hispana. "With our non-partisan voter registration campaigns, educational and candidate forums, and community engagement, Voz Hispana works to ensure that the community's voice is heard"

With more than 100,000 Latinos eligible to vote in Oregon, including thousands of eligible young Latinos turning 18 years-old, the main goal of Voz Hispana is to register young Latino Voters using innovative voter registration methods like the caravan. They hope to encourage them to vote their conscience on issues affecting their lives.

"Many issues are at stake this November, such as promoting real immigration reform, preserving the right of immigrants to obtain and keep a drivers license, accessing health care services, securing affordable housing and promoting quality education.", said Liliana Sotelo, Youth Organizer and a student at Woodburn High School. "But the most important reason to vote and register to vote is because we love our families and we want a brighter future for all of us."

The Caravan will depart simultaneously from Colonia Amistad in Independence and Colonia Libertad in Salem this Saturday (April 12th) at 1:00pm and make stops in Salem and Woodburn. While in Salem, the Caravan will stop at Chemeketa Community College to for a short rally to encourage Latinos to register to vote. More than 100 cars are expected to participate

Other Organizations participating in the effort include PCUN, Salem-Keizer Coalition for Equality, CAUSA, LUCHA, MECHA, First Congregational Church, St. Patrick Catholic Church Youth Group, Woodburn High School, Guadalajara Restaurant in Woodburn, LUS, Chemeketa Community College, Radio Movimiento, FHDC, and Mano a Mano Family Center.



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