February 08, 2004

The NALEO Educational Fund and Univision Communications Inc. have joined forces to launch "Voces del Pueblo," an innovative approach to mobilize the Latino electorate. The goal of this unprecedented national effort is to mobilize Latino voters, especially those with low propensity to vote, by educating them on voting procedures and by providing a vehicle to articulate issues important to the US Latino community.

This groundbreaking, non-partisan voter mobilization campaign will include Public Service Announcements (PSAs) that will air on Univision television networks and radio stations across the nation, a web presence through Univision Online, television and radio programming on voting procedures and relevant political segments during Univision's television and radio local news programming. In addition, The NALEO Educational Fund and Univision will host five voter forums in top Hispanic markets, including Los Angeles, Houston, New York, Chicago and Miami. The first voter forum will be held on Saturday, March 6 at Univision headquarters in Los Angeles.

The voter forums, moderated by Univision National News anchor Maria Elena Salinas, will engage a diverse cross section of the Latino registered voting community in a dialogue on their main issues of concern. Ms. Salinas will also be the spokesperson for this effort.

"Latinos have become a permanent part of the American political landscape," said Arturo Vargas, Executive Director for the NALEO Educational Fund. "In the past, there were many challenges limiting Latino political growth, but today is a new day. This partnership between the premier Latino leadership organization and the nation's premier Hispanic media organization will bring Latino issues out of obscurity to the forefront for discussion."

The strategy of "Voces del Pueblo" to engage Latino voters couples traditional get-out-the-vote direct contact methods with an aggressive multi-media campaign that provides voters with information on the mechanics of voting and a motivational message. Latino voters will be contacted by a variety of means, including targeted mail as well as phone calls from volunteers.

From 1996 to 2000, the number of non-Latino registered voters increased by only 1%. In comparison, Latino voter registration increased by more than 14%. With this partnership, both the NALEO Educational Fund and Univision hope to accelerate that number and empower a record number of Latinos to vote and play a decisive role in this Presidential election.

Future voter forums will be held in New York, Houston, Miami and Chicago in March and April. The NALEO Educational Fund and Univision will also prepare a Latino electoral profile, opinion research and summary report of the five forums held in these markets. These materials will be released at NALEO's 21st Annual Conference on June 24, 2004 in Washington, DC.

"This collaborative effort with Univision will empower a record number of Latino voters, forcing presidential hopefuls to stop and listen to America's fastest-growing 'swing voter'," asserted Vargas. "We swing hard and fast, and those vying for the presidency must follow our lead. If not, they risk losing stride with Latino voters."

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