ONE Arizona

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One Arizona is a statewide coalition of non-partisan, non-profit organizations committed to registering eligible Latino voters. Francisco Heredia, from One Arizona, talks about the group and its Hispanic voting efforts in Arizona.

José Cardenas: Arizona's Immigration Law sparked matches and protests in our state. But whether this can translate into a big turnout of Latino voters in the November general election remains to be seen. "One Arizona" is a coalition of organizations coming together to register eligible Latino voters throughout the state. With me is Francisco Heredia, spokesperson for the "One Arizona" and the State Director for Mi Familia Vota, one of the organizations in the coalition. Francisco, thank you for joining us. You've been involved in this get out the vote effort through Mi Familia Vota.

Francisco Heredia: It's a coalition of 10 organizations that serve Latino in various capacities across the state and we came together for creating an infrastructure, a capacity to confront many of these attacks that the Latino community has been progressively faced in the last 10-15 years. Also, we -- we want to make sure that we take it upon ourselves to inform and turn out Latinos to vote because we know that by their vote, equals their voice and want to make sure that Latinos come out and are informed and come out and vote in this year's elections and future elections so we as a coalition, said we need to take it upon ourselves and make sure that Latinos are coming out and voting this year's -- in year's election.

José Cardenas: Meaning enough?

Francisco Heredia: Enough.

José Cardenas: Talk about the organization involved and the data that underlies this effort.

Francisco Heredia: Several organizations do civic participation that do citizenship workshops and registration, voter registration and turn out voters so a lot of the organizations do that type of work already. There are other organizations that are part of the -- for instance, PASCO, that does work with organizations, kind of a network of nonprofits throughout the state. So we have a mix of organizations in our coalition that has come together, like I said, to create that infrastructure to turn out Latinos and in year's and future elections.

José Cardenas: And it includes at least one church group?

Francisco Heredia: Yes, the United Church of Christ came on board and helping us, door-to-door, talking to folks, voters, making sure how they feel about this year's elections and helping us turn out the vote and getting their constituents to vote.

José Cardenas: Are you getting support from other groups?

Francisco Heredia: Yes, we've seen a lot of other groups interested in helping us, supporting our efforts out there in the community. Coming in and volunteering with several off groups. We're in seven counties, the largest in the state and coming and volunteering, and coming door-to-door, volunteering at events and helping with our citizenship workshops and helping us get voter registrations and getting Latinos on the permanent early voting list which is one of our main goals for our coalition.

José Cardenas: On the screen we had a picture of a bunch of people standing with balloons and so forth. Is that one of the workshops for get out the vote rallies?

Francisco Heredia: Yes, that picture we were at the Fourth of July Event and we had over 70 volunteers come out to help and get them on the early voting list. If our target is the permanent early voting list, by getting their ballot 26 days before the election, they'll have ample time to make an informed decision on the candidates and propositions on the ballot.

José Cardenas: Where is the money coming from to support this effort?

Francisco Heredia: There are a lot of foundations and donors that have contributed to our efforts because they feel the same way -- enough is enough. We need to make sure that Latinos come out and say that our community needs to have the proper representation. One of the issues is S.B. 1070, but it's not the issue. People feel the economy and jobs and education, so it's a mixed bag of issues that people out there are telling us they care about and these donors and funders are interested in how we can inform and help the Latino community here in this community to rise and provide that voice that we've been missing from previous elections.

José Cardenas: As I understand it, the major funding has come from the Carnegie and Ford foundations?

Francisco Heredia: They're part of the Freedom Fund. The "One Arizon"a coalition and supplied us with the funds for our canvassing operations for our mail operations. For our phone banks and been very interested and impressed with our work and our coordination, our working together. Because that's been a problem with other coalitions here in this state. They've come together, but for some reason, they don't stay intact and our hope is to maintain this effort. Like I said, create that infrastructure, that capacity to confront these attacks and turn out Latinos to vote not only in this election, but future elections.

José Cardenas: Funding, there's no money and support coming from the organized political parties?

Francisco Heredia: No, all of this work is a nonpartisan effort. We're nonprofit organizations working toward a goal to turn out as many Latinos as we can.

José Cardenas: Do you have a specific number of Latinos you have in mind, what is that?

Francisco Heredia: Our hope is to turn out 65,000 Latinos that would otherwise not have voted. The percentage is about 35-40% or 180,000 Latinos that will come out to vote and we want to increase that by 65,000. That's our goal. Something we want to accomplish. This year and keep that momentum going to future elections.

José Cardenas: The focus is on the 480,000 Latinos already registered to vote, is that right?

Francisco Heredia: That's our prime focus, making sure they sign up for the permanent early voting list and make decisions with their families and get the information they need to -- to vote for the candidates that will best represent their community.

José Cardenas: And as I understand, within that groups the people you're most interested in, while registered to vote, have not voted very often or not at all in recent years.

Francisco Heredia: Our targets are low propensity voters.

José Cardenas: One last thing, I understand you have a website that's going live next week.

Francisco Heredia: That's going on live next week, and we'll have an official launch next week as well as we move forward with the campaign. And key date, October 4th will be the last date to register. October 8th is when people start receiving the ballots and November 2nd, of course, being Election Day.

José Cardenas: Thank you for joining us on "Horizonte."

Francisco Heredia: Thank you, José.

Francisco Heredia:One Arizona;

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