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Four civic engagement groups, iAmerica Action, Indivisible, Mi Familia Vota (MFV) and MomsRising, unveiled on Tuesday the “Raise Your Hand” initiative to strengthen the voices of communities of color who often feel disenfranchised by national political leaders.
Through“Raise Your Hand,”an unprecedented outreach to Latino and immigrant communities in a non-election year, the collective expertise and resources of iAmerica Action, Indivisible, MFV and MomsRising will be employed to grow political empowerment in the Latino, AAPI and Black immigrant communities. The new initiative was discussed during a news media conference call moderated by Leah Greenberg, co-executive director for Indivisible.
The resources include Indivisible’s vast network of volunteers in every congressional district who mobilized opposition to Congress’ plans to repeal the Affordable Act; iAmerica Action’s 240,000 supporters; MFV’s team of coordinators and volunteers who conduct year-round “Know Your Rights,” citizenship workshops and voter registration campaigns; and MomsRising’s on-the-ground and online grassroots organization of more than a million people.
"For the past six months, grassroots groups have shown that, no matter who controls the levers of power in Washington, the ultimate veto power lies with constituents, not with Congress or the president. But we know that, for too long, Washington has either ignored or taken for granted communities of color and immigrants. And with Trump in the White House, his bigoted, racist, anti-immigrant agenda threatens to tear our families apart and trample our values,” said Angel Padilla, policy director for Indivisible.
“That’s why Indivisible is excited to join this partnership to reach out to Latino, AAPI, and Black immigrant communities to actively recruit new leaders to form grassroots groups in their neighborhoods. Indivisible has strength in numbers, we’re using our nationwide network of dedicated activists to lift up the voices of those who have often felt left out of the national conversation -- and to empower them to become the next generation of grassroots leaders,” Padilla added.
Politicians have mistakenly ignored the ever-growing immigrant community, advocates said.
"There is great power in the immigrant community," said Luisa Blue, iAmerica treasurer and SEIU Executive Vice President. "Politicians who take us for granted, who think we are easy foils or punching bags should be on notice, because with every attack on our community a new leader is born, and that is good news for 2018.”
Ben Monterroso, the executive director of Mi Familia Vota, which conducts civic engagement activities in 15 cities, noted the Senate’s consideration this week of proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act that has benefitted millions of Latinos.
“On a day when the Senate will decide whether to cut off from health insurance at least 22 million who now have insurance under the Affordable Care Act, the importance of a guide like this is even more glaring. This guide is our blueprint to building a more representative democracy,” Monterroso said. “By joining forces on the ground, we have the potential to become too big for politicians to ignore.”
Political attacks on communities of color and immigrants have spurred a call to action.
“There may never have been a time when it was more important to empower members of the Latino, AAPI, Black and other minority communities than it is now. The collective reach and expertise of the four groups that are launching this new project is vast and impressive, and we will be even stronger when we pool our resources and work together than when we each work separately,” said Gloria Pan, MomsRising national director, Gun Safety, Rapid Response and #KeepMarching. “At MomsRising, we will work tirelessly to activate our members and supporters in communities of color until no mother in this country has to be afraid that her child will be gunned down while returning from school and no family has to fear being torn apart by cruel and inhumane immigration policies,” Pan said.

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