Canvassers have knocked on nearly 25,000 doors in Miami-Dade and Polk Counties in an effort to mobilize voters by talking to them about issues that affect their communities
Since August, the Young American Dreamers and WeCount! have knocked on the doors of nearly 25,000 households in Homestead, Florida City, Lakeland and Auburndale, to talk to Latino and Black voters reminding them to vote and asking them about the issues that matter the most for this election.
Also, last week, Haitian Women of Miami launched its “Black Votes Matter” canvassing campaign to mobilize Black voters, including Haitians, and their goal is to knock on over 5,000 doors in Little Haiti, Miami Shores, North Miami and North Miami Beach. “Our communities, Black and Latinos, are not minorities any more; and we want to make sure our votes are felt as a growing new majority and a decisive voice this election,” said Marleine Bastien, Executive Director of FANM – Haitian Women of Miami. “We need action and accountability from politicians on the issues that matter for our communities, and we want to deliver a clear message at the polls for them.”
This is an effort of the Florida Immigrant Coalition to increase turnout of immigrant and low-income voters for the mid-term elections. The growing power of Latino and Black voters has proven to influence the public conversation and even shift the positions of candidates regarding certain issues facing immigrant communities. However, historically, this population of voters has maintained a low turnout during mid-term elections.
“Our canvassers are knocking on doors to encourage Black and Latino voters in Polk to make their voices heard. Our communities have been ignored for decades, but through our efforts we will show them that our votes count and that they matter,” said Daniel Barajas, Executive Director for Young American Dreamers, a community organization in Polk County. “We are also encouraging people to exercise their right to vote if they have it, not just for themselves and their families, but also for those in their community who can’t vote.”
The canvassers are reminding voters about Election Day, mobilizing them to take advantage of early voting, and encouraging them to vote by mail. So far, the teams have turned in nearly 500 Absentee Ballot request forms to the Supervisor of Elections in Polk and Miami-Dade.
In the community, canvassers asked nearly 4,000 Latino and Black voters about the issues they care the most about: fixing our broken immigration system (39%), raising the minimum wage (44%) and granting driver’s licenses for all qualified drivers to increase road safety (35%). Voters in Miami-Dade have also supported protecting workers rights (41%), and voters in Polk County have supported quality of education (40%) and stopping ICE detainers (32%).
The Florida Immigrant Coalition is a statewide alliance of over 50 immigrant rights organizations including farmworkers, students, service providers, grassroots organizations and legal advocates, who come together for the fair treatment of all people, including immigrants. We accomplish our mission through coordination of immigrant organizations and community education, organizing and advocacy.