Democracy Day: ICIRR To Run State's Largest Voter Turnout Campaign
Congressman Gutierrez Lends Hand to Non-Partisan Campaign to Register Voters, Train Candidates, Win Immigration Reform, and Help Implement DREAM Relief for Students
On Saturday July 14th, more than 800 leaders of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) launched the state’s largest non-partisan voter turnout campaign for 2012 during its 3rd bi-annual Democracy Day.
Congressman Gutierrez speaking at Democracy Day rally.
Congressman Luis Gutierrez lent a hand to kickoff ICIRR’s non-partisan campaign to register voters, train candidates and help implement DREAM Relief for youth. The campaign will mobilize 159,885 voters, register 26,000 people to vote, activate over 2,000 GOTV volunteers in targeted precincts in Latino, Asian and Arab communities through doors knocks, phone calls, mail and robocalls throughout the state, including in:
- The Western Suburbs, where immigrants are fighting the opening of a new Strip Club, mere blocks from a local convent.
- "The Unfaithful Five" - ICIRR is educating voters about five suburban legislators whose district’s voting age populations is at least 26 percent Latino and Asian. These Representatives have voted NO on the Illinois DREAM Act, the Smart Enforcement Act, and a recent bill to forbid the privatization of immigrant detention centers. We are calling these legislators "The Unfaithful Five" because they have betrayed the immigrant families in their districts. The "Unfaithful Five" are in Bolingbrook (Rep. Emily McAsey), Elgin (Rep. Keith Farnham), Schaumburg (Rep. Fred Crespo), Hanover Park (Rep. Michelle Mussman), and Mundelein (Rep. Carol Sente).
- Cicero, where previous voter turnout campaigns have been met with intimidation and scare tactics.
- 13 other key areas around the city and suburbs, where immigrants are building power.
Watch Illinois House Speaker Madigan speaking at ICIRR Democracy Day 2012:
Dreamer Aljandro talks about what DREAM relief means to him:
"It is simple: Everyone who is eligible should become a citizen and everyone who is a citizen and eligible should vote," said Rep. Luis Gutierrez. "The way we resolve issues, from the economy, to health care, to housing, to schools, to immigration is to involve as many people as possible in the democratic process so we all move forward together."
“This is an important election year to showcase the power of the immigrant vote,” said Lawrence Benito, ICIRR’s Chief Executive Officer. “Illinois has shown repeatedly that only when immigrant voters show their strength will lawmakers take seriously the need for wiser policies that welcome immigrants and bring our community together—rather than divisive and destructive policies.”
Get Out the Vote Workshop
At the event, ICIRR offered workshops on DREAM Relief in English, Spanish, and Polish; DREAM Relief Train the Trainer; Voter Turnout; How to Run for Office; Health Care; and other issues. The President’s recent announcement for DREAM Relief has energized the immigrant community to continue to fight for comprehensive immigration reform and protection for all families.
ICIRR also unveiled the DREAM Relief web site, which will provide the latest information available for those who would be affected by this policy. For more information people can visit www.dreamrelief.org.
Spanish DREAM Relief Workshop
“It is an honor for us to work closely with undocumented youth ensuring that the latest and accurate information is available so they don’t have to resort to fraudulent notarios,” said Benito.
After the rally Democracy Fellows and more than 150 volunteers wearing bright colored vests knocked on doors in Pilsen and nearby areas to register new voters and recruit volunteers to help Get Out The Vote on November 6.