A principal element of CASE’s strategy to create quality jobs in Central Arizona is our Latino Voting Program. Latino voters consistently rank jobs and education as some of the most compelling issues that drive them to the ballot box. Their participation will contribute to building an environment in Phoenix where our leaders stand up for quality jobs.
Beginning this spring, CASE will form standing neighborhood teams, headed by leaders recruited from high schools across greater Phoenix, to build the voting power of Latinos and low-wage families in Phoenix. These teams will learn how civic participation can help create a better economic future for themselves and their families. By the summer and fall, these teams will form the core CASE’s campaign to increase voting among Latinos and young people in the November 2014 elections.
CASE’s Latino Voter Engagement Program, as part of the One Arizona Latino voting coalition, has transformed politics in Phoenix, increasing voter turnout among Latinos by as much as 400% in some districts. In the fall 2013 Phoenix elections, CASE and our partners executed a non-partisan Latino voter program in Phoenix Districts 4 and 8. While both are between 50% and 60% Latino, Latinos make up only 33% of registered voters in these Districts, and voter turnout among Latinos is generally very low. This year, however, largely due to the work of CASE and One Arizona, Latino turnout was 28%–the same as non-Latino turnout. As a result, Phoenix’s Latino communities, once largely ignored by political operatives and elected leaders in Arizona, for the first time ever have real representation and a strong voice in the affairs of their city.
In the wake of these elections Phoenix has, for the first time in its history, a progressive majority. The emergence of this progressive majority has a massive impact for CASE, as it finally offers the opportunity to move a landmark piece of workers’ rights policy that will place Phoenix squarely at the front of the movement to restore balance to the historically conservative, if not always outright racist and anti-worker politics of Arizona.