Coalition's bus tour seeks to boost Latino voter registration

The SEIU, California Teachers Association and Latino leaders announced today that they would begin a statewide voter-registration drive aimed at getting thousands of new Latino voters to the polls in November.

The coalition plans to embark on a nine-city registration campaign titled "Por Nuestras Familias - Todos a Votar!''

"For Latinos, the 2010 election is more than merely electing one candidate or another, it is about taking an active role, now more than ever, in the decisions that will affect our families and creating a brighter future for our children and grandchildren,'' said Eliseo Medina, international executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union. "We have the potential to swing elections and the time for our voices to be heard is now.''

"With jobs and immigration being the two most important issues in November's elections, participating in the political process gives Latinos an opportunity to demand respect for our contributions to the economy and civic life of our communities,'' said Angelica Salas, executive director of CHIRLA.

Participants in the effort said Latinos make up 32 percent of the adult population eligible to vote, but they represent only 20 percent of the state's registered voters.

The bus tour will begin Aug. 14 with stops in San Diego and Riverside. It will then move to Santa Ana, Los Angeles and San Fernando on Aug. 15 before moving north to Bakersfield, Fresno, San Jose and Sacramento.

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