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Organizing fellows: Including and empowering

Here in Pennsylvania, the Latino electorate is expanding—and the population is growing in Allentown, too. Latino voters will certainly have a great impact in this election, not only on Election Day, but also in the way we do community organizing.

Through our Spanish-speaking phone bank, called, ¡A Llamar! (Let’s Call!), our goal is to include volunteers who are more comfortable making phone calls in Spanish, and potential voters and volunteers at home whose first language is Spanish. Organizing this phone bank has already enabled us to recruit more supporters and volunteers who otherwise may not have gotten involved.

When one of our volunteers last week asked a supporter to lend us a hand in the office, she said, “I like the idea, but I am not sure I am the right person.” She felt that her English wasn’t good enough, but we told her that her ability to speak Spanish was actually a big help—so she signed up to join us in the office this week.

And, as another one of our Spanish-speaking volunteers said after her first phone bank last week, “I was afraid to come in because of the language. But I felt welcomed and cozy.”

¡A Llamar! has allowed us to contact more supporters in their native language. More important, we have started to empower supporters who might have felt excluded because of their language.

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