Groups work to mobilize immigrant, low-income voters

Kathleen McGrory, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 2:23pm

The Florida Immigrant Coalition is coordinating an effort to mobilize immigrant and low-income voters in advance of the Nov. 4 election.

Last week, volunteers with the Haitian Women of Miami knocked on more than 5,000 doors in Miami’s Little Haiti, Miami Shores, North Miami and North Miami Beach neighborhoods. They both encouraged residents to vote on Election Day and collected absentee ballot requests.

“Our communities, black and latino, 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 the Haitian Women of Miami.

Two additional groups — the Young American Dreamers and WeCount! — have knocked on doors in Homestead, Florida City, Lakeland and Auburndale. They estimate they’ve visited at least 20,000 homes.

“Our canvassers are knocking on doors to encourage black and latino voters in Polk [County] to make their voices heard,” said Daniel Barajas, of the Young American Dreamers. “Our communities have been ignored for decades, but through our efforts we will show them that our votes count and that they matter.”

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