Latinos. Engaged. United. Voting. (LEUV) anxiously awaits the canvass of the results of the Run-Off to better determine the extent of their efforts after a busy couple of months. “This first, small-scale test of our capabilities as a grassroots political action committee was a great initial run,” said Fidencio Leija, Jr., co-founder of LEUV. “We will continue to develop our technical and grassroots capabilities and expertise as we work toward November.”
“LEUV is proud of the work we accomplished,” added Danita Gallegos of LEUV, “Whether it was hosting several meet-and-greet events highlighting candidates and issues, canvassing Houston’s northside neighborhoods, making phone calls to voters, or coordinating the “Taco Truck and Votes” effort at Hardy Senior Center, we are willing to try different approaches to energize the electorate.”
LEUV chose the daunting task of targeting twelve (12) Northside precincts that are often overlooked by campaigns because of the challenges they pose, such as difficult terrain to canvass and low voter registration rates.
“We took a very analytical approach to targeting a demographic with a very different history of voting here in Houston. I’m looking forward to crunching the data that we collected to see what was effective and what wasn’t,” added Dr. Rey Guerra, also a co-founder of LEUV.
Added Stefanie Leija, a LEUV Lead Organizer, “Many of the targeted households were distant from each other, but that did not stop us from reaching out to these voters multiple times.”
LEUV would like to congratulate Erica S. Lee on her decisive victory to become the Democratic nominee for Harris County School Trustee. Erica and her team exhibited strong support and appreciation for our work, and Erica was an active participant, as well, volunteering her time during the campaign to phonebank, often speaking a sentence or two in Spanish. “Erica is passionate about education, Erica is passionate about all communities. We know Erica will be an effective steward of our tax dollars and fight for our students while on the board,” said Leija.
The new PAC is equally proud of the effort put in by Cindy Vara-Leija and her team in her run for Constable, Precinct 1. LEUV volunteers and the voters engaged felt strongly that Cindy was their candidate. “We have much pride in the hours and sweat spent supporting Cindy and thank her for the opportunity to work with her,” said Fidencio Leija, adding, “We would also like to congratulate the next Constable of Precinct 1, Alan Rosen.”
The targeted neighborhoods responded positively to LEUV’s efforts.
“We got hugs, people asked us for advice on how to become citizens; people told us that they’d been living in these neighborhoods for 40 years and nobody had ever knocked on their door to ask for their support,” said Stefanie, “It was so rewarding and gave us a feeling that we were making a difference.”
Although the run-off is over, LEUV continues its work, planning a campaign debrief for August 21, and preparing for the November campaign.
“We invite candidates and officeholders to support us and work with us to promote policies that benefit the education and safety of all in the community,” said Gallegos, adding, “For LEUV, this is only the beginning and we look forward to expanding our reach and our effectiveness as an organization.”
LEUV’s mission is to develop and support candidates and office-holders while championing community issues with the goal of increasing Latino/a voter participation and achieving effective representation of the Latino community in Harris County.
For more information, visit LEUV at Facebook.com/Latinos.Engaged.