LOS ANGELES — Weeks away from the midterm elections and in Los Angeles, Filipinos are trying to get Filipinos to the polls.
The Filipino Voter Empowerment Program kicked off with a fundraiser at the Pinay-owned Genever Bar in Historic Filipinotown, hoping each sip of a special FilAm History Month cocktail can bubble into more votes on November 6.
“Really focus on the community to tell them the power of voting, the importance of civic engagement, the importance of community and there you have it,” said Alex DeOcampo.
“Our community has been neglected in terms of being reached out to and engaged in the election, and elections matter. That’s when you gain visibility in our own issues, that’s when you get to raise your voice in the elections, and to get recognition and after elections, we can continue to work with legislators to make sure that our issues are addressed,” said Aqui Soriano Versoza.
The FVEP will be spearheading voter drives from door to door knocking to phone banking, social media and television, encouraging Filipinos to come out for the midterm elections.
“It is vital we educate our community, get Fil-Ams to know what they voting rights are and how they can do it and the simple message is our community needs to go out and vote.”
And the program will involve not just people marking ballots, even noneligible voters will be able to participate.
“Even if you can’t vote you can also volunteer you can tell people to vote, you can help give them information.”
The nonpartisan outreach efforts will take place in the Filipino Workers Center with phone banking and the canvassing will happen throughout LA and Orange County.
There is plenty riding in the midterm elections for Southern California, there is the race for governor, a few congressional races, local elections. Some of them actually have Filipino candidates in the running.