Empowering Marginalized Voters

By Barbara Head. 5/1/22, updated 5/14/22.

We cannot save our democracy if we do not join forces with our communities of color. While our allies within these communities lead the way with their highly effective grassroots organizing, the rest of us can offer advocacy and support their efforts.

There are multiple ways in which people of color are marginalized by political leadership in their states. Extremist Republican-led voter suppression legislation in many states, including Arizona, is a deliberate effort to silence their voices. But blue states, such as Nevada, are guilty in their own ways. Democrats who traditionally count on communities of color to deliver votes are often accused of ignoring these constituencies post-election. Democratic leadership also is regarded by many as being out of touch with voters of color. 

In Arizona, Latino and Native American tribal groups have been consistently and deliberately excluded from the voting process by the anti-democracy legislation pushed by state Republicans. Grassroots organizers in Latino- and indigenous-led groups as LUCHA, RAZA, and NE Arizona Native Democrats are mounting a vigorous response to voter suppression but request help from out-of-state volunteers in the form of donations, postcards, and phone banks to support their efforts.

Nevada’s political makeup departs from that of Republican-led Arizona in that Nevada has a Democratic majority legislature. However, many working class voters, particularly Latinos, who make up almost one-third of the Nevada adult population, are unhappy with the Democratic leadership. These voters feel marginalized by leaders who, they say, do not listen to their concerns, particularly in important areas such as climate change. Democratic leaders who ignore these concerns encourage this historically blue demographic to vote Republican. 

The editors of Turn Purple 2 Blue strive to assist the empowerment and efforts of communities of color by offering relevant postcards and other projects. In Arizona, postcards are being sent to voters on tribal lands at the request of Northeast Arizona Native Organizing Campaign. In Nevada, our postcards support the re-election of Catherine Cortez Masto, the first Latina in the US Senate, by highlighting her advocacy in the areas of climate change and reproductive rights. 

Read on for more about how we can reach Arizona and Nevada voters!