Under the backdrop of a historic presidential election and the global pandemic, groups including the ACLU of Delaware , DE Civil Rights Coalition, DelACA , Department of Elections Commissioner , Latin American Community Center , League of Women Voters-DE , Network Delaware , the Office of the Delaware Ltd. Governor, Unitarian Universalist Delaware Advocacy Network , Wilmington-NAACP, YWCA Delaware , Common Cause Delaware , and New Castle Presbytery Immigrant Justice Committee formed the Votamos We Vote coalition.

The mission of the coalition is to engage Latinx voters in the First State, and build their political power through civic engagement on community issues.

Delaware's Latinx community is growing significantly, particularly in the rural southern part of the state where immigrants have relocated to work in poultry factories, farms, and nurseries. With growing immigrant communities, the need for effective and collaborative advocacy on issues ranging from access to healthcare, law enforcement, and access to government services has increased exponentially. In 2020, the impact of COVID-19 was particularly hard for Latinx people. Six months into the pandemic, over 1000 poultry workers had been diagnosed with Covid, with 7 reported deaths. Latinx children accounted for between 47-60% of all juvenile COVID-19 infections in the state, despite only accounting for 13% of the state's minor population.

Delaware's state government has a Democrat majority, but achieving progressive immigration wins in the legislature has been a challenge. While the COVID-19 pandemic exposed many of the disparities felt by the Latinx community, those injustices far predated the virus.

There was little civic engagement directed towards these communities prior to 2020 and the formation of the VOTAMOS We Vote coalition. Given the significant challenges facing Latinx people in Delaware, the coalition wished to increase their political power and seed the ground for future advocacy on critical civil liberties issues. As part of our work in 2020, the VOTAMOS Coalition accomplished the following:

Texted over 10,000 Latinx registered voters, encouraging them to make a plan to vote, and represented their community at the ballot box.

Canvassed community events, registered clients to vote at social service agencies, and provided literature on the importance of the 2020 elections.

Hosted multiple virtual community and media events, where members of the coalition spoke on the importance of voting and its impact on immigration.

Launched a weekly radio show on Spanish-speaking radio in southern Delaware, where our coalition featured the voices of undocumented immigrants to speak about the issues on the ballot that most impacted them.

These efforts were largely successful...

with voter turnout achieving record totals in Delaware, and the results of state elections advantageous for progressive reforms. Several incumbent moderate Democrats were defeated in primary elections by more progressive candidates, and the Democrats achieved a supermajority in both the state House and Senate. The current Democratic caucus represents the most progressive and diverse array of legislators in a generation, with multiple new legislators expressing support for pro-immigrant policies.


Given this shift...

in the political landscape and the tremendous needs of Delaware's immigrant community, it is critical that our coalition capitalize on our successes in 2020 and chart a path forward.

In order to succeed in this work, we will need to have the support of our coalition partners who agree to devote their time and capacity to supporting and implementing the work of the consultant. After the 2020 election, members of the VOTAMOS We Vote coalition debriefed and committed to continuing the work in the future, and this consultancy is a natural outgrowth of it. Thanks to a grant from the ACLU's Immigrants Rights Project, the ACLU of Delaware worked with these partners to engage with communications consultants to build a Votamos, We Vote brand and website, and to grow our voice with messaging guidance and spokesperson training.