Sen. Kamala Harris is launching a Spanish version of her national online training and recruitment program Friday, designed to boost on-the-ground organizing and outreach to key voting blocs.
The latest iteration specifically aimed at Latinos will have Spanish-speaking staff training voters and providing resources to best mobilize their communities in support of Harris’ presidential campaign. The program is meant to build grassroots energy on the ground that Harris can later plug into through primary and general election states. The initial national project has trained more than 16,000 volunteers across the 50 states.
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The California Democrat views the Latino community as key to her campaign in 2020, and is focused on communities of color, according to a campaign aide.
“We’re not waiting for the general election to engage communities of color—we’re laying the groundwork now,” said Harris campaign manager Juan Rodriguez. “It will take a nationwide network of grassroots volunteers to win this primary and that’s exactly what we’re building.”
Topics cover caucus-education and participants are taught how to become involved at local precincts, organize watch-parties and conduct their own camps.
“Latinos are more committed than ever to changing the course of our country to organizing communities,” said Emmy Ruiz, a senior adviser to Harris. “It’s on us as a campaign to make sure that they know that Kamala Harris is a person who is going to fight.”
Harris dedicated her campaign early on to engaging black and Latino voters, overtly addressing racial identity. Latino leaders noticed Harris’ early move to hand out headphones at one of her first Nevada rallies that provided in-time Spanish translation.
Latino strategists and officials across the country have warned Democrats to not neglect the key Latino voting bloc, which is set to be the second largest eligible voting population in 2020, second to caucasians. Latino turnout jumped from 27 percent in the 2014 midterms to 40 percent in 2018, increasing more than any other ethnic group, according to U.S. Census data.