AFL-CIO and Voto Latino Join Forces during Power Summit to Engage and Empower Latinos

Hundreds of young Latinos came together with labor, civic and community leaders during two-day event at University of Southern California 

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–April 17, 2012 – This past weekend, hundreds of young Latinos from across the country attended Voto Latino’s Power Summit to join labor, civic and community leaders in a conversation on how to empower Latinos and their communities.  The event, which was co-sponsored by the AFL-CIO and held at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, Calif., had groundbreaking workshops and panels which ranged from creating positive change in communities and using social media to mobilize Latinos to trainings in new cutting-age technology in voter registration.  

Participants in this two day event included celebrities and leaders like actress Rosario Dawson, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Maria Elena Durazo, United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta, National Director of Voto Latino Maria Teresa Kumar and actor Wilmer Valderrama. 

The summit started with a panel featuring Durazo, Kumar and Valderrama where they discussed the importance of Latino vote. The panel was broadcast by Telemundo Network. 

“The Latino vote will play a major role in battleground states, whether they are a large or a small block, in determining the outcomes of the 2012 election. We need Latino voters going to the polls in 2012 because higher education is becoming increasingly unaffordable and our public colleges and universities are failing Latinos,” said Secretary-Treasurer Durazo. “Only 7 percent of Latinos in the U.S. have a college or university degree. And since 1975, there has only been a 2 percent increase in college graduation rates for Latinos. We have a situation where Latino students can’t afford their classes or books.” 

In another panel, Dolores Huerta the co-founder of the United Farm Workers joined Rosario Dawson and Teresa Kumar to talk about the current political landscape as it relates to the Latino population and how a small group of individuals can make a difference. 

A major part of the voting rights efforts by the AFL-CIO and affiliated unions involves working with Latino organizations on grassroots community outreach within the Latino community on voter registration and education.