Immigrant Leaders to Make One Million Calls to Get Out the Vote
CHICAGO -- Members of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) gathered on Saturday morning in front of the Cook County early voting site in downtown Chicago to celebrate their 600,000th phone-bank call, and announce their effort to make one million calls before Election Day to get Illinois immigrant voters to the polls. A major part of this outreach is a push to pass the Fair Tax constitutional amendment, where immigrant communities might be the population that puts the vote over the edge.
“We want all communities and people of Illinois to thrive, and the Fair Tax is an important tool to bring us closer to this vision,” said Lin Mei of the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community. “The government needs to be accountable for ALL collective Americans and not just the rich.”
Phone bankers with ICIRR’s Democracy Project report that nearly 75 percent of voters they speak with support the Fair Tax Amendment.
“Three out of four voters that ICIRR members have engaged support the Fair Tax and advancing a racial and immigrant justice agenda in Illinois,” said Alejandra Gonzalez, a leader with the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council. “Wealthy donors may try to buy this election, but if our people come out, we have a real shot at winning! We are calling thousands of voters to vote today alone, and we are well on our way to making one million calls by Election Day. We will continue to drive turnout every day through November 3rd.”
The Fair Tax amendment to the Illinois Constitution will allow the state to tax lower and middle income households at lower rates while wealthier households would pay higher rates. The amendment will also generate billions of dollars in new revenue for the state that ICIRR and its members will then fight to include in immigrant services and other safety nets for vulnerable communities.
Even amidst the pandemic, ICIRR and its partners have registered over 6,000 new voters in 2020. Since 2004, ICIRR partners have registered over 256,000 voters, many of whom are being contacted this election to participate and support the Fair Tax. Democracy Project fellows and volunteers expect to surpass their one-million call goal before Election Day, November 3.
“These efforts are crucial for our communities and the future of our state,” said Yusuf Vidal of Illinois Muslim Civic Coalition. “We live in unprecedented times along with an election where our issues, including the Fair Tax, healthcare, immigration, and many others, are on the ballot.”
Democracy Project participating organizations include Arab American Action Network, Arab American Family Services, Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community, Council on Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, Communities United, Enlace Chicago, HACES, Illinois Muslim Civic Coalition, Indo American Center, Mano a Mano Family Resource Center, Mujeres Latinas en Accion, Spanish Community Center, Southwest Organzining Project, South Suburban Immigrant Project, and HANA Center
The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is a statewide coalition dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society. For more information, visit www.icirr.org.
Since 2004, ICIRR’s Democracy Project has existed to promote civic participation in immigrant communities of Chicago and suburbs. For Democracy Project 2020, 17 ICIRR partners will register, educate, and mobilize immigrant community voters across northeastern Illinois.