Immigrant advocates launched a new campaign to register voters Thursday, saying they hope the effort will amplify minority voices in a year when national immigration reform is at stake.
Many in the group of close to 20 people at Ross Memorial Park had already been walking through the streets of Brentwood to find and register new voters and get signatures for a petition favoring a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
The group registered about 4,500 last year and had started anew by signing more than 100 new voters and about 150 petitions Thursday.
“Our community is building power and momentum,” said Karina Claudio Betancourt, a lead organizer with Make The Road New York, a nonprofit that advocates on working family issues. “Voters of color want to see comprehensive immigration reform happen this year.”
While minority communities were key in re-electing President Barack Obama under a renewed promise of such reform, advocates said they would now turn their focus to local races.
“Every year we have elections on Long Island and in New York State,” said Daniel Altschuler, coordinator of the Long Island Civic Engagement Table, an umbrella group working with minority communities.
The point of the ongoing registration efforts, he said, is to make sure “that communities of color and immigrants are going to continue to make their voices heard ... so that politicians at all levels continue to take them seriously.”