ya es hora is an historic non-partisan Latino civic participation campaign launched as the Latino community's action-oriented follow-up to the immigrant mobilizations of 2006. The campaign represents the largest and most comprehensive effort to incorporate Latinos as full participants in the American political process. Unlike past approaches which focused on one component of civic engagement, this multi-layered campaign takes a comprehensive approach that links naturalization to voter participation and Census enumeration under a single message: "it's time".
The ya es hora ¡CIUDADANIA! campaign was born of the pro-immigrant marches of 2006. To translate the mass momentum into action, the goal was simple - to inform, educate and motivate the millions of eligible legal permanent residents to apply for U.S. citizenship. Over 400 organizations nationwide contributed to ya es hora's success in surpassing its lofty goal of motivating over 1,000,000 legal permanent residents to apply for U.S. citizenship. Approximately 1.4 million applied by the end of Fiscal Year 2007
NALEO's 1-888-Ve-y-Vota toll-free civic participation information hotline assisted 38,320 callers with questions about naturalization, and thousands accessed information on the steps to citizenship through the www.yaeshora.info website.
The work of ya es hora ¡CIUDADANIA! continued through 2008, with several workshops organized throughout the year, in addition to ongoing support for one-on-one application assistance. The campaign continues on into 2009, seeking to encourage the millions of Legal Permanent Residents still eligible to get informed and apply for naturalization in advance of the 2012 Presidential Elections.
Historically, Latino voters face two primary barriers to full political participation: lack of meaningful engagement, and lack of access to the electoral process. The ya es hora ¡VE Y VOTA! campaign was the second phase of our comprehensive civic participation strategy, designed to ensure that the barriers of low engagement , access to information about the process did not impede Latino participation in the election.
The NALEO Educational Fund's 1-888-Ve-y-Vota hotline served as the official ya es hora campaign hotline, and was staffed by live bilingual operators year-round, all trained to assist callers with any voting questions or issues. From January 1, 2008, through December 31, 2008, over 35,745 calls were placed to the hotline with 8,237 calls placed on Election Day 2008 alone, when over 90 trained operators and 30 attorneys received calls from across the nation. The hotline also helped protect voter access to the ballot box, documenting and following-up on any reported problem or irregularity with the voting process. The NALEO Educational Fund also developed one of the nation's most comprehensive bilingual voter information websites, featuring essential and detailed state-specific election information, polling place locator, and easy-to use voter registration tool. From its launch through November 4, 2008, more than 50,000 visited the site.
Critical to full Latino civic integration is full enumeration of the Latino population, from local planning to federal funding to redistricting. To ensure a complete and accurate count of all Latinos, the next stage of the ya es hora campaign will focus on the 2010 Decennial Census, educating and informing the Latino community of its importance, and the need to complete a Census form on April 10, 2010. Launching in 2009, the campaign will supplement and complement U.S. Census Bureau outreach efforts.
The NALEO Educational Fund's 1-877-EL-CENSO hotline served as the official campaign hotline, staffed by live bilingual operators starting October 1, 2009, and has assisted over 7,760 callers with all. The hotline helped with census jobs information, general information on the census, assistance in completing the census form, and fraud protection, including identifying a census enumerator. The NALEO Educational Fund also developed one of the nation's most comprehensive bilingual census information website, www.yaeshora.info, which has received over 10,898 visits by partners and the general public.
The campaign includes an integrated multi-media campaign strategy designed to inform and motivate all Latinos to participate in the 2010 Census. A total of 12,784 PSAs were aired equally 6,392 minutes of airtime. This media effort was complemented by the work of more than 400 community organizations across the country that served as information centers, 1,706 community members were trained at 76 train-the-trainer workshops across the country, and the campaign distributed 1,690 ya es hora ¡HAGASE CONTAR! toolkits to community based organizations, faith-based organizations, and elected officials to assist with their local Census efforts.
ya es hora media partners; Univision Communications, Inc., Entravision Communications, and impreMedia were also instrumental in delivering the message to the community by airing both national and local PSA's during prime time with some of their most trusted messengers. In addition, print ads were on rotation during every phase of Census operations.