On Thursday, September 20, CVNM Education Fund program Juntos: Our Air, Our Water hosted a Voting Rights Forum at South Valley Academy. More than 20 community members gathered to learn about their rights as voters and how to engage in the election and legislative process.

Strong Families New Mexico equipped community members with a Voter Guide which included information about early voting, voting requirements and how to report unethical voting practices. Community members were also encouraged to become voter registrars, participate in phone banking, send postcards and letters to elected leaders and testify at legislative hearings.

Juntos Community Organizer Antonio Luis Maestas explained the importance of hosting this event and engaging community members in the election process:

“Our communities are often left out of the election process whether it’s an issue of voter suppression, language inaccessibility, the inability to vote or other unjust voting practices. It’s important for us to relay to our communities what rights they have in the election process whether they are eligible to vote or not.”

Juntos, which engages with community members in the South Valley and Westgate areas, hosted the event to increase education and awareness about voting rights.

Marilu Ugalde, Juntos Volunteer and Madre Promotora, reflected “Aunque no puedas votar, como varios de los que estamos aquí, hay muchas maneras en las cuales podemos participar en el proceso electoral, ya sea registrando votantes o recordándoles a la gente que vayan a votar.” Even if you can’t vote, like a lot of us here, there are still many ways that we can engage in the election process, such as registering people to vote and reminding others to vote.

The forum was filled with enthusiastic community members eager to make a change in their communities. Many felt that the voting rights forum connected them with tools they needed to continue their organizing work. Juntos would like to thank all community members who participated and who continue to dedicate their time to bettering New Mexico’s communities.

Special thanks to Strong Families New Mexico for their continued alliance and partnership.

CVNM Education Fund will be hosting another voting forum on Thursday, September 27 in Gallup, New Mexico. The forum will focus specifically on rural and indigenous voting rights.