Growing our Latino Voting Base in San Diego

In 2016, ACCE’s San Diego office ran a 23-person team of canvassers in Chula Vista aimed at increasing voter turnout. Over our 6-week program, we spoke to more than 10,000 voters and helped mobilize Latino voters in the long-ignored, low-income communities of West Chula Vista and District 8 of San Diego. Eighty percent of the voters we contacted turned in their ballots. Of the total likely Spanish-speaking voters, ACCE Action turned out 30% of that voting bloc. While our program was non-partisan and we never spoke about candidates, at stake in this election were two City Council seats and a Mayoral election. These races had incredibly close margins, being decided by hundreds of votes or less. Voter turnout was critical to ensure that low-income, immigrant communities’ voices were a deciding force in Chula Vista’s election results, which are expected to set a new direction for immigration policy in the region. Since 2016, San Diego County has increased its share of the Latino vote, as well as low-income voters and voters in the south county. These efforts at increased voter participation paid off in the 2020 November general election, when ACCE-endorsed candidates in San Diego and statewide won their positions with expressly progressive and people-centered platforms. And in September 2021, ACCE San Diego members turned out voters countywide to help Gov. Gavin Newsom successfully beat back a recall funded by corporate and reactionary forces trying to undermine the progressive gains we fought so hard to achieve.