PowerPAC is committed to increasing voter participation among traditionally underrepresented and marginalized communities, in California and across the country. We believe that we will only have a true democracy when the electorate is engaged and representative of the population. Below is a summary of some of our work in this area:
Latino and Asian communities. In San Bernardino and Orange Counties PowerPAC seeks to support emerging community based coalitions aimed at increasing voter participation and turnout among emerging populations such as Latinos and Asians. Using community identified social justice issues of such as: immigrant rights, equity in educational access and affordable housing PowerPAC seeks to support community activists and community based organizations to strengthen coalitions to build non-partisan voting bases that can advocate for improved policy. In San Bernardino, for example, PowerPAC has campaigned with community groups to build non-partisan voter growth and engagement with the San Bernardino Social Justice Coalition (SBSJ).
In the rapidly growing Latino community, this especially means working with new and young voters. The California Latino voting age population is remarkably young. PowerPAC's aim to support this emerging population in California by supporting community groups who seek to build voter consciousness and empowerment on issues that they have self identified as important to them - such as education in the form of the passage of the California Dream Act, healthcare and lack of coverage for the millions of uninsured, and the current housing crisis in its dual faces of lack of affordable housing and predatory lending. As the Latino population continues to surge and more Latinos come of age, PowerPAC aims to work with community groups and activists to establish a base of socially and civically empowered Latinos voting in their own best interest for themselves and their neighborhoods in California.
This aim does not end with the Latino community. Asian voters, like the Vietnamese community in Orange County, are faced with the same issues that the Latino community is facing. PowerPAC seeks to work with activists in Orange County to work with many of the same constituencies to better communicate their advocacy for the quality of education, jobs, health care, and neighborhood representation.
College Students. In our commitment to long-term real progressive change, we hope to support and train progressive student of color organizations to run and win student government elections. Student government organizations can control up to millions of dollars in student fees and frequently have the power to influence campus life. Through student governments, student leaders also acquire and develop various leadership skills that can also transcend after college. In this effort, we can strategically build progressive power on campuses to win campaigns and develop strong leaders.
African Americans. The statewide success of PowerPAC in California has given momentum to the expansion of the organization's reach and activism regionally and nationally. The imperative of a political organization specifically geared to supporting and strengthening the electoral voice of African Americans is long overdue. PowerPAC activities nationally are undergirded by the institutional mission for sustained and vigorous activism leading to democratic reforms. It has taken on this challenge because no other organization has stepped up to do so.
In the 2008 election cycle, PowerPAC is committed to an unprecedented campaign in eight African American vote-rich states (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia) during the Presidential Primary Elections. These states collectively represent more than half of the national black electorate historically disenfranchised and excluded from the electoral process. Even today, the voice and political power of African Americans throughout the southeast have not been fully realized.
PowerPAC's goal is to activate, educate and inspire African American voters - often forgotten and taken for granted during primary elections by both major parties - to flex its considerable electoral muscle. This is being realized in a range of on-the-ground activities including leadership development, non-partisan get out the vote drives and public education. The leadership development includes support and training to local community organizers who need tools to engage and mobilize voters. Public rallies, town hall meetings and paid and earned media will help to amplify their activities. PowerPAC will also support the presidential candidate who most represents the interest of African American constituents.