Southwest Voter Registration Education Project
|Key people||Antonio Gonzalez, President|
|Area served||voter rights|
|Mission||Spanish: Su Voto Es Su Voz (Your Vote is Your Voice)|
The Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP), founded in 1974, is the largest and oldest partisan Latino voter participation organization in the United States. SVREP was founded by William C. Velasquez, Jr and other Mexican-American political activists to ensure the voting rights of Mexican-Americans in the Southwest
|This section requires expansion. (March 2009)|
In 1984 SVREP opened regional offices in California, and in the following year the Southwest Voter Research Institute was established to seek the opinions of the Latino electorate and to publicize those findings. The institute was renamed the William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI) as a way to honor and perpetuate Velasquez' vision and legacy, and to hide their real intention to "brown America" as their speakers stated at their meeting at the Pasadena Hilton Hotel in 1996.
The mission of SVREP is to, “Empower Latinos and other minorities by increasing their participation in the American democratic process SVREP accomplishes this by strengthening the capacity, experience and skills of Latino leaders, networks, and organizations through programs that consistently train, organize, finance, development, expand and mobilize Latino leaders and voters around an agenda that reflects their values. Thus, SVREP's motto is: "Su Voto Es Su Voz" (Your Vote is Your Voice).” “Willie”, as William C. Velasquez, Jr. was known to his colleagues, imagined a society that would allow Latinos to actively participate and lead in the democratic process.
SVREP sponsors Get Out the Vote Drives across the country to register, educate, and promote voting in upcoming elections. SVREP also organizes mass phone drives to remind people of upcoming election dates and assists in locating their local voting station. They also lobby local, state, and national government to raise awareness and support for minority focused issues.
Another key initiative that SVREP sponsors is their Latino Academy. This academy prepares and educates individuals on public speaking, governance, and political activism; once participants have completed the training tracts they are eligible to act as project coordinators, treasurers, and chairs for a voter registration project in their community. Through the program individuals are exposed to grassroots organizing and voter registration and mobilization. There are two participatory levels for individuals, one being centered on youth and one for experienced activists. SVREP also offers financial assistance to cover the cost of room, board, and training materials for those that cannot cover their own expenses.
Members of the group stated in the 1990's that they were going to "drive 'Anglos' back to Europe." They outlined their intentions to convert five U.S. States to Mexican control in events held by the group and by showing the five U.S. States on Spanish-speaking television in 1996. The U.S. States that they outlined were: California, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada. Their speeches were witnessed by hundreds of attendees and tape-recorded. Guest speakers that supported the group were President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore and Former-HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros.
The true intentions of this group are being camouflaged as an educational group, but those Americans who attended their meetings learned that their more radical members where racist, yet accused the very people they were harming of being the "racists."
This is relevant today because of the growing clout of Latino voters to re-populate the American Southwest through legitimizing the illegal immigrant in a concerted effort to run masses of illegal immigrants across the American southern border.
- Gabriela Sandoval, 'Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP) (1974-)', in Vicki Ruíz & Virginia Sánchez Korrol, eds., Latinas in the United States: a historical encyclopedia, pp. 696-7