Southwest Voter Registration Education Project
|Antonio Gonzalez, President|
|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 non-partisan Latino voter participation organization in the United States. SVREP was founded by William C. Velasquez, Jr. SVREP has registered 2.6 million Latino voters, trained 150,000 leaders and encouraged thousands of individuals to volunteer in their communities.
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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 monitor local, state, and federal government policies 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.