With an impressive initial showing of mostly first time 2014 registered voters, Dominicanos USA – a newly formed effort of Dominican American community leaders - announced today it had registered more than 26,000 mostly Dominican American voters in New York City and in Providence, Rhode Island.
In a first-of-its-kind project, Dominicanos USA is geared towards actively empowering the Dominican American community by educating voters on the importance of fulfilling their civic duty, and mobilizing them to register and turn out to vote in every and all upcoming elections of every level of government.
“For too long the Dominican–American community has stood on the side-lines without a voice while others made decisions that were impacting our community and our families,” stated Manuel Matos, attorney, community leader, and board member of Dominicanos USA who is serving as the group’s spokesperson. “As one of the fastest growing ethnic population in New York City and Providence, Rhode Island it made perfect sense to start our focus in these two places where our community has lived, worked, and thrived for years, yet has not fulfilled its civic and political potential to have a say in the city’s political and policy affairs. Dominicanos USA will help ensure more Dominican Americans contribute their grain of sand on the American beachhead of civic and political responsibility.”
While Dominicanos USA registers every eligible voter they come into contact with and that wants to participate, the program uses cutting edge technology that has identified a Dominican American voter. That technology is then matched with public information to find potential Dominican-American voters where they live, work, shop, study, and carry out their daily lives, ensuring that the majority of voters the group encounters are Dominican American. As of now, Dominicanos USA has registered more than 21,000 voters in New York City and 5,000 in Providence, Rhode Island.
This unique effort follows a larger national Latino trend of increased civic engagement in states and communities all across the country. “Dominicanos USA is committed to increasing voter participation in cities and states all across the country, and we are excited to guide our community’s desire to be more politically and civically active so they can start being stake holders in their own future,” said New York Dominicanos USA lead Eddie Cuesta.
While the Dominican American community in Rhode Island is smaller than in New York, it is the fastest growing and the largest ethnic group in the state. “We are committed to deploying this outreach in all corners of the country where Dominican American citizens have founded communities and spread roots,” explained Natalia Rosa, Dominicanos USA lead spokesperson for Rhode Island. “This is only the beginning; we aim to expand to other heavily Dominican populated cities and states as we grow the effort nationally.”
DUSA members and volunteers will spend the coming months educating their peers, neighbors, and family members and others about the importance of having a voice in the American political democratic process.