orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Local News

November 5, 2012

Binders Full of Voters: Activating the Texas Electorate

HOUSTON, Texas — Some are retired, some are students. Some are paid, others volunteer. Yet they all share a single goal. For weeks, a wide range of nonpartisan organizations across Texas have been training teams to knock on doors, make phone calls and drive people to the polls. Although they do not tell anyone how to vote, they are passionate about their message: Participating in elections is worth the effort. 

Canvassers with the Houston branch of the Texas Organizing Project (TOP) Education Fund - Rosa Garcia, Antonio Coronado and Sylvia Gonzales - all cite different reasons for getting involved.

[Garcia:] "The reason I started was because I needed a job, and now I see that I can make a difference." [Coronado:] "My main concern is to be part of the future, and be a better citizen for this country." [Gonzales:] "I'm a single mother, and I feel I'm doing something good for my kids."

With hundreds working in the field statewide, TOP targets infrequent voters - particularly those in Latino communities. Latinos now comprise 26 percent of the state's nearly 13 million registered voters. However, at least in recent elections, the Latino turnout rate has been lower than that of other groups.

Recent culinary-school graduate Ashley Estevan volunteers in the impoverished Rio Grande Valley. She says about half her time is spent motivating people who are struggling and have lost faith in politics.

"They are like, 'No - I've been let down so much by our elected officials over the last few years that I just don't feel like if I vote it'll make a difference.'"

She says she has persuaded many to vote by shifting attention from national politics to local issues. That is a familiar refrain among canvassers throughout Texas, where the outcome of the presidential race is already a near certainty.

Text Only
Local News
  • BC High School Yearbook.JPG Rising above...

    Bridge City High School yearbook students Bree Newsom, editor and Gabriel Alvarez, assistant editor, traveled to Texas A & M University in College Station to attend the Balfour Communications Workshop July 18 - July 21.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Instructor recognized LSC-O instructor receives international recognition

    An instructor at LSC-O has receive international recognition for her work as an instructor in information technology.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • New Trustee Welcome to the Board

    Nathaniel Colbert, standing at left, was officially sworn in earlier this week as the newest member of the West Orange-Cove Consolidated Independent School District’s Board of Trustees.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sabine River 1 Have you seen the Sabine?

    There is more to the Sabine River than meets the eye, if one only looks.

    July 27, 2014 6 Photos

  • T-Byrd Tracy Byrd schedules Labor Day weekend event

    Country music star Tracy Byrd is hitting the stage once again this summer.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Texas A&M launches new Family Nurse Practitioner program

    The Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Nursing has announced plans for a Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner (M.S.N.-FNP) graduate program.

    July 26, 2014

  • VIDEO: Hibbett Sporting Goods to open in Pinehurst

    Hibbett Sporting Goods, Inc., the national sporting goods retailer based in Birmingham, Alabama, announced the execution of a lease for a new store in the city of Pinehurst.

    July 26, 2014

  • Shop Talk BC officials begin budget talks

    City officials are already working towards a balanced budget in this Orange County community.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hello, Mr. Cosby Cosby opens Lutcher's 35th season in style

    The Lutcher Theater for the Performing Arts 35th season kicked off in fine fashion with two sold-out performances on Thursday and Friday nights by the legendary Bill Cosby. The capacity crowd laughed from start to finish as Cosby spoke about marriage, bodily functions, age, his hotel and the papermill. The Lutcher’s 35th season continues with the next production being Lyle Lovett and His Large Band on Tuesday, Sept. 9. Visit www.lutcher.org for more information.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Update: New information release on Bridge City shooting

    July 25, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide