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Latino Professionals Association, Forward Madison team up for voter drive tonight at Breese Stevens Field

Breese Stevens Field

The Latino Professionals Association (LPA) are partnering with Forward Madison FC for a drive-through voter and census registration tonight, 5-7 p.m.

“This event is one of a kind for LPA and it came about because one of our pillars is public and civic engagement,” LPA President Norma Gallegos Valles said.

The event will take place at the Breese Stevens Field on Madison’s near east side. The first 50 vehicles will take home a food pantry box from Second Harvest. Also, participants can enter a raffle for $25 gift cards and a Hispanic Heritage Month edition Forward Madison FC Jersey after completing the census or registering to vote.

Gallegos Valles said this event is a part of the last push for the census. Residents must submit their responses online, by phone, or by mail before the end of the day on Wednesday, Sept. 30. Census workers will follow up on households who have not completed their forms until then. 

“It’s more challenging this year because of the crisis but in the past, there are studies that show that Latinos are a high-risk population,” Gallegos Valles said.

She explained ethnic groups such as African Americans and Latinos are undercounted in the census. The 2020 Census will determine congressional representation and inform hundreds of billions in federal funding every year. 

“This year there’s been messaging coming from the government that brings more distrust as to why we should not fill out the census as opposed to why we should,”  Gallegos Valles said.

She said LPA will continue to encourage residents to vote as the 2020 election is also important. For the next couple of months, LPA will be providing education around civic engagement. 

“Latinos are going to be the largest minority so they can definitely influence the election this year,” Gallegos Valles said.

The organization will also host an online campaign via Zoom for those to share their concerns. “YO SOY: Virtual Conversations About Identity & Civic Impact” will run the entirety of Hispanic Heritage Month.

LPA’s keynote speaker for the series is Andrés T. Tapia, the Senior Client Partner at Korn Ferry. Tapia has been one of the leading voices in shaping a contemporary, next-generation approach to diversity and inclusion. Conversations will be 90 minutes long and LPA will have space before and after for questions. 

“Every day is a great day to invest in the Latino community but now we stop and reflect why this matters, why we need change, representation, and advocacy,” Gallegos Valles said.