Brothers Rise in the East

Newly formed "Hermanos de East Austin" targets voter registration

Hermanos Insignia
Hermanos Insignia

Much of the news on minority voters in Texas over the last couple of years has been bad: headlines incorporating unneeded Voter ID laws or state redistricting efforts designed to lessen the voting strength of minorities. Finally, here's some news of some local pushback: an Eastside-based effort to register new voters and encourage engagement.

The brainchild of longtime Eastsider José Velasquez and his family Hermanos de East Austin is an effort to harness the familial traditions on the Eastside, reach out to voters (especially new minority voters), and get folks engaged in their neighborhoods, their city, and the political process. The project has been kicked off with a social media effort (Facebook page Hermanosdeeastaustin; Twitter feed @HermanosDeEATX), and the organizing of a group of volunteer voter registrars, beginning with 31 sworn in last Saturday at a Cisco's Restaurant kickoff event. As of this writing, more than 1,000 people had signed up to the Facebook page, and Council Member Mike Martinez is making a special outreach effort to support the group.

In a Burnt Orange Report post on the kickoff, Blanca Valencia wrote, "Hermanos aims to acquire more information about the community's true and most immediate needs, to empower residents to take responsibility for their own communities, and to embrace EVERY member of the familia."

For more on the project, see Valencia's entire post or visit Hermanos' Facebook page.

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Hermanos de East Austin, José Velasquez, Mike Martinez, Blanca Valencia

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