With the start of early voting kicking off Monday, Oct. 22, and Election Day just two weeks away (Tuesday, Nov. 6), mobilizing for a better Texas, and America, is of immediate importance.
Which is why Heard Presents is hosting Sí Se Puede! this weekend – an event featuring local nonprofits, Latinx, and minority artists – to rally behind Senate hopeful Beto O’Rourke to replace Ted Cruz. Rumor has it that O’Rourke is expected to make an appearance, along with City Council candidates Reedy Spigner (District 1), Mariana Salazar (D1), Amit Motwani (D3), and Bobby Levinski (D8).
While the event is expected to be super groovy, Sí Se Puede! ultimately seeks to encourage Austin, especially our minority communities, to get out and vote in the upcoming election. This triple-whammy event, which hopes to garner support at the polls, will also feature TK Tunchez’ Los Ofrendas. The woman and maker behind Frida Fridays will be hosting her signature arts marketplace where eventgoers can support artists of color. While the musical lineup includes funky and local Latinx group Superfónicos, Corpus Christi native El Dusty, and Austin’s DJ Chorizo Funk.
Organizer Adrienne Lake says she’s particularly excited about unifying the community through the talented artists and musicians she recruited. “This could be the tipping point for getting Beto in office and that is very, very important,” Lake says. “It's about time we had a Texas senator who looks out for all the people, including women, LGBTQ, and minority communities.”
As Lake noted, the recent O’Rourke and Willie Nelson rally was one to inspire. With a turnout of 50,000 people, the organizers and participants of Sí Se Puede! wanted to help push the Senate hopeful’s momentum further. But even after this influential rally sponsored by Nelson, a Texas legend himself, a poll in The New York Times found Cruz still ahead of O’Rourke by eight points. While this is perhaps the most successful a Texas Democrat has been against a Republican in decades, events like Sí Se Puede! are all the more crucial.
A slew of local nonprofits – including League of Women Voters, the Democratic Socialists of America’s local Queer Coalition, Jolt Texas, and Indivisible Austin – will also be on hand to educate folks on their respective work in regard to mobilizing voters for progressive change.[image-2-right]
While Sí Se Puede! is especially important now, organizers hope to make it a yearly event for local politicians to come out, educate, and get connected to the community. Despite the negative impact of the 2016 election, progressive political advocates like those involved in Sí Se Puede! are optimistic about making positive changes, now and onward. Even if you are already registered to vote, it’s imperative to go out there and do it. Sí Se Puede! offers Austinites a chill environment where they can become more informed about the election, community initiatives, and how to get involved. As Lake reminds us: We are not just voting for ourselves – we’re voting so that others can have better lives, too. “We are not powerless. We cannot afford to sit this one out,” Lake sums up. “And yes, we can!”
Sí Se Puede! will be at Empire Control Room Saturday, Oct. 20, 7pm-1am. Tickets are available online or at the door; $10-12. To learn more about the candidates and the upcoming election visit austinchronicle.com/elections and make sure to read over our endorsements too.
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