Over fifty leaders from around the West Coast and New Mexico brought their fire to Phoenix this weekend, pushing the intensity of our fight against the climate of fear in Arizona—home of SB 1070—to new heights. Clothed in red shirts and burning with sí–se-puede spirit, we registered hundreds of new voters who will stand together this November to unseat the notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio and continue to build the political voice of the Latino and immigrant community.
On Saturday, we went to the lavish and exploitative non-union hotel resorts of Scottsdale with the goal of registering workers there to vote. General managers responded to our wish of expanding civic engagement with anger, hatred, and fear. But their responses only united and fueled us all to fight even harder on Sunday, when we registered even more voters and challenged people in churches, parks, and shopping centers to stand up and build power in their communities. Finally, on Mondamorning, we delegated the Hyatt Scottsdale, where workers have been publicly demanding a fair process to decide on unionization for nearly two years.
There, worker leaders from the Hyatt in Santa-Clara reminded their former general manager that he cannot hide — workers everywhere are united in fighting for respect and safety in the workplace.
For me, the success of the weekend was a testament to what can happen when people join together in struggle and realize their power—even for a short time. In total, we registered nearly 400 people to vote during the weekend and added to what the team on the ground had already accomplished in the week to arrive at a total of 1,047 new registered voters in one week! “Adios Arpaio” is not just our slogan, it is a reality that we have the power to create. I’m so proud to be part of Unite Here’s work, and I’m thankful to have met so many fierce leaders who will inspire me far into the future to keep fighting.
– Gabrielle, 2012 Summer Organizer, Phoenix
“My trip to Arizona to volunteer with the local in Phoenix as well as the Adios Arpaio campaign was a very memorable experience. It was inspiring to see so many people united for a cause and working very hard in order to make create real changes in Arizona that will impact many people. I was amazed to learn that the campaign to register voters in Phoenix started in April, and would be continuing up through the elections in November. The people who are registering voters spend several hours each day canvassing in extreme heat, but they do it with a smile on their face because they know how crucial it is to register voters and that the stakes in this election are very high. It is exhausting work, and I have nothing but admiration for the people in Arizona who continue with this hard work, day after day, despite the harsh weather conditions and often negative response from citizens in Arizona. The trip to Arizona made me understand even more deeply how this situation effects real people and destroys families. It made all the news reports and stories of police harassment much more real to me, and as a result I am planning on returning to Arizona in the fall in order to help out with the final get out the vote push before the
election.” – Esteban, 2012 Summer Organizer, San Diego
“I had never canvassed before, so it was a challenging yet really motivating experience to push people to register to vote. I was inspired by all those who canvass in Arizona every day and by all the hard work they have done in their efforts to get Arpaio out of the Sheriff position.” – Victoria, 2012 Summer Organizer, San Diego
“My visit to Arizona was a huge eye opener for me. It made me get out of my comfort zone and go out there and try to make a difference. It was the first time I canvassed and spent hours trying to get people to register to vote. There were a lot of older citizens that seem to love what Sheriff Joe Arpaio is doing which disappointed me a lot. And it is unfortunate that those who really want Arpaio out of office are not able to vote because they are undocumented. Even though it was a huge challenge to find those who wanted him out and could register to vote, we were able to reach our goal.” – Duceani, 2012 Summer Organizer, San Diego
First Photo: Inside the Monte Lucia, the Summer Organizers were asking to be able to register the workers at this non-union hotel to vote.
Second Photo: The Summer Organizers learning about the connections between hospitality industry employers and Sherriff Arpaio.
Third Photo: Voter registration inside WalMart: The only appropriate use of a shopping cart in WalMart is to be able to do voter registration!
Fourth Photo: San Diego Summer Organizers (L-R: Esteban, Duceani and Ashley) getting ready to register voters in
the Phoenix neighborhoods.
Fifth Photo: Group Photo.
Sixth Photo: Doing voter registration in the Phoenix neighborhoods. “Gotta go, Joe!”