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Education project kicks off Latino Vote '02 campaign

January 17, 2002

CALEXICO — The Southwest Voter Registration Education Project has kicked off its voter registration campaign in Calexico as part of its Latino Vote '02 statewide campaign aimed at increasing Latino voter participation in the March primaries.

"Communities such as Calexico stand to gain new political representation by electing legislative candidates of their choice this year. The redistricting process made Assembly District 80 a majority Latino seat comprised of Imperial and Coachella valleys," said Antonio González, president of Southwest Voter Registration Education Project.

Calexico is considered an election hot spot by the group. For example, voters are considering the fate of a controversial initiative regarding expansion of the Wal-Mart in Calexico into extensive food sales. Also, competitive elections for City Council, the county Board of Supervisors, the Imperial Irrigation District Board and state Assembly may stimulate voter interest, according to SVREP.

"This year we may see Latino voters from Calexico and other desert communities elect a candidate of their choice to state Assembly for the first time in their history," said SVREP organizer Juan Gallegos.

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"Elevating voting registration numbers and mobilizing people to vote in the March 5 primary will be a task that will involve the whole community," said Juan Gallegos SVREP's voter registration coordinator. "We invite local residents to join our efforts. They can volunteer by contacting us at (800) 222-5654 or at (760) 357-0730."

The Calexico effort seeks to mobilize 2,000 voters on election day and 2,000 absentee votes. Over the course of the next two months the project's members and volunteers will target different sectors of the community in an effort to achieve their goals.

SVREP is a national non-partisan, non-profit organization. Founded in 1974, the mission of SVREP is to empower Latinos and other underrepresented communities through civic participation.

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