CPLC Advocacy: Continuing a history of words and deeds

11th May 2021

Chicanos Por La Causa has deep roots in the rocky terrain of civil rights and social justice, territory established in walkouts and demonstrations for education equity in Phoenix public schools in 1969.

Much has changed since then, with CPLC now a regional community developer and leader in affordable housing, education, health & human services, and economic development. But what hasn’t changed in CPLC’s 52-year history is our commitment to advocacy.

As a 501(C)(3) nonprofit, CPLC continues to be an active advocate for immediate and generational change across many formats – except electioneering. A separate and independent 501(C)(4) nonprofit, CPLC Action Fund, was established for that purpose.

On our C3 side, CPLC advocacy is aligned with our mission via community and civic engagement on key issues related to poverty, immigration, education, leadership and public policy. The actions and avenues for advocacy varies in words and deeds.

For example, CPLC was heavily involved in voter registration and get-out-the-vote initiatives in the 2020 election. This included a heavy social media campaign for messaging. Presently, CPLC advocacy is focused on Arizona redistricting to ensure Latino voter strength is not erased when new voting district lines are drawn.

We also were heavily involved in Census outreach for the Latino community, which continues to be undercounted by design if not by intention, as underscored by the 2020 Census results. With a keen eye always on the future, CPLC is making recommendations to greatly improve the process in the 2030 Census, when Arizona will be a minority-majority state.

And CPLC continues to advocate for Latinos during this devastating pandemic – which has hit Latinos especially hard – in everything from testing to vaccinations, rental assistance and utility bills, the Digital Divide negatively affecting our off-line students, and the resulting economic crisis impacting small businesses and workers alike. We continue to be in contact with the Arizona governor’s office to find better ways to reach our community.

I am proud to lead the CPLC Advocacy Team along with colleagues Lydia Guzman, who is an invaluable asset with years of battle-tested commitment to social justice, and Fidelis Garcia (no relation except that we are all brother and sisters in the CPLC familia), who continues his family legacy in advancing Latino causes through community outreach and engagement.

A more accurate inventory of our Advocacy Team roster would include every department, every division and every colleague at every level throughout CPLC, as demonstrated in their daily deeds and commitment to help individuals, families and communities through empowerment lives. Positive outcomes are the result of their hard work.

Our mission statement says it all: “We Drive Economic and Political Empowerment.” We know it’s not about words, but about deeds and action. The battle continues for immediate change and generational change for Latinos and other marginalized communities.

Advancement of our mission depends on the CPLC team, and of course, on you as an invaluable extended member of that team. Our shared advocacy got us where we are today and it will get us where we’re going tomorrow.

Thank you for your continued support.

Joseph Garcia
Vice President of Public Policy

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