” I want to keep on going” — Juanita
With a mix of ups and downs, 2014 has been quite the ride! And with President Obama’s recent immigration announcement, we won’t be getting off this ride anytime soon. Especially not Juanita who is just getting going. But, we need your help to keep her going.
Juanita became involved with our movement this past August as one of ten Youth Fellows that worked with our sister organization Accion Politica PCUNista (APP) to build Latino electoral capacity and win the Driver’s Card measure. Despite losing the measure (for now), Juanita and her peers made a big impact in the recent elections. They talked with over 34,000 people, knocked on 14,000 doors, registered 1700 Latinos to vote, and turned out to vote 3600. Their impact was especially felt in local elections and close State legislature races in the Mid-Willamette Valley, where APP did most of their work. Here is what Juanita had to say about her experience:
“Working in the movement was the most amazing journey I’ve ever had in my life. It was intense. Even though we lost the driver’s card, I feel like we won in many ways. We changed many minds. We made a lot of connections. It started with a small group of people, but at the end we created a movement. We inspired so many! Who would have believed that young people could make such a difference! My favorite part was talking to older leaders. Despite their many battles, they have the same energy and passion that we do.”
As to why she got involved?—“I came into this country undocumented, but I didn’t realize this until my high school friends started getting their license and I couldn’t. I couldn’t even buy movie tickets because I didn’t have an ID.”
But, in 2012 things took a turn for Juanita when she qualified for the Deferred Action for Child Hood Arrivals (DACA) program. Now she can drive and work without fear. She’s also working on obtaining a college degree. Under President Obama’s latest immigration executive order, Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA), many immigrants will follow a similar path to Juanita’s. Two of them will be her parents.
We want to be prepared to serve Juanita’s parents and the thousands more that will look to PCUN’s Service Center for help. We have about six months to strengthen and expand our Service Center and we have to get started now! To make this happen our goal is to raise $20,000 by January. A big part of the funding will go to add the staff needed to first inform families about DAPA, then service those that qualify.
With your help Juanita can be the first staff to jump on board. Can you help Juanita, our movement, and our community keep on going?
Gracias y Adelante!
P.S. Because we’re a union, donations to PCUN are not tax-deductible. You can support PCUN’s educational, research and
legal defense work via a tax-deductible contribution to Willamette Valley Law Project.