Our organization grew out of our efforts to reform the nation’s broken immigration system through the Reform Immigration FOR America campaign. But it was the vigil that we started at the Arizona state capitol in resistance to movement to Arizona’s legalized discrimination, SB1070. We demonstrated the injustice by the state by continuing the vigil for 103 days and expanding from seven individuals to thousands. Our mission to build and demonstrate power to those in power, to strike down fear and build a better promise for all Arizonians propelled us to build a new statewide organization.
After the worst of SB 1070 had been staved off, Promise Arizona began to redirect the frustrations and passions stirred by this ordeal into lasting, positive civic engagement.
We built our capacity through movement building and volunteer recruitment to register new Latino voters and to turnout new and unlikely voters to vote in the 2010 General Election. Recruiting people from our immediate community and fellows from out-of-state. Through the “Faith, Hope, Vote,” campaign, we proved that Latinos, youth and those striving for a better future for their families were willing to register, vote, and work long hours to conduct one of the most ambitious volunteer electoral programs in the country.
We still have a way to go to in the fight for policies, policymakers and leaders in Arizona that truly reflect our values, but in only six months we have laid the foundation for an exciting new organization. Building on this progress, Promise Arizona will continue to build a future that allows all people, regardless of their skin color, income level or country of origin, to achieve his or her full potential.