I'd like to introduce everyone to a great and relatively new community organization serving the Greater New Orleans area called Puentes. As a volunteer for Puentes, I can attest to the great work that the organization does and to its dedicated leadership and community membership. Its mission, as its name suggests, is to build bridges that link the Latino community to the larger New Orleans community and to foster civic engagement among the Latino community.
This morning, in preparation for a very busy week of kicking off an 8-month-long voter registration drive effort, I invited Lucas Diaz, the Executive Director of Puentes, and Alejandro Lurati, another Puentes volunteer and activist, to WTUL-New Orleans' (91.5 FM) Community Gumbo radio show to speak about Puentes generally and the LatiNola Votes! voter registration drive specifically.
The audio file of this discussion (about 50 minutes long) is available at the Community Gumbo website. Check it out.
For the moment, I'd like to take the opportunity to encourage all of my NOLAblogger friends to consider attending the upcoming LatiNola Votes! kick-off event that Puentes has organized for Saturday, March 1, from 10:00am-4:00pm at the Esperanza Charter School located on South Carrollton Avenue (4407 S. Carrollton Ave.).
There will be a kid's area, as well as free music, food, and drinks at the event. Of course, we'll also have a couple of voter registration tables. The event is intended to be fun, family friendly, celebratory, and open to all in the greater New Orleans community. There will be information tables from a variety of other community organizations and agencies at the event as well. Please plan to stop by.
Let me also say that this is a completely non-partisan effort. We want to encourage civic engagement and community involvement that transcends race, class, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and ideological differences.
In fact, if anyone reading this would like to become involved or would like to volunteer, contact me directly at huckupchuck_at_hotmail_dot_com.