Mobilizing the Eastside: InnerCity Struggle hosts a voter carnival

Vive, vota y lucha. That was the slogan at the center of InnerCity Struggle’s campaign to mobilize Eastside voters in the upcoming elections with door-to-door registration, online guides and fun engagement events like Wednesday’s Lucha Carnival.

Latinos are almost half of the general population of Los Angeles. Getting Latinos to participate on Nov. 8 is critical to ensuring that communities like Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles have their voices heard, according to Kimberly Ortega, a spokesperson for the local nonprofit.

“Time and time again we have seen how important Latinos are when it comes to bringing change to our city,” Ortega said at the event, held at the organization’s Boyle Heights headquarters. “It’s important for everyone in the community to be informed on who and what is on the ballot so that we can increase our collective impact.”

According to Spectrum News, InnerCity Struggle is one of several LA nonprofits who received funding for voter outreach as part of the Latino Community Foundation’s “Yo voy a votar” initiative.

Going beyond typical voter engagement, the night’s carnival featured games, entertainment and prizes, all centered around propositions and measures on this year’s ballot that could have an impact on the Eastside.

From a bean bag knock-down challenge featuring images of L.A. Sheriff Alex Villanueva tied to County Measure A to a duck swim and catch housing game highlighting Proposition ULA, attendees had an array of opportunities to have fun and get ready for voting season.

“As a Spanish speaker, it can be very difficult to stay informed beyond who is running for mayor,” said Yolanda Rodríguez, a resident of Boyle Heights the event. “A lot of people become indifferent about everything else on the ballot because of how hard it can be to understand things in simple terms.”

Tote bags with the campaign’s slogan and many other prizes were handed to folks who engaged in the night’s informative festivities. The night came to a close with a light-show hula hoop performance followed by a collective dance of El Caballo Dorado’s party favorite, No rompas mi corazón.

“Happy and uplifting events like these get people motivated, it takes the gloom out of what’s going on in the city,” said the 54-year-old Rodríguez. “I’m excited to vote and I’m going to push my neighbors to vote too.”