Extensive Maryland Primaries Campaign for Black, Latino Turnout

CASA in Action Coordinates Extensive Campaign to Galvanize Black, Latino Turnout in Maryland Primaries

Langley Park, Md. — Electoral powerhouse CASA in Action finalized months of campaigning for Maryland’s primary elections on Tuesday, engaging voters in communities of color in Baltimore, Montgomery, and Prince George’s County with a combined approach that included canvassing, mailers, TV and radio ads, among several other methods.

In the past several months, CASA in Action canvassers and volunteers engaged tens of thousands of Maryland voters at their homes, including more than 17,000 knocks since early voting began on July 7. By the election’s end, CASA in Action had over 30 paid staff hitting the streets; contacts augmented by a coordinated campaign that put out volunteers every weekend and covered 200 hours at the polls.

Voters throughout Maryland received mailers and door literature with information on candidates specific to their district. Latino voters in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties were sent a mail piece featuring Latino superstars Jaime Contreras of the 32BJ SEIU union and Gustavo Torres, board president of CASA in Action, pushing to elect Maryland’s first Latino governor.

In addition to in-person contact, CASA in Action carried out the largest communications campaign in its history. Voters saw targeted video ads more than 7.6 million times on their cell phones and desktops, leading to over 12,000 clicks to CASA in Action’s website through Election Day. The digital ads helped educate voters across Maryland not just on the mechanics of voting but also whom to vote for.

Video spots aired on Univision and Telemundo. Radio spots were played on Radio El Zol 107.9 FM for weeks, culminating in an “Orgullo Latino” (Latino Pride) message: Los latinos en Maryland formamos un equipo con mucha fuerza política. Y en estas elecciones primarias el 19 de julio, tenemos la opción de apoyar a candidatos que comparten nuestras raíces. (Latinos in Maryland have strong political power. And in these primary elections on July 19, we have the opportunity to support candidates that share roots with us.)

Billboards paid for by CASA in Action surrounded Charm City, urging Baltimoreans to vote for Tom Perez and Shannon Sneed at the top of the ticket, Anthony Brown for Attorney General, and Brooke Lierman for Comptroller both during early voting and on Election Day.

On the day before the primary elections, community members decorated their cars with banners, ribbons, and balloons, participating in a get-out-the-vote caravan that traveled through the heart of the Latino community from Langley Park to Wheaton and urged bystanders to turn out to their polling station the next day.

An entirely separate team of CASA in Action staff and volunteers coordinated directly with candidates to ensure our organization became a key factor in centering the most critical issues that motivate voters. From rallies to press conferences to policy roundtables, the coordinated team hosted more than a dozen earned media events with candidates designed to narrow in the most motivating issues to get the vote out.

“We know there are a lot of strong candidates running in this election,” CASA in Action’s Director of Electoral Programs William Renderos said. “But community members did their homework,” and decided that Tom Perez and other endorsed candidates “are true champions for immigrants and working people.”

By providing additional information about candidates, voting deadlines, and how to vote early and by mail, Renderos said CASA in Action aimed to increase the likelihood of Black and Latino residents voting. “The conversations we have had with voters at their doors reflect the need for working class champions” in Maryland’s elected offices, he added.

During this campaign, CASA in Action highlighted Perez’s goal of extending affordable healthcare to all Marylanders, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich’s commitment to affordable housing and Brown’s commitment to Black and Latino civil rights in his bid for Attorney General, among many others.

Even though results are not expected Tuesday evening, “As we await the election results, CASA in Action members, staff, and volunteers will hold our heads up high, knowing that we left it all on the field,” Lydia Walther-Rodriguez, Director of Baltimore and Central Maryland said at a canvass kickoff in Baltimore County. “Every door knocked, every call made, every conversation we had with voters uplifting our stories, we hope makes the difference to impact the election results.”

CASA in Action member Denis Telemacus was inspired to volunteer, knocking on doors to elect Tom Perez for governor, based on Perez’s commitment to extend healthcare to Maryland’s undocumented community, including Black immigrants.

“We often have to deal with our pains with medicine I can buy from the shelf at the pharmacy,” he said. “Our illnesses can be more serious but going to the hospital is a debt that will follow you your whole life. I believe Tom will address this crisis.”