While Cinco de Mayo may be associated with celebration, parties and margaritas, the influential media network mitú has taken the day to launch the T.A.C.O. Challenge, a national voter registration movement geared toward Latino Millennials.
The T.A.C.O. Challenge, which stands for “Take Action. Commit Others,” rallies grassroots groups, social media influencers and celebrities throughout the U.S. to create a platform for voter registration efforts. Beatriz Acevedo, president and co-founder of mitú, said the initiative will work to reach one million Latino Millennials before the October 6 voter registration deadline.
“Today is a good day to launch this because the press tends to pay more attentions to anything Latin on Cinco de Mayo,” Acevedo said. “We kicked off a campaign to collaborate with non-profit groups that push their own voter initiatives. Everyone has limited resources, and we thought that if we joined forces and lent our platform to more groups, we could make a bigger impact.”
Latino Millennials make up 44 percent of eligible Hispanic voters, but only 38 percent of them voted in 2012. The T.A.C.O. Challenge hopes to inspire young Hispanics to turn out to the polls in November by harnessing mitú’s massive social media platform.
“This is all about voter registration and engaging young Latinos in a very different way,” Acevedo said. “It can be hard reaching this demographic, letting them know their vote and voice matters if they want to have a say in how the country is run.”
While mitú is working to augment the voice of young Latinos, celebrities and political influencers have taken to twitter to share their support for the T.A.C.O. Challenge.
Acevedo said the national perception of the Latino electorate needs to be changed, and that can be achieved by organizing Hispanic voters before Election Day. Latinos drive population growth and are huge consumers of digital media, Acevedo said, and that mitú hopes to harness that strength in coming years.
"Civic engagement is at the heart of our democracy," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in mitú's news release. "... When immigrants become part of our civic discourse —when they can vote, earn better wages, and pursue higher education — it lifts up our entire community."
Three weeks ago Acevedo and her colleagues started working on organizing the T.A.C.O. Challenge and Tour. On May 7, mitú and dozens of non-profit groups will hold an event at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Los Angeles with high-profile Latinos like Rosarion Dawson, Diego Boneta and Jackie Cruz.
"We want to do this every year after the election,"Acevedo said. "We want this to inspire a socially responsible response. As the president and co-founder of mitú, we always wanted to have a platform like this to do good work for the community."