Texas Taco Trucks Doubling as Voter Registration Centers
Back in early September, Latinos for Trump founder Marco Gutierrez told MSNBC host Joy Reid that his culture was very dominant and causing problems, and that, if it's left unchecked, we'll soon see taco trucks on every corner.
Gutierrez's choice to paint a boom in small taco businesses in a negative light seems a very poor way of illustrating his point. However, it did strike a chord with taco truck owners across the country, who turned Gutierrez's negative remark into a positive movement.
Taco chefs from coast to coast are now handing out voter registration materials to customers, and Austin and Houston have jumped on board.
The Austin American-Statesman reports that Austinites Audrey Maker - a project manager for a tech startup whose husband is from Honduras - and Jose Valera - part owner of Tamale House East - have spearheaded a movement they call Guac the Vote. Their goal has been to put a trained deputy registrar in Austin area food trucks who, along with a Spanish speaking guide, will get customers registered and help dispel myths associated with Texas' voter ID law.
"As a business owner, I want to stay apolitical," Valera told the Statesman. "But this is not a partisan push — this is a voter registration push, and something we’d like to turn into a voter turnout push. It’ll be a success if we get 50 new voters.”
In Houston, communications designer Thomas Hull has worked with Latino political activism group Mi Familia Vota to turn taco trucks in that area into voter registration booths as well. Hull says getting people registered is only half the battle, and it's up to Latino voters to make it to the polls.
According to the New York Times, Texas had the lowest votor turnout of any state during 2014's mid-term elections. Texas is home to 10.2 million Hispanics, an estimated 5 million of whom will be eligible to vote in 2016. However, only 22% of eligible Hispanic voters turned out to cast a ballot in 2014.