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Hispanic Voter Registration Group Launches Provocative Campaign

Shelley Kofler
Texas Public Radio
Antonio Gonzalez, President of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP). It was founded by "Willie” Velasquez, Jr., depicted in poster.";

A national group that works to register Hispanic voters is launching a cell phone app and a provocative campaign. 

“It’s called, F- the Wall,” Antonio Gonzalez, president of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, said coyly.  He then quickly added:  “That stands for ‘Fight the Wall, Register a Mexican to Vote.' ”

Gonzalez says the app is designed to jumpstart the campaign, by registering a growing number of Hispanics upset by anti-immigration rhetoric. He says that kind of talk spurred voter registration in 1994 when California Gov. Pete Wilson pushed a state ballot proposition to prohibit undocumented immigrants from receiving social services. He said it surged again when Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, ordered deputies to stop Hispanic drivers because they might be in the country illegally. 

Gonzalez told Texas Public Radio’s Shelley Kofler he expects another flood of new Hispanic voters this year.

Here's the conversation:

Shelley Kofler is Texas Public Radio’s news director. She joined the San Antonio station in December 2014 and leads a growing staff that produces two weekly programs; a daily talk show, news features, reports and online content. Prior to TPR, Shelley served as the managing editor and news director at KERA in Dallas-Fort Worth, and the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.