Latino Voting Fundraiser
Recap of the Virtual Gala Dinner
A Zoom Fundraising Dinner!
Created by John Lewis and the NAACP to muster the political power of the Latino vote, Southwest Voter Registration Education Project is the oldest organization in the U.S. engaging Latino voters. Led by Lydia Camarillo, a powerhouse political organizer and CEO of Gore’s 2000 National Convention, SVREP has been uniquely registering AND turning out Latino voters for almost 50 years.
The cornerstone of SVREP’s fundraising annually has been two outdoor dinners in Los Angeles and San Antonio, which are major events in the Latino political community. But, in 2020, the pandemic had other plans. Pam Tarr and Jon Cooksey came on board to produce a live digital dinner with the goal of making our guests, donors and speakers feel like familia, with all the warmth that characterizes this community.
The organization is very low tech – they are on the streets and in the trenches – so huge efforts were made to upgrade their site and social platforms with the help of an upstart all-Latina social media team on board to promote the event and voter registration.
In preparation for a wonderful dinner shared online across the country, tablecloths printed with the event poster and special meals were sent to the highest donors. We brought in a fantastic roster of top Latino music artists and actors (Ozomotli, Lila Downs, Kenny Ortega, Danny Tjero) for dynamic performances, a hot comedian (Erik Rivera) as host, and major politicians (LA Mayor Garcetti, former Secretary of HUD Henry Cisneros) to appear with empassioned messages about the importance of voting. All intercut with great PSAs and videos created for the event. The live stream was produced with a great tech event company that supplied analytics supporting a successful night.
With Cooksey at the helm as writer and tech director and Tarr as producer and talent wrangler, SVREP had its best fundraiser ever.