NCLR: Leading the Way In Online Organizing

From July 19 to 22, more than three thousands Latino civic and community leaders from throughout the United States assembled for the 2014 National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Annual Conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown LA.

NCLR is arguably the most influential Latino advocacy group in the nation.  Each year, its conference attracts leading policy makers and influentials who seek to press the flesh and burnish their credentials with those in attendance. In 2008, when I first attended this conference in San Diego, presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain addressed attendees.  This year’s conference attracted notable speakers, such as U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, among others. (Sandberg’s talk begins in the LiveStream below at the 59:20 mark.)

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I was invited to attend the conference’s tweetup, which included several other bloggers and a panel that included NCLR policy and social chiefs, as well as VotoLatino Communications Director Jimmy Hernandez.  As was articulated by the panel and participants, NCLR is leading the way among advocacy groups in its use of social and digital tools for community organizing. During the battle for immigration reform during the last two years, NCLR has used Twitter, Facebook, and others to mobilize supporters into action and make appeals to members of Congress through these mediums.  In addition, the NCLR Communications team makes its bones by posting daily on subjects important to its members — home ownership, DREAMers, financial literacy — on the NCLR Blog.

During the tweetup, I argued that there are now a critical mass of NCLR supporters who blog or are social influencers and can be mobilize on a specific issue, not unlike the way the public was mobilized to protest SOPA and PIPA in 2012.  Indeed, the data favors NCLR: Latino youth and adults over-index in the use of social media and mobile apps.

Here I was caught by Denisse Montalvan, who was also at the meetup, while I was talking — with my baby daughter under my arm.

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