October 2016 Newsletter: Elections Edition

SIREN Newsletter: Elections Edition

Welcome to our Elections Edition of our SIREN newsletter. In just 22 days, we will decide who will be our next president, as well as determine California’s future for families, education, and other critical state services. Everything on the ballot is important, from the president down to the local school board races and local measures.

In solidarity,

Maricela Gutiérrez

Executive Director

This election, our SIREN Electoral Leads have registered nearly 1,500 new immigrant voters and have made over 20,000 phone calls for California propositions 55, 56, and 57, and our SIREN Leaders have been phone banking for Measure A, a County bond measure that would create affordable housing for our most vulnerable homeless populations.

Check out our SIREN Voter Guide in Spanish, English and Vietnamese!

SIREN is proud to reveal our 2016 voter guides with some important information on some of the state and local measures on this year’s ballot. Developed with the support of Mobilize the Immigrant Vote, these guides provide overviews and recommendations on ballot measures on issues important to immigrant communities - including funding for social services, criminal justice, bilingual education, affordable housing and more. Get your copy online so you can be an informed voter this November!


Meet the Leads - Erica Leyva and Mitzy De La Pena Medina


Erica Leyva, SIREN Electoral Organizer

The first time I voted was in the Presidential Elections in 2012. I still remember how excited I was to give my vote. Voting has always been important to me because I was the first one in my family to vote and as the oldest sister I had the responsibility to show my siblings that voting should be an exercised right and should be a habit. My parents immigrated to the United States twenty-two years ago and left their hometown and family in Mexico. Growing up in a low-income family, with undocumented parents has been crucial. I have seen my parents live with fear and they have been rejected from receiving certain benefits due to their legal status. Living in the Bay Area has become expensive and my parents are struggling to adapt their earning wages to have a decent and affordable life. Due to the rent increase in the Bay Area, my family and I have faced an eviction. It was the most stressful situation my family and I have faced, so I must raise and speak up for justice, ask for rent control and be loud for families who are struggling like we have. Since my parents don't have the requirements to vote, it is my duty to be their voice. I will advocate for the laws, propositions and measures that will benefit my parents and my community.


Taking on the role as an Electoral Organizer means more than just registering people to vote. Registering people to vote is highly important, but when I am out in the community talking to people I am building relationships and community support. I am glad to have the opportunity to help my community fill out the registration form, as many need help. I have met people who are undecided on which candidate should receive their vote, therefore they don't feel the need to register and vote. I cajole these citizens and advise them that it is important to vote at the local level, as residents of Santa Clara County due to the different measures that we will be able to vote on for the upcoming elections.  It is important to have the Latino Vote, the Millennial Vote, first time voters vote, and the vote from those who can't vote. I love registering people to vote because their voices will be heard!


Mitzy De La Pena Medina, SIREN Electoral Lead

Mitzy De La Pena Medina started as an Electoral Lead with SIREN back in June, and has helped register dozens of new voters through our voter registration program. Here is her story and why she is interested in getting her community to participate in civic engagement.

My name is Mitzy De La Pena Medina, I am a natural born citizen of this country and I want to discuss the importance of voting in the 2016 elections. Recently I graduated from San Jose State University majored  in Political Science with hopes in pursuing immigration law in the future. During my academic career I learned how crucial it is to have a voice when it comes to the American government, especially if one wants change to occur.  The act of voting is extremely important because one's vote represents the political direction a voter wants their government to take. Unfortunately there is a community of hardworking individuals, who are parents, friends and/or students which cannot be self-represented when it comes to voting because of their legal status in this country.  Personally being part of the undocumented community has made me aware in why it is important to vote, not just for personal benefit but to represent all those who cannot vote.


Recently I became an Electoral Lead with SIREN in order to get more citizens to register in time for the 2016 elections. I began to registering people who are either family or long time family friends, who are too connected to the undocumented community. This allowed the discussion of why it is highly important to vote, especially when being part of an unrepresented group. My journey will continue as I will thrive to register as many people possible from the Bay Area to have an accurate representation of the community, especially during the 2016 elections.



ATTENTION: The Voter Registration deadline is October 24. Remember to register to vote.



Have you moved since the last election? Would you like to register with a new political party? If so, you need to re-register at your new address or with your new political party.

You can register online here https://vote.nextgencalifornia.org/registrants/new?source=SIREN

The deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot is October 30.

You can check your registration status by visiting www.sccgov.org or by calling (408) 299-VOTE

  • Early Voting

Early Voting at the Registrar of Voters' Office

1555 Berger Drive, Building 2, San Jose, CA 9511

Monday – Friday:

October 11 - November 7

8a.m. to 5 p.m.


October 29

9a.m. to 3 p.m.


October 30

9a.m. to 3 p.m.

Saturday :

November 5

9a.m. to 3 p.m.


November 6

9a.m. to 3 p.m.


November 8 (Election Day)

7a.m. to 8 p.m.

Early Voting Centers:



1213 Newell Road, Palo Alto, CA 94303



250 W. Sixth Street, Gilroy, CA 95020



2635 Homestead Road, Santa Clara, CA 95051



491 E. Empire Street, San Jose, CA 95112



1772 Educational Park Drive, San Jose, CA 9513

Saturday - Sunday

October 29 - October 30

2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday - Sunday

November 5 - November 6

2 p.m. to 5 p.m.


  • Presidential Debate Watch Party!


On Wednesday, October 19, SIREN hosted a Presidential Debate watch party for the third and final presidential debate. Community members gathered around to inform themselves and to help shape their decisions. Attendees got to see if the candidates addressed the issues that mattered to them. Afterwards, a discussion bout the debate and about the issues touched upon during the debate took place so everyone could completely understand the implications of what each candidate said. The watch party was such a success that an attendee was inspired to register to vote on the spot!


*SIREN is a non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization.

RSVP at http://www.eventbrite.com/o/services-immigrant-rights-and-education-network-siren-6759575109


You can visit our Facebook event page at