Tucson – With the goal of getting out the vote in the Latino community, the National Tequila Party movement officially kicks off its operations with an event here this weekend.
"We're a movement without political affiliations that seeks to motivate the Hispanic community to vote. We have seen the problem both with Republicans and Democrats, where Hispanic participation in elections has been very meager," Alex Gonzalez, spokesman for the Tequila Party, told Efe.
He said that every year the number of Hispanic registered voters grows in the United States, but the problem is that they don't cast their ballots.
"If we begin to use procedures like voting by mail, we can have a very powerful impact on the primary elections, both of the Democratic Party and of the Republicans," Gonzalez said.
The official launch of the Tequila Party, which started organizing 18 months ago, will take place this Saturday in downtown Tucson.
The group estimates that in the United States there are currently 22 million Hispanics eligible to vote, of whom only 13 million are registered.
"If we can motivate a great many Hispanic voters, particularly in states where there are large concentrations of Hispanics such as Texas, California, Florida and Nevada, our effect will be much greater," the spokesman said.
The Tequila Party currently has 160 members and hopes to operate in 15 states.
"Tequila is a symbol to unify the movement," Gonzalez said, adding that the name has received a lot of support against a small group that criticizes the term as a stereotype.
He said the idea originally came from Nevada's Democratic lawmaker Fernando Romero, who got his inspiration from the Tea Party.
"One thing we want to do is call the Democratic Party's attention to all the things they promised us, and make the Republican Party realize that they haven't done very well either," Gonzalez said.
In his opinion, neither of the two political parties has done anything because they feel that Hispanics still do not vote in substantial numbers.
"Our goal is to motivate people and get out the vote," he said.
He said that the movement will never support either a single candidate or one political party, but will carry out events in different states at which both Democrats and Republicans can present their platforms to the Hispanic electorate.
He said that the group will also try to make Hispanic voters aware that it's not enough to demand change from the political parties, it's also the responsibility of the individual to go to the polls and vote.
The movement chose Arizona to launch the Tequila Party since this is the state considered "ground zero" on the subject of immigration after the passing of such controversial state laws as SB1070.
The director of the Tequila Party is DeeDee Garcia Blase, who previously led the Arizona-based Hispanic group Somos Republicans.
Gonzalez said that in Arizona some 800,000 Hispanics are eligible to vote, but only half of them are registered.