Rising Immigrant Electorate Lifts Marie Gluesenkamp Perez to Power, Flips Key Congressional Seat in Nationally-Watched Midterm Victory
Press Release: 11/12/2022
Media Contact: Allison Carney, firstname.lastname@example.org, 401 965 4049
Vancouver, WA – Marie Gluesenkamp Perez claims victory over far-right opponent, clinching a hard-fought win in Southwest Washington after decades of organizing.
“This is no fluke,” says Melissa Rubio, Political Director for OneAmerica Votes. “Her win is the result of decades of organizing and electoral work in southwest Washington. In a race as close as this, every voter-to-voter conversation matters. As of right now, there are just over 5,000 votes between Marie and Kent–we contacted 20,000 voters in the 3rd and helped close that gap. Our door-to-door canvassing, phone banking and mail helped make immigrants a significant and clear margin of victory for this race.
“Since 2010, our political programs have persuaded voters based on issues and our vision of a Thriving Home for all in Washington state. Alongside Glusenkamp Perez’s campaign and the work of other local organizations, we lifted the political power of historically ignored voters and won new leadership for our base.”
This is a nationally-relevant, grassroots, community-owned win. This seat was one of the only 13 US House seats predicted to stay Republican that was flipped as a result of work on the ground by organizations like OneAmerica Votes and one of only 6 seats across the country to flip from Republican to Democrat.
“Nobody in the political consultant or party class gave this race a chance – but the community did.” said OneAmerica Votes CEO Roxana Norouzi. “We believed in Marie because our lives depend on it, and because we found a candidate who spoke to our values. Pundits like Five Thirty Eight gave us a 2% chance of winning but we believe in our own convictions, and we knocked every door with 100% of our hearts that Perez could win.
“This is why we can’t just listen to pollsters and institutions – this is why we have to listen to communities on the ground, and the immigrant leaders who see what’s possible and make it happen.”
Two of those people, OneAmerica Votes staff and leaders Glicerio Zurita and Elizabeth Ruiz have been organizing immigrant communities in Southwest Washington for over 10 years to flip the 3rd Congressional seat. One segment of the voters they talked to are newly naturalized citizens, a rising block of voters. In Washington, there are over 86,000 citizens who naturalized between 2016 and 2020. Naturalized immigrants are 1 in 10 eligible voters in the U.S.
“I’ve been knocking on doors supporting Marie Perez, and I talked to many voters who’ve recently become citizens and voted for the first time,” shared Ruiz. “It’s a huge accomplishment, one thanks to years of hard work by organizers and OneAmerica Votes. That’s why I got involved with community organizations like OneAmerica Votes. We have the power to shape the outcome across the country, in Washington, and right here at home.”
Perez’s win represents not just a win for immigrant power, but also an outright rejection of fascism and proof that strong candidates coupled with long term community organizing can win elections.
“This win proves what we’ve known all along: immigrants will win when we organize,” says Roxana Norouzi, CEO of OneAmerica Votes. “We’re sending people like us, who share our lived experiences and will bring that perspective to their role governing into congress.
“Today is a huge victory and one that we will keep building on by supporting Marie and other pro-immigrant candidates to govern on our platform. OAV and leaders like Glicerio and Elizabeth will continue to organize across SW WA to ensure we have pro-immigrant, BIPOC candidates representing our community at every level of government. It happens vote by vote, candidate by candidate, race by race.
Together we organize, elect people like us, and we transform our government for the better.”
About OneAmerica Votes
OneAmerica Votes promotes democracy and builds power in immigrant and refugee communities through advocacy, civic engagement and leadership development.