DUSA is Now Hosting Free Civics Classes

DUSA is Now Hosting Free Civics Classes

This winter, Dominicanos USA has partnered up with the New York Historical Society to give free civics classes to green card holders in preparation for their naturalization interview. The series of classes will be hosted at our Bronx office and will be available to individuals who are permanent residents. These free civics classes are part of DUSA’s mission to help immigrants from our community become naturalized citizens.

The New-York Historical Society offers FREE civics classes for green card holders on the path to American citizenship. The 24-hour course prepares permanent residents for the civics test portion of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) naturalization interview.

The interactive course covers all 100 questions from the USCIS Civics Test. Participants will explore the Museum and learn about American history and government using objects, paintings, and documents from our collection. Classes are taught in English and are accessible to English Language Learners.

The Citizenship Project is made possible by generous grants from the Ford Foundation, The JPB Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and The New York Community Trust, and in partnership with CUNY Citizenship Now!

“When I shared with my friends about the sessions, they asked me why not just memorize the 100 items for the citizenship exams?
My reply was: I’m a visual person and I usually internalize an info or issue with actual viewing and hearing, and that it is my intention to understand better the history of the United States.”

-Elsie, originally from the Philippines

New Courses Start This Winter

January 6 – February 3
Saturdays, 10am – 4pm
January 9 – February 15
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 – 8pm
February 17 – March 10
Saturdays, 10am – 4pm
DUSA Gets Out the Vote Again

DUSA Gets Out the Vote Again


Dominicanos USA has always aimed to engage and empower the Dominican community. In fact, we have been able to register 150,000 people to vote since 2015. This past week we made sure to remind as many people as possible to go out and vote in the 2017 general elections in NYC and other areas. This election season Dominicanos USA sent out 55,000 texts and made 4,500 calls to ensure our people exercise their right to vote. We believe that through voting we can impact our community in a powerful way.

DUSA team calling and texting voters to remind them to participate in the latest elections.

Motivating the community to participate in these local and state elections has allowed our fellow Dominican and Latino politicians to represent us in throughout the U.S., including the first Latinas ever elected as state representatives in Virginia. Electing these Latino officials has greatly contributed to the empowerment of our community and our influence in the American political system. We plan on continuing to encourage our community to keep voting, and therefore make sure our voices are heard.

DUSA team engaging millennials in the electoral process by providing poll site location and reminding them to get out vote.

Hurricane Irma Update: Exclusive Aerial Photos of the Aftermath in The Dominican Republic

Hurricane Irma Update: Exclusive Aerial Photos of the Aftermath in The Dominican Republic

These are exclusive aerial photos that Dominicanos USA just received. You can zoom in on the photos to see the impact of the hurricane on the northern coast of the island. There has been some damage to these coastal areas, including beach erosion, but we largely dodge the worst of the storm.

If you have family or loved ones on the island, especially in places like Puerto Plata, Nagua, Samana or other places in the direct path of the hurricane, this could be an opportunity to see what the situation actually looks like. The main roads are clear, boats are docked, tin roofs are intact, but of course, we are still concerned for those who were affected by the storm.

DUSA has been coordinating with Congressman Adriano Espaillat’s office in monitoring Irma’s impact in the DR. We’d like to thank the Congressman for playing a critical role in the crisis response efforts. We will continue to provide support and information, however possible, to those affected by Hurrican Irma in the Dominican Republic and throughout the region. Please check here for more info.


DUSA was featured in a recent Voices of New York story – Getting Out the Dominican Vote

DUSA was featured in a recent Voices of New York story – Getting Out the Dominican Vote

Canvassers from Dominicanos USA walk down the street in Corona, Queens. “We get to meet a lot of people and develop those bonds with the community,” says Yohan Diaz, left.

Canvassers from Dominicanos USA walk down the street in Corona, Queens. “We get to meet a lot of people and develop those bonds with the community,” says Yohan Diaz, left.

by Nomin Ujiyediin

After three years working as a canvasser in New York City, Austine Martinez has learned a lot. Like how to tell whether passersby are of Dominican descent – it’s everything from the music they play, to the language they’re speaking, to the way they look.
“Little things like that, you learn on the job,” he said on a sunny afternoon spent recruiting voters in Corona, Queens.

The knowledge comes in handy in his position as a junior organizer with Dominicanos USA, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in the Bronx. Alongside other canvassers, Martinez has spent hours at a time pounding the pavement in heavily Dominican and Latino neighborhoods across the city like Corona, Washington Heights, Inwood and Bushwick.

Since its inception in 2013, Dominicanos USA has registered more than 140,000 voters in the Northeast, including more than 100,000 in New York and more than 30,000 in Rhode Island, where a smaller office is based. The organization’s goal is to increase the political participation of Dominicans, the largest Latino ethnic group in the city, by enabling them to vote and helping them become naturalized citizens.

Its employees and volunteers knock on doors, hand out flyers and make phone calls. But the bulk of Dominicanos USA’s efforts are focused on sending trained canvassers, like Martinez, to walk through communities, along commercial corridors and past busy intersections, in search of unregistered voters.

“We have very dedicated canvassers of all ages that have been out there in rain, snow, cold weather, doing voter registration the old-fashioned way,” said the nonprofit’s national executive director Eddie Cuesta in a phone interview.

The organization targets specific neighborhoods and even buildings based on a statistical model developed by Catalist, a data company based in Washington, D.C. Called the “Dominican model,” it uses data from the census and the city government to identify areas with the highest concentrations of Dominicans. While Dominicanos USA doesn’t exclusively register Dominican voters, this approach helps the organization to efficiently find its primary demographic, said Cuesta. And it enhances traditional “get-out-the-vote” methods, like canvassing and setting up tables.

“We get to meet a lot of people and develop those bonds with the community,” said canvasser Yohan Diaz. At the same time, talking to strangers every day means learning to get used to rejection. Some people he approaches can’t vote because they are foreign citizens, and many are suspicious or just uninterested.

Speaking Spanish helps, of course. And so does persistence. “A lot of people say no, but there’s always that one person that makes it worth it,” Diaz said.

In Austine Martinez’s experience, non-citizens from the Dominican Republic are often the ones who wish they could register. “In DR, everyone votes. Politics are big,” he said.

In the United States, the concerns of Dominican voters don’t differ from those of other citizens, according to Cuesta. The economy, affordable housing, education and immigration are all on the minds of Dominican Americans. “They’re very politically savvy,” he said.

But there are certain aspects of voting in the United States that some immigrants aren’t familiar with, like needing to register for a specific party in order to vote in primary elections, or finding the right polling place. Local residents often call or visit the Dominicanos USA office on E. 149th Street in the Bronx to ask for help, said Cuesta. And educating these voters is part of the organization’s mission.

But since the deadline to register for the presidential election passed on Oct. 14, the organization has begun to focus on making sure that registered voters follow through.

On Election Day, Dominicanos USA will provide car rides and pedestrian escorts for voters who need them. Some employees will wait outside polling places before they open at 6 a.m., making sure that they open on time and that interpreters are present. Others will come back in the evening, when many people leave work and vote, to answer questions. Others will stay in the office to monitor the phones, which ring constantly, said Omar Suarez, New York state director.

For Suarez, Election Day begins at 4 a.m. and won’t end until late in the evening, after the polls close. But the long, hectic hours of directing employees and answering phone calls are worthwhile to reach a group he feels is underserved.

“Most of the talk about the Hispanic vote, the Latino vote, it’s all filtered through somebody. This is not filtered. You just talk to them,” he said.

source: Voices of NY

Dominicanos USA crea campaña para movilizar comunidad a votar:  Latinos dejarán sus huellas en las elecciones del 2016

Dominicanos USA crea campaña para movilizar comunidad a votar: Latinos dejarán sus huellas en las elecciones del 2016


Nueva York, Nueva York — El martes, 8 de noviembre de 2016, 200 millones de votantes tendrán la oportunidad de elegir al próximo presidente o presidenta de los Estados Unidos de América, al igual que a los próximos representantes de sus respectivas comunidades. Estas históricas elecciones llevarán a las urnas al grupo de votantes más diverso en la historia. Según el centro de investigación Pew, personas de habla hispana, afro americanas, y asiáticas, comprenden un tercio de todos los votantes elegibles. Dominicanos USA (DUSA), una organización sin fines de lucro que aboga por el empoderamiento de los latinos, está comprometida a la movilización de los votantes para garantizar que participen en estas elecciones de 2016.

Durante estas cruciales elecciones, es importante que este año todos los votantes elegibles salgan a votar. Desde el 2013, Dominicanos USA (DUSA) ha llevado a cabo una agresiva campaña de votación (GOTV) para asegurar que los neoyorquinos ejerzan su derecho al voto. Hasta el momento, el equipo DUSA ha tocado casi 75.000 puertas, ha hecho más de 100.000 llamadas telefónicas y ha enviado más de 104.000 notificaciones por correo. Hasta la fecha, DUSA ha registrado más de 140.000 nuevos votantes en Nueva York, Nueva Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, y Pensilvania.

Iniciando este martes, 1 de noviembre y continuando hasta el día de las elecciones, el martes, 8 de noviembre, Dominicanos USA está trabajando vigorosamente para asegurar que los votantes elegibles salgan de sus hogares a votar. Se emplean dos estrategias para garantizar que los electores participen en estas históricas elecciones.
Nuestro equipo de banco telefónico, trabajando desde nuestra sede, se encarga de llamar a los electores a través de nuestro sistema telefónico de vanguardia para acordarles a los votantes que salgan a votar. El equipo de empadronadores empleará una táctica más personal, tocando las puertas de ciudadanos.

Como todos los votantes registrados al igual que jóvenes o milenarios—personas nacidas en la década de 1980 en adelante—tienen un gran interés en elegir a los próximos líderes dentro de sus comunidades locales, y a nivel nacional, al próximo presidente de los Estados Unidos. En los próximos años los milenarios sustituirán a los actuales líderes de sus comunidades, quienes conforman casi la mitad (44%) de los 27.3 millones de votantes hispanos. En comparación con otros grupos, la población dominicana en los Estados Unidos no solamente se encuentra entre la más joven, sino que también están entre los más comprometidos políticamente.

“Los dominico-americanos son muy apasionados en cuanto la política y a la vez buscan la manera de vocalizar sus preocupaciones como agentes de poder dentro de sus comunidades. Dominicanos USA proporciona el vehículo que permite que se produzca este intercambio”, dijo Eddie Cuesta, director ejecutivo nacional de Dominicanos USA (DUSA).

Dominicanos USA es un organización 501(c)(3) sin fines de lucro y no partidista que empodera a los dominico-americanos en los Estados Unidos a través del compromiso de DUSA en cuanto la integración cívica, social y económica. Entre la misión de DUSA esta registrar, educar y movilizar a la comunidad para salir a votar.

Dominicanos USA está aquí para ayudar a cualquier persona en necesidad de localizar o llegar a su sitio de votación correspondiente. Por favor, comuníquese con Lucy al 718-530-2258 o visite nuestro sitio web www.dominicanosusa.org para obtener información sobre como ejercer de su derecho al voto.

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