These young women can expect their princess-like ball gowns, the much-anticipated waltz and an ensemble of attendants and madrinas and padrinos at their 15th birthday. These are the hallmarks of a traditional Quinceañera, the coming-of-age celebration marking a Latina’s transition into womanhood. But starting this year, these big fiestas will have a special twist in Texas.
What is that special twist? Now, thanks to an initiative by civic advocacy group in Texas, eligible U.S. citizens will have a chance to register to vote at select quince parties where the birthday girl has agreed to work with a unique voting campaign to encourage more Latinxs to get out and vote.
The campaign is called Poder Quince/Power Quince and it’s the brainchild of Jolt Initiative, a Texas-based Latinx civic organization advocacy group. This new way of coming of age aims to change the political mindset of young Latinas so they prioritize voting and civic involvement, thereby starting a social movement where Latinxs are more involved in local, state and national elections. This idea is an innovative solution to increasing low Latinx votership in a key state.
The campaign wants to transform quince parties in Texas into Poder celebrations, where the Jolt team will be onsite to register voters. And for her willingness to increase civic engagement, the birthday girl will get some free upgrades for her guests to enjoy. One of these is a free photo booth at the event, where guests can take group photos and take home a special memento. A free Snapchat filter will be geotagged to their venue and one lucky winner will enjoy a celebrity guest appearance.
For their part Jolt has expressed a desire to register 5,000 voters within the first 8 months of the campaign. Once they meet that goal, they plan to expand to 1,000 quince parties by the 2020 election.
The importance of voting and encouraging all newly eligible voters to embrace their civic engagement will be celebrated at these birthday parties. If this picks up momentum, these celebratory ways of registering new voters could start to trend across the land!
Christine Bolaños, Josefina Casati contributed to this report.