Mi Familia Vota Nevada staff resign citing “degrading work environment”

A majority of the Nevada branch of a national civic engagement organization focused on Latin American communities resigned Thursday, saying they were unhappy with the lack of investment and support from “toxic national leadership.” ” organisation.

In recent years, Mi Familia Vota Nevada has played a major role in increasing civic participation within the Latino community, including registering and educating Latino voters, providing COVID-19 information in Spanish and working with the state to distribute the vaccine among Latino communities. . The organization also has teams in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida and Texas.

But staff members, 18 of whom resigned this afternoon, said they could not continue their work successfully due to their work environment, according to a source who asked to remain anonymous in order to speak freely about the situation. The massive resignation was first reported on Twitter through Nevada Current columnist Carrie Kaufman.

In a declaration of resignation shared with The Independent of Nevada, a staff member said the past month had been “exhausting and difficult” due to a lack of communication and interest from the national team. The staff member said he had not been contacted once by a supervisor to inquire about awareness work on the COVID-19 vaccine and if he needed help.

“[Mi Familia Vota’s] the national mission is to unite and defend workers’ rights and health care, among others, ”the staff member wrote in the statement. “However, I think the national team completely ignored the importance and the urgency of our work. That’s why I decided that I could no longer work in these conditions.

As tensions mounted among the staff, an incident this week pushed them to their limits. According to a source, a member of the national team threatened to call the police on an employee who is not a U.S. citizen in front of other staff members.

Cecia Alvarado, the organization’s former state director, resigned last week to manage Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom’s campaign.

National organization Mi Familia Vota did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment on Thursday.

The organization is headed by Executive Director and CEO Hector Sanchez Barba, Development Director Carlos Duarte and National Field Director Eduardo Sainz, among others.

Another staff member addressed the incident in a second letter of resignation to the leaders of Mi Familia Vota, also shared with The Independent of Nevada.

“Considering the events that have occurred today, it has been given the impression that we as staff are fully expendable and not valued despite the undeniable positive impact we have had in the community,” said he wrote. “In doing the work we do, I’m sure you are aware of the unequivocal dangers this could put her. It’s not a healthy working environment, so I decided to quit.

Las Vegas canvassers for the organization also cited the incident in a third letter of resignation.

“This incident is just one example of the hostile, toxic and degrading work environment that has been created at Mi Familia Vota,” they wrote. “We are sad to see an organization to which we have spent our time behaving in this way. ”

Another staff member said she was told she did not understand the policy, adding that she worked long hours with very little time off. When she approached the national team about it, they said it was a time management issue.

“I couldn’t take it anymore,” she said.

The source called the resignations and the work environment issues “unfortunate,” as it primarily affects staff and the community they work with.

“We are heading towards a midterm election,” she said. “The Latin vote continues to be the key to swing voting, especially here in Nevada. This is the time when we need to double our investment in the community. This is the time when we need to have a solid foundation to make sure that we empower Latinos.

The source added that with the ongoing pandemic, COVID-19 and the fight against disinformation remains a big problem for the Latin American community.

And it hurts the staff, who are now unemployed.

“Some of our workers, their income was the only income for the whole family,” the source said. “It affects them during the pandemic and it affects the community because of the services we provide. ”

The former staff member hopes that the work that staff members were doing in the community on behalf of Mi Familia Vota will continue.

“The whole team is made up of people who are invested in the community,” said the person. “Whatever they do… they will continue to do the job. Mi Familia Vota was a platform and a label that gave us the opportunity to get the job done. But whatever work ever did in Nevada was never a nation’s vision. [team] – which was completely built by all of us who were here.

Maria D. Ervin