Election 2008: <i>Sí Se Puede</i>

Forget attending fancy $500 per plate banquets to show your support: During “Semana Latina” (April 13 through April 20), Latinos across the country are hosting fundraisers aimed at raking in small donations. Supporters in Washington, D.C. can get their salsa on this Thursday at Zanzibar on the Waterfront, while New York City politicos can attend a networking party tomorrow. The admission price? Whatever you want to donate to the cause.

But you don’t even need to leave your house to plan an event. “It can be as simple as inviting people over to watch the debate on Wednesday and charging $10 at the door. Then you can send in $40 or $50 to the campaign, easy,” says Luis Maes, an organizer with the D.C.-based organization.

Latinos for Obama—which is not officially affiliated with the campaign—felt that raising small donations was a no-brainer for this week of activities because it’s a method the Obama camp employs daily. “He’s done a good job of leveraging the popularity of social networking tools on the web,” Maes says. “And the fact that my.barackobama.com has a lot of useful, dynamic tools helps get people involved.”

The Obama campaign has had great success with this small donation model. As of press time, 1,314,855 people had sent in donations, many of them for as little as $5. But those small hits add up, and Obama leads opponent Clinton in fundraising, pulling in $40 million in March alone, compared to Clinton’s $20 million haul.

Want to get involved? Visit my.barackobama.com to find an event near you; fundraisers are already scheduled in D.C, New York City, San Francisco, Austin and Miami. Nothing planned in your area? Plan your own quickie Semana Latina event. Email latinsporobama.events@gmail.com or visit latinosforobama.com for help.

—Kenrya M. Rankin