PICO federations educate the public on critical civic issues, and provide a means for people to participate in shaping public policy.
PICO's relationship-centric model of organizing develops powerful social networks that have helped register and turnout thousands of new voters.
L.A. Voice in Los Angeles has teamed up with the national Ya Es Hora Ciudadania campaign to encourage the region's estimated 1 million legal, permanent residents to become citizens and registered voters. With an estimated 3 million immigrants eligible to become citizens in California, there is a tremendous potential to shift the state's electoral landscape and build political power for immigrants. L.A. Voice and the Ya Es Hora Coalition ended 2007 with applications up 115 percent from the previous year's levels.
Building on the success of L.A. Voice, seven PICO affiliates in the San Francisco Bay Area have also launched similar efforts to encourage legal, permanent residents to become citizens and registered voters. The PICO Bay Area Citizenship and Civic Participation Campaign have sponsored citizenship drives in their member congregations, organized citizenship classes, and conducted trainings to teach them the skills needed to participate effectively in their communities.
PICO California affiliates conducted over 20 door‐to‐door GOTV campaigns, as well as a number of mixed and phone bank‐only campaigns, throughout southern California and the Central Valley for the February 2008 election. An independent study of the results of these efforts showed that PICO California increased voter turnout by 8.8 percent among infrequent voters. The implications of these findings show the strength (and potential) of PICO's relational‐style organizing to tap networks and turn out tremendous numbers of voters.
Baldwin County ACT in Alabama won new voting precincts that provide two rural black and one rural white community with voting precincts and nearby polling places.
Leaders in Denver, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland and other cities built community support for successful bond measures to fix deteriorated schools and increase funding for youth violence prevention.