Mi Familia Vota is accustomed to registering voters in unusual places, such as the food court at the UH Student Center where we caught up with Maria Villenas last month. Villenas is Houston's civic engagement lead for the national non-partisan organization, which encourages political participation, primarily among Latinos, and seeks to register potential voters wherever they can find them—especially right now, as the October 11 voter registration deadline looms.
Starting today, that list of unusual places for voter registration grows by eight: That's how many local taco trucks have signed on with Mi Familia Vota as mobile registration booths. It's an idea sparked by a comment from Latinos for Trump supporter Marco Gutierrez, who told MSNBC earlier this month: "My culture is a very dominant culture, and it’s imposing and it’s causing problems. If you don’t do something about it, you’re going to have taco trucks on every corner."
In Houston, meanwhile, where we've lived comfortably and happily with taco trucks on every other corner for at least the last few decades, it occurred to one local designer that while taco trucks may be omnipresent here, voter registration booths aren't. Texas had the second-lowest voter turnout in the nation in the March primaries, while Houston itself has long trended downward in voter turnout during elections of all kinds. Thomas Hull of design firm Rigsby-Hull decided to join forces with Mi Familia Vota in an effort to turn those numbers around.
"We’re also handing out information on where to vote," Hull told Houston Public Media of the eight taco trucks who've signed up to participate. So if you're one of the undecided voters who was swayed by last night's debate, here's your chance to grab a delicious lunch and register to make your voice heard. Head to one of these trucks below, and bring cash—for the tacos, that is; registering to vote is free, but you only have until October 11.
- El Taquito Food Truck, 8429 Richmond Ave.
- El Ultimo Taco Truck, 1743 Jacquelyn Dr.
- Taconmadre, 905 Edgebrook Dr.
- Tacos Mayra, 10510 Beechnut St.
- Tacos Tierra Caliente, 1919 W. Alabama St.
- Taqueria Las Glorias, 7400 Long Point Rd.
- Taqueria Las Glorias, 14520 Memorial Dr.
- Tila’s Taco Truck, 2309 University Blvd.