New citizens cheer after taking the oath at Golden Hall in downtown San Diego.
New citizens cheer after the oath of allegiance at Golden Hall in downtown San Diego in July 2018. Photo by Chris Stone

A local nonprofit group is offering a naturalization forum Wednesday, Jan. 15, in hopes of helping lawful permanent residents become voters in the 2020 presidential election.

About 165,000 people in San Diego County are eligible to become citizens, including nearly 50,000 in the South Bay, said the group, Alliance San Diego, which describes itself as a community empowerment organization. 

Naturalization applications in San Diego County are taking between seven and 11 months to process, says Alliance, enough time for applicants to become citizens before the Nov. 3 elections.

Wednesday’s forum is 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Southwestern College, 900 Otay Lakes Road, Chula Vista.

Other forums are:

  • 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at the Mercado Apartments Community Room at 2001 Newton Ave, San Diego.
  • 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28, at Southwestern College, Cesar E. Chavez Students Services: EOPS Office, 900 Otay Lakes Road, Chula Vista.

To receive free and personalized help, the group says, aspiring citizens should attend a forum, get assessed and complete the N-400 Naturalization application.
 
Alliance attorney Michelle Celleri said: “Time is running out. It is essential that aspiring citizens start the process now. By attending one of our events, you will receive assistance by an accredited legal representative and trusted immigration attorney who will support you throughout the application process.”

According to the latest figures from the San Diego County Registrar of Voters Office, 1.8 million people in San Diego County are registered to vote.

About 401,000 request Spanish language voting materials, said the latest report.