Texas Democrats had a meetup yesterday, where they plotted how to turn Texas blue.
With a rapidly growing Latino population in Texas, experts are split on whether the heavily courted electorate will help turn the red state blue and if partisanship matters above participation.
Assembled in a packed ballroom of the Hyatt Regency on Saturday, panelists debated the impact of the Latino vote in the November election and the future of the voting demographic.
Congressman-elect Joaquín Castro predicted the Republican-led state would see a Democratic voting majority in eight to 12 years.
“I just wanted to throw cold water on everything you have all said,” responded Nina Perales, vice president of Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Perales warned that if Latinos in Texas do not mobilize to increase voter registration and turnout, there will be no such change.
Perales continued to underscore the bottom line: “We’re losing ground,” she said. “We have more U.S. citizen Latinos turning 18 every day than are getting registered. The gap between eligible and registered in the Latino community is widening, not narrowing.”
The morning session opened the National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ Region 5 Conference, “Encuentro en San Antonio,” hosted by the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists.
John Quiñones, co-anchor of ABC newsmagazine “Primetime,” moderated the discussion titled “The Latino Vote: How Did It Count?”
“Everyone was talking after the elections — the power of the Hispanic vote and how it was so instrumental in immigration and how the GOP messed up by taking the Hispanic vote for granted,” Quiñones said.
He recalled watching national news coverage of the recent elections and noticing that non-Latinos were telling the Latino story.
“They could have reached out to any of us,” he said and motioned to the panel.
As Quiñones illustrated, panelist Lydia Camarillo emphasized the need for more Latino voices on the subject.
Camarillo, vice president of the nonpartisan, nonprofit Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, sat with Sylvia Manzano, senior project manager with Latino Decisions, Perales and Castro.
A vast majority of the national Latino vote went for President Barack Obama in the 2012 general election, spurring further discussion in Texas about the influence of Latino voters.
Camarillo suggested that cultivating a powerful Latino electorate could take 25 years or more.
She argued that though Latinos are key for Texas to become a left-leaning state, as Castro predicted, ultimately, “there aren’t enough Mexicans” who vote to overcome the Republican vote unless other minorities join in.
So. Lydia Camarillo, VP of a “nonpartisan, nonprofit Southwest Voter Registration Education Project”, seated with Joaquin Castro on a panel to advance a discussion of how to make Texas more “left leaning”…..hmmmm doesn’t sound very “nonpartisan” to me.
Also, as an elected representative, do you get the feeling that Castro represents ALL voters….or does he have a certain tendency to “lean” towards a particular ethnic group?
Time to get real. If whites got together and plotted how to mobilize against “Mexicans” — how would that be reported in the media? It’s time for these groups to be called out for what they really are. Duplicitous is a good place to start.