4 Latinas on the DNC

Eva Longoria hosted the first night of the virtual Democratic National Convention, which kept some political rally standards and borrowed from a grab bag of other TV formats. Credit Democratic National Convention, via Associated Press and New York Times

For the last four days, the Democratic National Convention has dominated our national consciousness. In the midst of a pandemic and a national reckoning on the systemic racism that continues to pervade our society, thousands tuned in hoping to be inspired and galvanized by the Democrats’ vision for this country. A new survey, which comes on the heels of the convention, also shows that two-thirds of Latinx people say they haven’t seen any outreach from political campaigns or groups for the 2020 election.

So we wanted to check in and see what four of our favorite Latinx activists, organizers, and journalists thought about the DNC this year.

“Julián Castro, the only Latino to run for president in 2020 and who delivered a keynote speech at the 2012 convention, wasn’t given any speaking time. And don’t tell me that giving Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a rising superstar and arguably the most effective political communicator, about 90 seconds of airtime was enough. She had less time to speak than a former Republican governor who got nearly 4 minutes. The two other Latino politicians who had major speaking slots — Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada — were moderates with lower profiles.

Rather than growing the electorate, which is how Democrats will win in November and beyond, it seems as though they are reaching out to Republican voters. This sends a terrible message to the Latino voters they need to win in November.”

Cristina Jiménez Moreta, Co-founder of United We Dream

“You know it’s like Latin@s are everywhere and we are essential and you love/hate us but what is ever present in this country is our total INVISIBILITY. And when we say this, show it to everyone, we are told to calm down and that is not so bad. It’s exhausting but I will not stop.”

— Maria Hinojosa, Journalist

“Eva Longoria, who has been both an incredible actress, and also an incredible activist for Texas. She has had Texas in her mind and in her heart in politics for many years now… Getting to see her host, or yesterday, getting to see Kerry Washington — not just being in front of the entire country, not just having the opportunity to introduce Kamala Harris or Barack Obama — but doing so with her natural curly hair was absolutely magical for me.”

Candace Valenzuela, US House candidate, TX-24

Some disappointment to be honest about not seeing more Latinos or Latinas in primetime at the convention… You’ve got to really make sure that representation is not just seen, but is felt. And for us, we need to be seeing that representation.”

Janet Murguia, President of UnidosUS
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