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Progressives Ready to Tackle Hispanic Outreach

MViMV Guest Blogger: Nathan Gonzalez, Political Director of Latinos for America

I attended the Progressive Democrats of America Summit in Washington, DC determined to address the need for progressives to reach out to more people of color.  As Latinos, we are often asked to take for granted that progressives will fight for our rights when Republicans won’t.  But the last two presidential cycles have shown that if Democrats are indeed fighting for the Hispanic community, they have a hard time enunciating it.  The Hispanic media and field outreach deficit on the part of the Democratic Party in the last eight years is a symptom of a larger problem that needs to be addressed: People of color are simply being taken for granted.

                        

At the PDA Summit I learned that I wasn’t alone in my thinking. Progressives from around the country gathered to discuss the need to bring more minorities into this emerging and ever-strengthening movement.  This is a movement that stands for tolerance, diversity, and middle-class values.  It is moderate in its sensible respect for human life, through its thoughtful positions on foreign and domestic policy.  More than anything, the leaders of this progressive movement understand that they can do better on all fronts: At least for one weekend, we can say there was humility in Washington, DC.

As the Political Director of Latinos for America, I was asked to sit on a panel that discussed the various facets of this emerging group of activists.  I was honored to sit with Executive Board Member of PDA, Bruce Taub, Alexis McGill of the Vote or Die project, and John Grant of Veterans for Peace.  Mr. Taub had the courage to use the word “racism” when speaking of many contemporary interactions between Americans, and what this means to our movement.

The PDA Summit addressed Latino outreach on several occasions, especially during the regional breakout sessions.

The progressive community that is emerging enjoys the involvement of moderate, forward-thinking people who love America and love our freedoms.  They are people who are willing to use pragmatism in solving issues in ways that the ruling right-wing can never come close. They are also willing to employ an inspiring humility that beltway Democrats have often jettisoned in search for individual career gains.

I look forward to continuing our fight to restore prosperity and opportunity to our country.  We must continue to tackle issues of diversity and tolerance, and the PDA Summit is a great landmark on the road to a better America. Thank you PDA!

Nathan Gonzalez, Political Director of Latinos for America

Posted by Jessica Falker on January 27, 2005 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

Comments

People of color aren't the only ones who feel they are being taken for granted by the Dem Party.

Women feel they are being taken for granted, progressives feel they are being taken for granted, young people feel they are being taken for granted.

The Dem Party needs to start addressing this now if they want to win in 2006 and 2008.

Posted by: Jessica | Mar 29, 2005 9:08:51 AM

I like this, Jessica. I think Jesse Jackson, Sr. was on this direction with the Rainbow Coalition in the 1980s. It includes all the various people in America who weren't being sufficiently represented and heard. This included single moms, neglected whites, and immigrants who are struggling to make it, in addition to the other constituency groups.

Of course, the response to Jackson's efforts was the DLC....

Posted by: Quintus | Mar 29, 2005 9:10:58 PM

You all make very good points here. Nathan, your actions, if carried through and joined by the millions of Latinos (or women, or seniors, or young people or progressives) your voices will be too loud to be 'taken for granted.' Grassroots United.

Posted by: Peter B. Lewis | Mar 30, 2005 1:52:54 AM

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