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HARD LESSONS FROM 2016

It seems a a lifetime ago when we were winding down from the Obama era. The angst and excitement for change was in the air. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had sealed up the nomination after a bruising primary against Senator Bernie Sanders. As others fell back or were eliminated through the process, Bernie catapulted to the front. Young people and the progressive wing of the party had finally found a champion who would take their issues to the forefront. Once unthinkable rhetoric was now a part of the national discourse. Much like in 2020 the “Democratic establishment” wing of the party coalesced behind Clinton and eventually came out on top. But even with a victory, Clinton entered into the general with a heavily split party. Some in the Bernie camp vowed to never support Clinton, others turned to the Green Party, and some would respect the process and throw their support behind her. Bernie would endorse Clinton but would get criticized from all sides for either selling out or not doing enough (deja vu).

All eyes were on Clinton and who she would pick for VP. Her short list at the time included Senator Cory Booker, Secretary Julian Castro, Senator Elizabeth Warren (all of whom would eventually run for President in 2020) Tom Perez who is now the DNC Chair and a few other highly qualified names. Democrats had a big appetite to make history again by going with a possible first woman President. Barack Obama had broken the ceiling in proving that a Black man could in fact be elected as President of the United States. “The New American Majority” a term coined by Steve Phillips had finally manifested. This new “majority” made up of African Americas, Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans, Arab Americans and Progressive Whites were the group that would take Obama over the mountain top not once but twice. The landscape had changed and for a moment in time it seemed that Democrats had finally shifted away from chasing the ever illusive “Reagan Democrat”.

Democrats had traditionally always shifted their attention and resources to winning over the “White swing voter” often at the expense of historically marginalized groups and despite the fact that White voters as a plurality had not voted for Democrats since JFK. With the Obama blueprint in place, many had hoped Clinton would replicate this proven approach with the selection of a person of color as her VP. But to the contrary she would end up selecting Virginia Senator Tim Kaine. In addition to coming from a swing state he was also viewed as the best suited to win over enough White men who had long since shifted over to the Republican Party. After 8 years of progress the Democrats went right back to the same old broken play book. To make matters worse Latino voters were insulted and patronized with the story line that Tim Kaine spoke better Spanish than Castro and the glorified story of his time in Honduras as a missionary. None of this was a substitute to selecting a Latino for the ticket and just like that the enthusiasm went out the window. President Obama would campaign hard for Clinton but that wasn’t enough to keep up the record numbers of Black turnout in key swing states. Representation matters and identity politics plays a major factor when voters pick their candidates. Donald Trump understood this when he selected Mike Pence as his running mate.

Four years later it seems we are back in the same predicament. Joe Biden who is the presumptive nominee has the important choice of who to select for his VP. He has already stated he wants it to be a woman but refuses to commit to a Black woman or woman of color. In fact the conversation has now shifted to a possible White woman VP pick.

I would argue that this is a slap in the face to the most loyal constituency in the Democratic Party. We cannot forget that Black voters saved Biden’s campaign from near death with a big win in South Carolina and other Southern states during the primary. Also, Latino voters strongly supported Bernie over Biden during the Democratic primary. Not choosing a woman of color would certainly mean repeating the same catastrophic mistake of 2016. All the Trump bashing in the world will not translate to voter enthusiasm if people feel they are being taken for granted or are not valued. We must respect the fact that Black voters and voters of color play a vital role in the key swing states that were lost in 2016. This is a wake up call before its too late.

Este experiodista de Radio Martí fue un luchador de campana a campana. Ahora nos dijo adiós para siempre

por Luis F. Sánchez Especial/el Nuevo Herald

Para Hugo Marino Romero no había imposibles. La palabra desafío era como un imán para su audacia. Su gran curiosidad y entrega le permitieron transitar sin sobresaltos del linotipo a la computadora. Era optimista, luchador y tenaz, como un boxeador de campana a campana. En la madrugada del miércoles último dejó de existir por un paro cardíaco en Miami y el 25 de abril hubiese cumplido 80 años de edad.
Durante cerca de 20 años integró el plantel de periodistas de Radio Martí, primero en Washington, D.C. y luego en Miami, cuando la agencia mudó sus operaciones a esta ciudad. También colaboró con el Nuevo Herald de 1980 a 1985, entre otras muchas labores que realizó.

REVELACIONES ÍNTIMAS | INTIMATE REVELATIONS

           Paso Nuevo, GALA’s Youth Program, is proud to present Intimate Revelations/Revelaciones Íntimas, an evening of original works on Friday, December 6, 2019 at 8 pm at the GALA Theatre, 3333 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC. Intimate Revelations explores the feelings, problems, and idiosyncrasies that occur in the daily lives of our youth. Performed for the public in English and Spanish, the presentation is a culmination of a three-month intensive performing arts training program provided by GALA. Admission is free.

           “Paso Nuevo,” states Paso Nuevo director Guadalupe Campos, “has provided a safe space for Latinx and multi- cultural youth to engage in creative writing, movement, and performance workshops, and learn about the technical, production, and administrative aspects of theater. For more than a quarter of a century, the youth participants have used their creativity to explore issues they and the community face. The fall semester had over 50 participants and 43 of them are participating in Intimate Revelations.”

           “Intimate Revelations,” Campos added, “is the result of the dedication and countless hours of work by Paso Nuevo participants. In a world that is often stacked against them, they choose to channel their emotions and energy into art filled with laughter, love and Latinx pride.”

           “I continue to be amazed and proud of the creativity of the participants in GALA’s Paso Nuevo youth program. They demonstrate how the arts can truly transform lives,” comments Jackie Reyes, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs, which provides ongoing support for Paso Nuevo. “We celebrate their commitment as young leaders in their schools and community to grapple with issues that affect us all.”

           GALA Theatre is located at 3333 14th Street, NW in Washington, DC. Parking is available behind the theater in the Giant Food garage on Park Road, NW. The theater is one block north of the Columbia Heights Metro station on the Yellow and Green lines. For more information, call 202-234-7174 or visit www.galatheatre.org

ABOUT PASO NUEVO

 

           The GALA Paso Nuevo Youth Program is an intensive performing arts program that immerses participants in writing, acting, dance, and music classes. Skilled teaching artists guide students ages 13-18 through the process of creating a performance, starting with an idea, through the rehearsal process, and concluding with tech week and opening night. Through exposure to a wide range of artistic practices, students explore issues of identity and cultural differences, articulate their values, increase self-esteem, and gain bilingual skills that will enhance their academic performance and future career opportunities.

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