August 14, 2020

4.  Latinx Not 100% Sold on Tim Kaine

Make no mistake, Latinos were generally disappointed that one of their own would not be named onto 2016’s historic ticket. It’s not just because of the role that the Latinx electorate will have on this year’s election, but also because of the hard work so many have put into the party over the last decade. That being said, people were warming up to Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, the liberal Jesuit-turned civil rights attorney-turned elected official. No one wanted to say that spending time in Honduras and still being able to speak Spanish better than some legislators would convince Latino abuelitas and millennials alike that he was down. Yet, like the cool blanquito that you can take to the family barbecue, it does seem to make communicating a lot easier — and decreases the likelihood that he’ll embarrass you among friends.

5. The Pipeline Looks Strong

Whether you are talking about party loyalists, Bernie supporters or just unaffiliated activists, there was a general feeling among Latinx that not having qualified Latino candidates for appointed positions is a fading notion.

However, whether the current crop of Latino officials will make way for new leadership is an open question. Given that consulting gigs and other post-public service leadership opportunities have never been as easily open to elected officials of color as they have been to their white colleagues.

However, more importantly, efforts by organizations liken NALEO, NCLR, Voto Latino and the New Leaders Project are working hard to train public servants outside the party apparatus.
“When we look at the statistics of our representation right now, it’s mostly straight white Christian men. That will change. The question will be how? said New York City Council Member Carlos Mencheca, a NALP alumn and board member. “We have to be ready with a grassroots effort in every state at the municipal and school board local level to start taking those state and federal [positions].”

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About The Author

Elbert Garcia is a Dominican-American writer and communications strategist based in Miami. He is dedicated to organizing stories for change. Born and raised in Washington Heights, Garcia has spent the the last two decades in education, government and the media helping to shape messages and voices for public impact.

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