Monday, January 7, 2008

Obama, Hope, and the Latino Vote

Last night I tried to get into the blog to add commentary to this post. It didn't seem like a good idea to leave the two articles below without saying something. A strange thing happened. Every time I got into the blog, Safari shut down. First I thought it was my computer, or my connection. After surfing around a bit, I found that this only happened with the blog.

After considering for a moment that it could be some bug on, I realized the problem was related to being inundated with viewers reading or saying something about the presidential election. Obama's win set something off. I don't remember this kind of interest and enthusiasm in 2000 or 2004. In fact, as one blog commentator noted, after 2000 many lost hope in the electoral (and judicial) system. For a while I kept telling my husband that I would never vote again. He would respond that I had to continue to vote, it was my duty. I couldn't get myself to go to the polls in 2004 so I voted by mail.

Maybe it is because Obama keeps using the word hope over and over again. Just as WMD (weapons of mass destruction) stayed in our minds, well now we are thinking about hope. It may sound hokey but it worked.

The pronouncements below are basically statements to let people know that Obama has the Latino vote in mind. They really don't say much, but they radiate hope. He knows that the Latino community needs some hope these days, after the failure of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, ICE raids and the demonizing of Latino people in general. His actions in the next few months will tell us more.

Obama Announces Federico Pena to Serve as National Campaign Co-Chair
September 18, 2007

Chicago, IL – The Obama campaign announced the endorsement today of former Energy Secretary Federico Pena and named him a National Campaign Co-Chair. Pena was the Mayor of Denver in the 1980’s before President Clinton selected him to serve as the Secretary of Transportation and later the Secretary of Energy in the 1990’s. Pena will also attend the Univision Democratic Presidential Candidate Forum on Sunday in Miami, Florida.

“I look forward to working with Federico to bring about the transformation this country desperately needs. His vision for change as Mayor of Denver and his strong record on energy and transportation issues brings invaluable experience to our team,” said Senator Barack Obama.

“I have spent years working with Presidential administrations and world leaders and what I see in Barack Obama is the kind of judgment this country needs to usher in a new era of global leadership. The challenges we are facing in Colorado, in the Hispanic community and across the country are formidable and it is time for bold and thoughtful leadership in the White House, ” said Secretary Federico Pena.

In 1983, Pena upset a 14 year incumbent Mayor to become Denver’s first Hispanic Mayor. He proved to be one of Denver’s most ambitious mayors working to provide the city with a world class international airport, a major league baseball team, a new convention center and numerous economic development and infrastructure additions throughout the city. Because of his great success he was selected by President Bill Clinton to serve as the Transportation Secretary through the end of the first term and later served as the Secretary of Energy. In those capacities, he supported investments in transit and highway projects, developed a new international aviation policy opening new routes throughout the globe, and helped restore damaged infrastructure during the California Northridge earthquake and Gulf Coast hurricane in the 1990s.

He was the first U.S. Cabinet official to visit Vietnam after relations were normalized in the l990s. As Secretary of Energy, he helped develop our energy strategy in the Caspian Sea and was involved in negotiations with Russia on plutonium reductions and fortifying unguarded nuclear facilities in the former Soviet Union. Since l999, Mr. Pena has been actively involved in business as a Managing Director of Vestar Capital Partners, a private equity fund headquarted in New York, with offices in Boston, Denver, Paris, Milan, Munich and Tokyo. Mr. Pena has served on several corporate boards. Among his various civic involvements, he is the lead co-chair of “A+ Denver”, a 100 member citizens committee dedicated to improving the Denver Public Schools.

Obama Campaign Announces Iowa Latino Steering Committee

September 7, 2007

DES MOINES -- The Obama Campaign today announced a 26-member Latino Steering Committee that will engage Latinos across Iowa, talk with them about Obama’s commitment to changing Washington, and provide input on the direction of the Iowa campaign.

“Senator Obama will bring our country together and make progress on the many issues that have stalled under the current Administration,” Dr. Hector Avalos said. “I trust his judgment on tough issues such as the war in Iraq and providing accessible health care coverage for our families, and I know he is the best candidate to work across the aisle to reform our broken immigration system. His courageous decision on the Iraq war proved to me that wisdom is more important than the experience of Washington elites.”

Barack Obama has continued to fight for the Latino community by expanding opportunities for Latinos in education, health care, and economic development. Obama has been a leader in the fight for comprehensive immigration reform and is committed to putting politics aside and offering a complete solution that strengthens our security while reaffirming our heritage as a nation of immigrants.

“Real change comes from the bottom up and the Latino community is a vital part of our grassroots movement for change in Iowa,” Senator Obama said. “Our campaign is committed to empowering and engaging Latinos across Iowa and I’m proud to have the support of these leaders in the Latino community.

During Latino Heritage Month -- which spans several weeks in September and October -- the Obama Campaign will visit more than 50 Latino festivals, conferences, lunches and dinners across Iowa. The Latino outreach team also will work to register Latinos across the state and organize caucus and citizen education program

posted by "Mike" - from the blog

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