By Nyesha Stone
For nine decades, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) has been an organization fighting for the advancement of all Hispanic nationality groups by focusing on and improving economic conditions, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans.
Just this week, LULAC held its 90th Annual National Convention & Exposition in Milwaukee at the Wisconsin Center from July 10-13, with today being the last day.
LULAC is the largest and oldest Hispanic organization in the United States. LULAC advances through community-based programs operating at more than 1,000 LULAC councils nationwide. The organization involves and serves all Hispanic nationality groups.
LULAC’s goal this year is to focus on getting the Hispanic population to come out in numbers and vote in the upcoming 2020 election. During the convention, LULAC held a Town Hall which featured 2020 candidates: Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT); Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA); Julián Castro, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; former Representative Beto O’Rourke (D-TX).
It even held a few national stages one being “Democracy and Voting” that was tailored to the youth to get them engaged in voting. The two-person panel featured Luis Vera, General Counsel of LULAC and Joe Henry, Special Advisor to the National President on Civic Engagement & Election. Sindy Benavides, LULAC National Chief Executive Officer moderated.
Henry and Vera spoke passionately about why it’s important for the Hispanic community to get out and vote. According to Henry, “2020 will be the Hispanic vote.”
He said the media understands this and will be coming to Hispanic communities to report on their opinions and thoughts on the upcoming election.
“We are going to play a significant role in the 2020 election,” said Henry. “We have to engage.”
Vera went deeper into why the Hispanic vote matters.
Currently, there are detention camps, which some consider akin to concentration camps, that are holding immigrants.
Vera said he only lives two hours away from one of the camps and visits often. He’s had families and children ask him “why do people hate me?” There are immigrants right now who haven’t eaten in days and are living with open sores on their arms, legs and lips. Vera said this is all happening because we didn’t come out and vote last election, and that’s why the 2020 election is so important.
“If you don’t have emotions about this then you’re not human and you don’t deserve to be here,” said Vera. Both men said to the audience that if they don’t vote someone else will vote for them.
To find out more about LULAC, visit here https://lulac.org/.