It is the best of times, it is the worst of times for wonkish Latinx folks like me.
With the Democratic National Convention just two weeks away, there’s a certain amount of exhilaration at the prospect of the Party’s P-A-R-T-Y in Philly.
But it’s also depressing. No, I’m not talking possible SEPTA nightmares (though there is that). It’s just that, as a Latina, I’m unlikely to be seeing more than a handful of mi gente among the ranks of the party’s top pols.
The sad reality is that I’d have a better chance of that at the Republican National Convention. Chew on that for a while (especially given the GOP’s not-so-friendly-to-Latinxs policies). From rising star governors Susana Martinez and Brian Sandoval to former presidential contenders Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, the GOP has cultivated a deeper Latinx bench — where top pols are concerned — than the Dems.
Oh, sure, cabinet members Thomas Perez and Julian Castro and Congressman Xavier Becerra have been named as potential VP picks for Hillary Clinton, but nobody — not even representation-starved Latinxs — are betting that any of them will actually be selected for the number two post.
And that lack of bench is not just a national thing.
Precious few of Pennsylvania’s pledged delegates to the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and none of the superdelegates, are Latinxs. Councilwoman María Quiñones Sánchez, and State Representatives Ángel Cruz and Leslie Acosta are the pledged delegate exceptions … but where are the young, up-and-coming Latinxs? Where is the next generation of Latinx political leadership?
The answer is that the new Latinx political class is still in the wings, laying the groundwork for the future from within the party, behind the scenes, and at the grassroots.
I hope in the next number of months to highlight folks in the city and region who are beginning to make their mark politically, but I start with three engaging — and engaged — Latinxs. Read more »