Meeting Wednesday: Are Latinos leaving the Democratic Party?

Join us for our next general meeting, Wednesday, Nov. 3, at 7 pm, when we will talk with local Latino leaders about whether those communities are leaving the Democratic Party.

Democrats have been able to count on the Latino vote for decades. As the Republican Party ramped up racism, xenophobia, and anti-immigrant hate speech, Latinos become more loyal to the Democratic Party.

But that’s changing. While Latino voters are still, overall, Democrats, there are disturbing indications of a different future. Donald Trump’s share of the Latino vote increased dramatically between 2016 and 2020. And Latino voters are showing other signs of moving right and turning red.

This is particularly important in California, and San Diego, where the Latino vote is key to Democratic victory.

Why is this happening, and how might this effect politics in the nation, state, and San Diego? And to what extent does the changing Latino vote reflect Democratic Party difficulties connecting with other voters of all ethnicities? We’ve assembled a panel of local Latino leaders to find out, including:

Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party: An award-winning former reporter, organizer, and veteran of the United States Marine Corps, with more than a decade of demonstrated service to community and country, Will first became civically active fighting against the unconstitutional “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which led to his honorable, though involuntary, separation from the Marine Corps, after being outed as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. In 2019, he was elected Chairman of the San Diego County Democratic Party, and unanimously re-elected in 2021.

Sean Elo-Rivera: As San Diego City Council member, District 9, Sean has worked on issues such as the eviction moratorium, housing, helping small businesses and nonprofits, the gas and electric franchise, and dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. He has worked for nonprofits helping youth and children and the homeless. Sean has served as an English and Special Needs teacher in Peru, volunteered as an environmental preservationist in Ecuador, as well as teaching English in a rural South Korean community. After attending the California Western School of Law, Sean worked in District 9 as a director of Mid-City CAN, a local nonprofit, working on issues such as low-cost bus passes for youth, better food in schools, and preventing young people from being treated unfairly by the justice system.

Rafael Castellanos is a business and real estate attorney, Chariman of the Port of San Diego, and member of several community organizations. Born and raised in a small town in northern Nevada, he worked as a gold miner after high school and then went to college in Arizona and law school in Chicago, living in San Diego more than 15 years, currently in Otay Mesa.

The meeting starts at 7 pm Wednesday, Nov. 3, 7 pm, on Zoom. Here’s the link:

Zoom link

And join us for open, social conversation starting a half-hour before the meeting, at 6:30 pm.

Author: Mitch Wagner

Just another monkey with a phone.

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