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The conversation led by Castro and Sanders delved deep into key Latinx issues. Photo: Fund Society, Getty Images
The conversation led by Castro and Sanders delved deep into key Latinx issues. Photo: Fund Society, Getty Images

Julían Castro, Bernie Sanders break-down key Latinx issues ahead of 2020 Election

Healthcare, immigration, a living wage, and education were topics discussed at Tuesday night’s virtual town hall.

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Former presidential candidates Julián Castro (D-TX) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) headlined a virtual town hall hosted by Univision Tuesday night on national voter registration day

The town hall focused on Castro and Sanders’ experiences with Latino voter outreach and engagement throughout their campaigns for president, as well as their current advising efforts for the Biden-Harris campaign.

In perhaps one of the most detailed conversations on the Latinx vote this cycle, the conversation ran for over an hour, as Univision News Anchor Arantxa Loizaga moderated the event, titled, “Destino 202: Votar es Poder.”

The focus was the Latinx vote, but delved into the details of the issues the Latinx demographic holds most dear, while also considering how they may benefit from a Biden-Harris administration.

Loizaga presented panelists with the top issues for Latinx voters as corruption, healthcare, immigration, the economy, and racial and criminal justice reform. 

Panelists included Maria Tersa Kumar with Voto Latino, Hector Sanchez Barba with Mi Familia Vota, Marisa Franco, Mijente and Immigration Unity Task force member, Domingo Garcia, director of LULAC, Thais Carrero, CASA Pennsylvania, Michella Tremillo of The Organizing Project in Texas, Alex Gomez with LUCHA, and Antonio Arellano with Jolt Action.
 

Sanders’ popularity with Latinos was unmatched during the race to become the Democratic presidential nominee. Not only because of his clear messages delivered directly to Latinx voters early on, but because of direction from Chuck Rocha. After all, he was bestowed the nickname, “Tio Bernie.”

On brand, Sanders made the case for universal healthcare Tuesday night, particularly in regards to new fears over the Affordable Care Act in light of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death.

“If they prevail, their wish will come true, and 32 million Americans will be thrown off their healthcare that they have. There will be no protections for people of preexisting conditions,” Sanders said.

“I know within the Latino community, people believe that all folks, regardless of their income, deserve to go to the doctor, including undocumented. We should not pay by far the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs,” he continued. 

The Affordable Care Act, “could make 4 million more Latinos eligible and access good healthcare in our country. That was a difference of 4 million people, 4 million Latinos,” Castro said. 
 

On immigration, Biden has already pledged to present a citizenship plan for DACA recipients stuck in limbo. 

Looking ahead at his potential first 100 days, all panelists agreed: They’re going to hold him to his promise. Not only that, but Biden has also promised to freeze all deportations — with the exception of those with felony charges— during his first 100 days in office. 

“I believe the campaign gets it in that they understand they have work to do,” Castro said, adding that he thinks that Biden will pick up Latino support by Nov. 3 because the campaign is now investing in voter registration, bilingual messaging across platforms, and tailored outreach to different Latino communities, rather than treating them as one unified voting block.

In a recent interview, Castro added he believes the Biden campaign has a “nuanced approach” to Latinx voters. 

But the next 40 days are critical. 

“Everything that we can do in every single way in the next forty days to ensure that people understand the difference that Democrats make in their lives, whether that’s healthcare, education, small business opportunities, job opportunities, raising a minimum wage, all of those things,” Castro continued, on key Latinx issues.

Over the summer Biden reaffirmed his pursuit of the Latinx vote with revealing a comprehensive plan for the demographic, called “The Biden Agenda for the Latino Community.” 

And recently, Biden has released a comprehensive plan to rebuild Puerto Rico after years of neglect by the Trump administration. 

These plans would address some of the top issues Loizaga put forth, but the only way they will come to fruition will be through mass-mobilization within the Latinx community.

Maria Teresa Kumar, who’s organization Voto Latino has already registered a record number of Latinx voters, reminded viewers what Latinx voters are capable of.

“When they went out and voted in 2018, we changed a Congress that looked more like America. The most Latinas, the most women, the most LBGTQ, the most people that believed in science when it came to climate change and above,” Kumar said.

“The stakes in the 2020 election are very clear.” 

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