Things That Matter

Joe Biden Campaign Taps César Chavez’s Granddaughter To Run Latino Outreach

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has tapped Julie Chávez Rodriguez to head up his campaign’s Latino outreach attempts. Latinos are a key voting demographic in the 2020 elections and both parties are fighting for the important vote.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is expanding his campaign’s Latino outreach with a key hire.

The Biden campaign’s hire is an investment into the Latino vote the campaign hopes will pay off. Julie Chávez Rodriguez is the granddaughter of important civil rights figure César Chávez. César was one of the leaders of the Farmworkers Movement fighting for fair pay and working conditions for farmworkers. The movement began in California where undocumented people were being exploited on farms across the state.

Some people are very excited to see Julie work on the Biden campaign.

The Biden campaign has a lot of work to do to secure the Latino vote. A Latinos Decision poll from April showed that Latinos leaned towards his candidacy with 59 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, 22 percent of Latinos are ready to support President Donald Trump in 2020.

Part of Biden’s problem with the Latino vote stems from his time in the Obama administration. The immigration record for the Obama administration is something that haunts President Barack Obama and Biden. More people were deported under President Obama’s administration than any administration in history.

Chávez Rodriguez might serve as a bridge into the Latino vote.

Biden was running a low-budget campaign at the beginnings of the race and the lack of outreach shows. Biden trailed Sanders with young Latino voters in Texas and California by healthy margins. The exit polling from those states on primary night illustrated the clear lack of enthusiasm for Biden in the Latino community.

According to a report from Reuters, Puerto Ricans on the mainland want more from Biden. The community, who have been devastated by hurricanes, earthquakes, financial scandals, and, now, a health pandemic. The report shows that the Puerto Rican people want a stronger and bolder plan to fight for the island and the Americans living there.

Chávez Rodriguez worked for the Senator Kamala Harris campaign so she has experiencing work a presidential campaign.

Before serving as Sen. Harris’s co-national political director, Chávez Rodriguez also served as Sen. Harris’s California state director. Chávez Rodriguez also spent time working with the Obama administration before working for Sen. Harris. Chávez Rodriguez worked with the Obama administration working on engagement with LGBTQ, Latino, veteran, youth, education, labor, and progressive leaders.

Chávez Rodriguez joins former Latino Victory Funds President Cristóbal Alex who currently serves as senior advisor for issues impacting Latino voters. Chávez Rodriguez will also be joined on the campaign by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. AOC is part of a unity task force put together by the Biden campaign to bring Senator Bernie Sanders supporters into the campaign.

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From DC To Iowa, Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Yesterday’s Primary

Things That Matter

From DC To Iowa, Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Yesterday’s Primary

Drew Angerer / Getty

With all that’s going on across the country – between a national health crisis and social unrest in response to the continued murders of unarmed Black men – you’d be forgiven for forgetting that we’re still in the middle of an election year. In fact, we’re still in the middle of a primary season. I know, it seems like 2020 has already dragged forever but we still have a ways to go.

Thankfully, despite all the challenges the country is facing, millions of voters still stepped out yesterday to let their voices be heard in the primary process.

In D.C., people lined up to vote despite protests, a pandemic, a city-wide curfew, and threats of police violence.

Credit: Stuart Garibaldi / Facebook

I anticipation of continued anti-police brutality demonstrations, all of D.C. was under a 7 p.m. curfew for a fifth consecutive day. However, Mayor Muriel Browser pointed out on social media and in interviews that residents would be allowed to cast ballots no matter the hour as long as they were in line before 8 p.m. Essential workers and journalists are also exempted from the city’s curfew.

More than four hours after polls closed for D.C.’s primary election, some District voters throughout the city were still waiting in line to cast their ballots, as the June 2 primary stretched into June 3.

In one part of the city, Ward 4, more than 100 people remained in line to vote as of 11:15 p.m. According to several elections volunteers however, most people at the polling center were sticking it out and “people are really positive and patient.”

The precinct is one of many across the city where people waited upwards of four hours to vote.

Police allegedly threatened D.C. voters who were in line to vote, despite being exempt from the city’s curfew.

The Mayor’s order made it very clear that as long as you were in line to vote before the 8 p.m. poll closing time, you would be able to cast your vote no matter the hour. Basically, anyone who was out past the 7 p.m. curfew to vote was exempt from the curfew order.

But according to some reports, some police didn’t seem to know or care about this exemption. Many took to Twitter to share that while waiting in line, police were harassing them and demanding they return home.

Meanwhile, in Iowa, Republicans finally drove racist and anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King from office.

King’s defeat was the top headline in Tuesday’s primaries. The nine-term congressman with a history of racist and anti-immigrant remarks was ousted after the GOP establishment lined up in support of his challenger, Randy Feenstra.

King’s defeat doesn’t necessarily mean a progressive candidate will take his place. Most pundits expect his Iowa district to remain in Republican control come the general election in November – Trump carried the district by nearly 30 points in 2016.

But getting rid of King is a win for all sides. He had a history of hate rhetoric targeting Black and Latino communities. But only after a New York Times interview in January 2019, in which the congressman questioned why the terms “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” were offensive, did he finally lose the support of GOP leaders.

In 2013, in response to proposed immigration legislation, King said this of migrants, “For every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds—and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

Yesterday’s primaries also revealed challenges states face in the upcoming general election caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic presents states with two immense challenges: how to deal with the wave of mail ballots from voters who don’t wish to travel to their polling place in person, and how to accommodate those who do show up and follow the necessary medical precautions.

Yesterday, lines stretch on for hours. So states need to figure out how to safely accommodate the increase in voters and provide them with social-distant ways to vote.

Obviously, it’s fantastic that Americans are voting in record numbers. We need everyone to vote to be able to achieve the kind of change that we want and need to see in this country. But all of this means that come November, America may not know who wins the presidency on Nov. 3.

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto Removes Name From Biden’s VP List

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Senator Catherine Cortez Masto Removes Name From Biden’s VP List

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There is a lot of buzz about who Vice President Joe Biden will pick to be his running mate. One thing everyone agrees on is that the running mate should be a woman of color. Senator Amy Klobuchar was reportedly asked to going through the vetting process. Meanwhile, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto came forward to say she has no interest in being a running mate.

Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto is officially withdrawing her name from Jo Biden’s list of potential running mates.

Sen. Cortez Masto is the first Latina ever elected to the Senate and her career has been a highlight for the state. However, the serious impact of COVID-19 on Nevada, one of the hardest-hit economies in the U.S., convinced her not to try to earn the position of running mate for Biden.

Sen. Cortez Masto has been engaged in the ongoing efforts to fight COVID-19 in the Silver State.

“I support Joe Biden 100% and will work tirelessly to help get him elected this November,” reads a statement from her campaign. “Nevada’s economy is one of the hardest hit by the current crisis and I will continue to focus on getting Nevadans the support they need to get on back on their feet.”

Nevada’s unemployment rate sits are 28 percent, which is the highest in the country right now. The number is also the highest unemployment number recorded by a state since 1976. Latinos make up 30 percent of the state’s population meaning that Latinos in the state are feeling the crunch.

Biden, who is the presumptive Democratic nominee, praised Sen. Cortez Masto for her work with Nevada.

“I’ve admired Senator Cortez-Masto as long as I have known her because she’s a leader with integrity,” Biden said in a statement. “Nevadans are fortunate to have her fighting for them in Washington and I look forward to seeing her continue to lead in the Senate.”

There is still time for Biden to pick his running mate and women seem to be at the top of the list.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar came under fire recently after it was discovered that she refused to bring charges against fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. In 2006, Chauvin was involved in the deadly shooting of a Black man and Sen. Klobuchar, who was the Hennepin County attorney at the time, declined to bring up charges in the death.

Sen. Klobuchar sent the case to a grand jury and the grand jury found no reason to prosecute. It is a decision that Sen. Klobuchar claims to realize was a lapse of judgment.

“I think that was wrong now,” Klobuchar said in an interview on MSNBC. “I think it would have been much better if I took the responsibility and looked at the cases and made the decision myself.”

READ: We Didn’t Elect The First Woman President, But We Elected The First Latina Senator