Things That Matter

The Democratic National Convention Is Underway And Young People Are Making Their Voices Heard

The Democratic National Convention is underway and people around the county are tuning in for all of the festivities. The convention is all virtual because of Covid-19 meaning that it is easier for everyone to enjoy the political convention. mitú spoke with two young delegates about why they are involved with politics and the importance of being part of the process.

As the Democratic National Convention starts, young Latinos are among the delegates including Zenaida Huerta and Anthony Santiago.

Credit: Courtesy of Zenaida Huerta and Anthony Santiago

Delegates are representatives at the nominating conventions for the two major political parties. Their responsibility during the convention is to cast a vote for the candidate who won the primary votes in the states they represent. It is possible for anyone to be a delegate in upcoming elections. Just click here and learn the process.

Being involved in politics is something Santiago has been passionate about for years.

Credit: Courtesy of Anthony Santiago

“I have had an interest in politics for as long as I can remember, starting with my mom and I watching the news every morning while I was getting ready for school and feeling that Barack Obama was a leader I could look up to,” Santiago says. “He inspired me to want to get involved in helping my community as best as I could with any problems that we may face. It’s my goal to eventually run for office and to be a leader in the city of Kissimmee, [Florida], where I have lived for all 19 years of my life.”

For Huerta, it is a continuation of a family’s political legacy.

Credit: Courtesy of Zenaida Huerta

Huerta first got involved with her family’s political legacy when she interviewed her grandfather. He worked with the United Farm Workers and Huerta wanted to know why he worked so hard for no pay.

“‘It was a lot of work, but it was right,'” Huerta recalls her grandfather saying. “These words stay with me. My grandfather’s values passed onto my father, who was an AFL-CIO campaign manager who organized car wash workers in Los Angeles. Some of my clearest memories as a child are atop my father’s shoulders at labor marches and rallies. Obviously, as a child, I did not know what collective bargaining was, but I knew that I saw thousands of people, standing together, united to make a difference. Collective action is powerful. I am involved not just because I am one voice, but because I am one of many.”

Huerta is no stranger to the delegate process having supported Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2016.

Credit: Courtesy of Zenaida Huerta

Like many young Latinos, Huerta believes in Sanders’ vision for the U.S. For Huerta, her support of Sanders revolves around the dignity of the working class and Latino laborers.

“According to a March poll by Univision, the top three issues for California Latinos are lowering the cost of healthcare, improving wages and incomes, and creating more jobs,” Huerta says. “This pandemic has affected each of these issues. Latinos have the highest poverty rates in California amongst all racial and ethnic groups. That is why I believe that we need to provide Medicare for All and reduce economic inequality more than ever.”

Santiago is giving his support to Joe Biden.

Credit: Courtesy of Anthony Santiago

Santiago’s support for Biden, aside from the delegate duties, stems from a respect for the former vice president’s work. Santiago first started to admire Biden when he was part of the Obama administration.

“Personally, I have always liked Joe Biden since I had watched him and Barack Obama over the years and admired their relationship,” Santiago says. I” paid very close attention to the Democratic primary this year, watching every debate and taking the time to look into each candidate and Joe Biden’s plan for healthcare was what I gravitated to most. My abuela was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer a few years ago, and thanks to the ACA she has been able to get affordable treatment and is doing very well today.”

The two delegates are eager to cast their vote for their respective candidates.

Credit: Courtesy of Zenaida Huerta

Both of the delegates are excited to cast their votes because of the importance of their participation.

For Santiago, it is about being part of the bigger picture of American politics.

“Being part of the convention means a ton to me. I have always wanted to get involved at the local level in order to help improve my community, and as the sole Biden delegate for Osceola county, I view this as a crucial first step,” Santiago says. “Looking through it from a wider scope, I also view this as an opportunity to make a positive change to the entire country. I get to join my fellow delegates in choosing our official presidential nominee to take on Trump and defeat him in November, ending his terrible leadership and making America work for its citizens.”

Huerta feels her sense of duty in representing her generation in casting a vote for Sanders.

“Being part of this convention as part of Gen Z means that I represent a generation that has seen opportunities for economic mobility dwindle throughout their lives,” Huerta says. “As I cast my vote for Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party’s nomination, I cast my vote for a better future. Although Bernie will not be nominated at the convention, his movement has won by opening the eyes of young Latinos across this country, myself included. As Cesar Chavez said, ‘Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. We have seen the future, and the future is ours.’” 

READ: Joe Biden Speaks Alongside ‘Fearless Fighter’ Kamala Harris In First Appearance And Recalls Her Family’s Immigrant Story

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Pretty Damning: Trump Paid $750 in Federal Income Tax — He Even Wrote-Off That Sad Comb Over

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Pretty Damning: Trump Paid $750 in Federal Income Tax — He Even Wrote-Off That Sad Comb Over

BILL PUGLIANO / GETTY

After four long years, we finally know why Trump didn’t want to release his tax returns: abominably, he thought his terrible haircuts and adult age children were worthy of write-offs. Oh yeah… and the year he was elected he only paid $750.00.

Long before his 2016 presidential election bid, Trump dodged calls to reveal his tax returns. At the time of his bid, however, he refused to take part in a 40-year tradition carried out by presidential nominees to release tax returns to the public. During his initial run, Trump falsely claimed that he was unable to release his returns publicly while they were under audit, and throughout his presidency, he has avoided sharing them despite grand jury subpoenas. Fortunately, thanks to a piece published by The New York Times, they’re finally getting a chance to see the light of day.

On Sunday, The New York Times published the first of several reports examining Trump’s tax information.

In 2016, Trump became the first president since 1976 to not release his tax records. The decision promptly roused dismay and questions about whether the records carried “undisclosed conflicts of interest that may impair his ability to make impartial policy decisions.”

According to NYT’s latest exposé, Trump (a man who has long boasted about his wealth and has also claimed a net worth of billions of which he has also declared to be self-acquired) paid a mere total of $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017.

While the Times report did not cover 2018 and 2019 tax filings, the newspaper looked into 18 years of Trump’s tax returns. They also looked into his business dealings as far back as 2000 and found that in 10 of those years, the president of the United States failed to pay any income taxes “largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.”

The Times also revealed that Trump “racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes” despite millions in income and property. In a statement for the piece, Alan Garten an attorney for the Trump Organization claimed to the Times that “most, if not all, of the facts, appear to be inaccurate.” NoteL the Times underlined that Garten appeared to be “conflating income taxes with other federal taxes.”

According to the article, beginning in 2010, Trump had been given a $72.9 million tax refund from the IRS.

The Times article explains in detail how Trump has managed to handle his business and categorize his wealth. The paper found that most often, Trump claimed his expenses as deductions from his tax bill chalking them up to business expenses. These include nearly $70,000 in hairstyling costs for his time on NBC’s “The Apprentice” over $300,000 for landscaping of the Mar-a-Lago Club and $95,000 written off for hair and makeup done for his daughter Ivanka. That’s right, the president wrote off his own adult children.

Addressing the report, the Times noted that they would not include the actual tax documents in its coverage to avoid outing its sources.

“We are publishing this report because we believe citizens should understand as much as possible about their leaders and representatives — their priorities, their experiences and also their finances,” Times editor Dean Baquet wrote in an editor’s note. “Every president since the mid-1970s has made his tax information public. The tradition ensures that an official with the power to shake markets and change policy does not seek to benefit financially from his actions.”

In response to the reports, Trump called the story “fake news” during a White House press conference on Sunday.

Speaking about the piece, Trump bemoaned that the IRS “does not treat me well.” “It’s totally fake news. Made-up, fake,” he continued. “We went through the same stories, people you could’ve asked me the same questions four years ago. I had to litigate this and talk about it. Totally fake news… Actually, I paid tax, and you’ll see that as soon as my tax returns — it’s under audit,” Trump went onto explain. “They’ve been under audit for a long time. The IRS does not treat me well. … They don’t treat me well; they treat me very badly. You have people in the IRS, they treat me very, very badly…But they’re under audit. And when they’re not, I would be proud to show you, but that’s just fake news.”

It’s important to note that even an audit could not prevent Trump from releasing his tax records to the public.

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These Dancers Want To Make Sure That You Get Your Booty Straight To The Polls

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These Dancers Want To Make Sure That You Get Your Booty Straight To The Polls

Get Your Booty To The Poll / Facebook

These are wild times, y’all. We are facing the election of our lifetime and on the line is the rights of millions and the dignity of our nation. This means that everyone is getting mobilized and active to make sure that voters come out in full force on Nov. 3. One ad is catching everyone’s attention.

Get Your Booty To The Poll is using pole dancing to get people to do their duty and vote.

Director Angela Barnes wanted to do something that would catch everyone’s attention during the pandemic and to remind them to vote. Her idea was to get some of the best exotic dancers from Atlanta’s best gentlemen’s clubs to do a PSA about voting. After all, we have all been told several times that “sex sells.”

The ad is getting people talking.

Some people are excited to see the ad targeting a specific group of people to vote. Others are offended that women are being objected in order to make the PSA. However, one this is for sure, the 3.4 million viewers on the tweet shows that the ad is getting everyone’s attention.

The Barnes wanted to target Black southern men, specifically in Georgia.

I wrote and directed a PSA enlisting Atlanta's finest pole dancers to encourage Black voters, specifically Black male…

Posted by Angela Barnes on Wednesday, August 12, 2020

According to her Facebook post, the video is intended to make sure that Black men in the south go out and vote. One key element in the video that the director points out is the use of ballots as dollar bills on the stage. That’s right. The cast and crew used ballots in place of dollar bills to really sell the idea of getting out to the polls to vote.

Some people are not convinced that the people who are mad are really mad.

It is a very creative way to get people’s attention, especially for voting. There are voting PSAs from almost every organization targeting almost every community. This one is clearly designed with specific people in mind and it seems to be doing its job. This is the viral content voting PSAs wish to be, tbh.

Barnes and the dancers are definitely doing their part to remind you to vote so do your part and get to the polls to vote (or vote by mail-in ballot).

The U.S. is facing a tough and very important election. The Trump administration is fighting to secure another term while Democrats are doing everything in their power to stop them. Communities of color have been the target of some of the administration’s most hateful and damaging legislation.

Get ready to vote. Register your friends. Bring them to the polls. The general election is on Nov. 3 and it is up to all of us to vote to see the policies we want.

READ: As Trump Does All He Can To Sabotage Mail-In Voting, He And Melania Request Mail-In Ballots

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com