NJ Latino Delegates Highlight Progressive Agenda

NJ Latino Delegates Highlight Progressive Agenda

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PHILADELPHIA -- The Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia had a large number of Hispanic delegates in attendance, including one from New Jersey. Among the diverse group was Lizette Delgado Polanco, vice president of the New Jersey Democratic Party.

And although some of them were elected as delegates for former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, they did not hesitate to turn their support to Hillary Clinton.

“My motivation for supporting Hillary this time is more about my fear of a Donald Trump presidency than anything else,” notes Analilia Mejia, a New Jersey delegate for Bernie Sanders.

Mejia, as well as New Jersey Hispanic delegate Craig Garcia, said it was due to the Sanders' team efforts that the Democratic Party had approved a more progressive platform that would greatly help working families.

Among other measures, “The increase in the minimum wage is now included, as is equal pay for men and women, better work conditions, support for immigrants regardless of their religion, and support for working families,” Mejia said.

During the first two days of the convention, some Sanders supporters protested because they considered the selection process to be rigged in favor of Clinton. But Hispanic delegates who spoke with Reporte Hispano said they hoped that in the end Democrats would unite in support of the presidential nominee.

“When we look at the proposals by Trump and by Bernie, there is just not a valid comparison. Bernie supports the worker, better work conditions, a focus on social justice. But Trump has a divisive discourse; he is against minorities and workers,” Garcia said.
 
Both delegates say they would have preferred Clinton to select a member of a minority community as vice president, to boost the vote by those communities. However, they stressed that the issues, not the candidate's ethnicity, will move Latinos to vote.

Nevertheless, they said, it was important to make sure more Hispanics were visible in key positions.

“As a community, we should increase our power at local, municipal and state levels. That's where people are elected to Congress or the Senate from," Mejia said. "The more organized we get, the faster we can grow politically.”  

Even so, Garcia pointed out, the most important issues for the community cannot be solved by only one candidate. The continuing participation of the community is required at all levels to accomplish changes, he said.