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We Confront Mayor Pete on Latino Priorities and Lack of Diversity On Campaign 

01.28.2020

For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Kristian Ramos, Kristian@mifamiliavota.com

We Confront Mayor Pete on Latino Priorities and Lack of Diversity On Campaign

MFV Holds Mayor Pete Accountable To The Priorities of The Latino Community

 

Washington D.C. – Today Mi Familia Vota releases the next conversation in our Prioridades2020 ( 2020 Priorities ) accountability campaign, where we discuss Latino Priorities with 2020 Presidential Candidates.  During our interview with Mayor Pete Buttigieg, we heard specific commitments and some disagreements. We had a particularly tough conversation about the diversity of his campaign and his police department.

Structural exclusion from positions of power has long been an issue for Latinos, just today the New York Times broke a story about how people of color do not feel included in Mayor Pete’s campaign. This is not the first time Mayor Pete has faced diversity issues. South Bend, Indiana’s population is 15% Latino, 27% African American and their police force is 90% white. Latinos make up 18.3% of the population yet are only 1% of all federal and local elected officials —

we had to ask Mayor Pete how the composition of his administration would look like. Should he become President Mayor Pete agreed to have a cabinet that is reflective of a diverse America. We also discussed issues of Latinos in education, workers’ rights, healthcare, immigration, Puerto Rico, and other critical priorities.

The full video is here, and excerpts are below:

Mayor Pete Buttigieg on issues of importance to the Latino Community:

  • On Latino staff on his campaign: It is very important for us that our campaign reflects the country that we are seeking to serve and about 40% of our 500 some people campaign are people of color including Latino representatives who are making such important contributions, including seven who are in positions who are more senior across areas from policy to communications to outreach. We will continue as our campaign grows to prioritizing and ensuring that the Latino community and other under-represented communities have a voice.

  • On Representation of Latinos in his cabinet: “I am committed to making sure that our cabinet is representative, so the number may change from one year to another year or at various moments, but you can be confident, and I will commit that it will on balance reflect the makeup of our nation.

  • On Deportations “The best way to make sure that someone does not have the threat of deportation hanging over them is to give them some sort of pathway to citizenship so they have some way to normalize their status, to begin with. Along that pathway, there may be stages, of permanent residency. But something that removes that threat of deportations. “

  • On Puerto Rico: “The resilience and character of Puerto Rico make the United States a better country. And we must begin with regard to what Puerto Rico offers the Puerto Rican people who are the life of this country both on the island and as they have become parts of other communities from coast to coast. What that means in concrete terms, we have to treat our fellow U.S. citizens, and we are talking about U.S. Citizens, not as second class citizens. And we have so many things legislatively that have that effect, from problems with our economic arrangements, an inferior pathway to getting disaster aide, in the wake of maria and now the disaster of earthquakes. When we look at Medicare and Medicaid and again it is inferior treatment, it needs to be leveled.”

  • On Immigration Reform: “[ what ] we do not want in the first hundred days but on the first day. There are a lot of things that are occurring on the border, enforcement priorities, detention centers, family separation, refusal to grant the right to asylum, all of which can be done with executive action. Seeing to it that there is no such thing as a for-profit detention center.  ….This immigration reform has been waiting for thirty years, and it cannot wait anymore. So we will push Congress to do the right thing then I will act as soon as the reform reaches me.”

We want to keep all the presidential candidates accountable and have clarity and specific commitments on the issues that are critical for all our families. This effort is connected to the work that MFV is doing every day in local neighborhoods by strengthening civic engagement with voter registration, GOTV, voter education, citizenship, and census participation

Priorities 2020 is part of MFV’s larger strategy to ensure Latinos play a critical role in influencing the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. All interviews will be released on MFV’s website, social media platforms, and sent to MFV’s database. Our interviews are not an endorsement, we are giving all candidates an opportunity to discuss their platforms.

Mi Familia Vota is a national civic engagement organization that unites Latino, immigrant, and allied communities to promote social and economic justice through citizenship workshops, voter registration, and voter participation. Mi Familia Vota has operations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Texas.

Follow the links to view our previous interviews with Tom Steyer and Vice President Joe Biden. Our Interview with Mayor Pete Buttigieg was recorded in Las Vegas on January 11, 2020.

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Mi Familia Vota is a national civic engagement organization that unites Latino, immigrant, and allied communities to promote social and economic justice through citizenship workshops, voter registration, and voter participation. Mi Familia Vota has operations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Texas.