PENSACOLA,FL — La Costa Latina along with a group called “Word Have Meaning” invited Escambia County candidates running for various offices to speak to Latino and African American voters to discuss issues of concern among ethnic groups living in Escambia County. On Wednesday, July 18, 15 candidates running for various positions attended the meeting at The Game Plan in Pensacola to introduce themselves and their campaigns.
Invited were all candidates whose email addresses are listed on the Escambia County Supervisor of Elections website and a couple others who have been visiting the Hispanic Resource Center in Pensacola on a frequent basis. Approximately 50 people attended to listen to the candidates and some commented or asked questions related to education, crime rates, human relations, and immigration.
Sheriff David Morgan originally accepted the invitation to attend the meeting, but La Costa Latina was notified by the sheriff’s office on the day of the event that he would not be attending due to his policy to not meet in places that serve alcohol. Sheriff Morgan, however, attended a political debate at Apple Annie’s in Seville Quarter on July 17—the day before.
“I’m really disappointed that the sheriff decided not to attend. I wanted to ask him why he has changed his position on local immigration issues,” Said Grace Resendez McCaffery, owner of La Costa Latina Newspaper. “When he first ran, he told me that he wanted to propose to the governor a government issued ID card for immigrants to help build relationships between undocumented immigrants and the sheriff’s department.”
In a recorded political debate held at City Hall and hosted by an organization called “Women for Responsible Government,” Morgan said, “The issue from the federal government is as such that they have been pushed down to the local level and therefore we are supportive of Sheriff Arpaio and the State of Arizona in taking a very firm stand on the immigration issue.” The recorded video of this debate is posted on YouTube. The link can be found on this article on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GM9geiL8DA&feature-youtu.be.
The event was groundbreaking in that it was the first time local political candidates—and in such large quantity—addressed a group of Latino and African American voters at once in Escambia County. Let’s hope it is the first of many more to come…
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