LatinaLista — A lot has been written this week on this site and others about how Latinos have become disillusioned with the Democratic Party. It’s gotten to the point that the old strategies of engagement just aren’t working.
In yesterday’s post, I laid out the guidelines, if you will, of how Democrats, and most importantly, this President can reconnect with Latino voters.
Today, I got an e-mail reminder (felt more like a ruler on the knuckles) from the Democratic Policy Committee of just how much Democrats have done for the Latino constituency.
Latino Presidential Debate Watch Party (Photo: BarackObamadotcom on Flickr)
Titled Democratic Accomplishments in the 111th Congress: Honoring the Latino Community’s Call for Change , the fact sheet entailed all that Democrats have done in going to bat for Latino concerns:
Jumpstart job creation for Latinos struggling with high unemployment rates (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act);
Secure the continuation of critical safety-net programs for Latino families (Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act);
Stabilize the housing market by preventing foreclosures and improving access to home loans for Latinos (Helping Families Save Their Homes Act and Worker, Homeowership and Business Assistance Act);
Secure health care for millions of additional children (Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act);
Provide authority to the FDA to regulate the manufacture, marketing and sale of tobacco (Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act);
Help make college more affordable (Consolidated Appropriations Act); and
Protect Latinos from unfair and abusive credit card industry practices (Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act).
And while the passage of each of these actions is notable and should be applauded, the mere insertion of the word “Latino” in several of the headings, not to mention the entire listing under “Honoring the Latino Community’s Call…”, creates the impression that Latinos should feel obligated to feel grateful for what the Democrats have done on their behalf.
Yet, in all honesty, none of these actions is Latino-specific.
The passage of each of these Acts equally applies to all residents, as they should. Obviously, in these cases, what benefits one group benefits the whole.
It’s rather insulting to be told “We did this for you” when in reality, it was done because it was their job to do it — to help out families, ALL families, suffering during these times.
But even as irritating as it was to read the “Why Latinos Should be Grateful to Democrats,” it was more irritating to see that none of the specific requests made of the Democratic Party by new, young and veteran Latino voters during the presidential campaign was even mentioned.
Which sadly goes to show that the Democratic hierarchy still doesn’t get why Latino voters have lost the excitement, enthusiasm and will to respond to calls of party/presidential engagement.
Un consejo (piece of advice) to Democrats: Instead of sitting around DC talking to one another, get out in the Latino communities again and talk to people. They’ve always been ready to talk, it’s just that your party took the party elsewhere.