By Mauricio Amaral-Vazquez, Community Organizer in Oakland, CA
This Thursday, 10 Democratic Presidential Candidates will debate in Houston, TX for the ABC/Univision Debate. As an educator and a community organizer in Oakland, CA, I will be watching very closely to see how the candidates respond to the issues that matter most to the Latino community.
Paying attention matters, and this is why I attended the Latino Community Foundation’s debate watch party in July to find a space to debrief with other Latinos and discuss topics that confront us every day: education, health care, immigration reform, and climate change. On that night, although I was disappointed to see the candidates fight among one another, I was excited to see a committed group of Latinos come together to discuss how we are going to engage this next presidential election.
My hope for the next debate is for the candidates to focus less on bickering, and more on the plans that will help Latino communities in Oakland and the rest of the country. When the candidates pursue these kinds of strategies, our community is more likely to pay attention, get involved, and vote in the California Primary Election.
In the meantime, I will be tuning in this Thursday and telling others to watch as well! We have the power to decide this election. So let’s register to vote, host more watch parties, and demand that the candidates address our concerns. When we do, our democracy is stronger!