CHARLOTTE, NC — This Democratic National Convention has been considered one of the most energetic and on message political productions in recent years. However, there were some key moments for Latino voters at this DNC in Charlotte, North Carolina. Notably this convention was chaired by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, considered one of the rising stars in the Latino political sphere. The importance of the growing Latino electorate was recognized within the convention’s program.
Let’s break down those top Latino voter moments in case you missed them:
1. San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro’s keynote address: Mayor Castro was the first Latino keynote speaker of the Democratic National Convention. The Stanford and Harvard educated Mexican American was introduced by his twin brother Joaquin, who is running for the seat in Texas’ 20th Congressional District. This moment was a two-for-one. In watching San Antonio’s golden boys, the nation was introduced to these up and coming political siblings. You can watch the full Julian Castro keynote here.
Julian Castro’s speech was noted for drawing comparisons between President Obama and Mitt Romney, while weaving in his own story of being raised by a single mother in San Antonio.
2. Mayor Castro’s three year old daughter flipping her hair on the jumbo screen: Little Carina Victoria Castro stole some of her papi‘s thunder on Tuesday night when she started tossing her dark locks as her father talked about dropping her off at pre-K. You can catch Carina Victoria Castro here.
3. Benita Veliz, DREAMer, addressing the DNC: The 27-year-old DREAM Act eligible young woman was the first undocumented immigrant to address a national political convention. This high school valedictorian and graduate of St. Mary’s University in San Antonio reminded the crowd, “I know I have something to contribute to my economy and my country. I just feel as American as any of my friends or neighbors.”
In June, the Obama administration granted deferred action for childhood arrivals, which halts the deportation of DREAM eligible youth. Yet, despite this action, the current administration has set records for deportations. The inclusion of Veliz in the DNC program shows that the DREAM Act movement has garnered enough attention to be present at a mainstream political event. Veliz’ presence also is a nod to Latino voters, who overwhelmingly support the DREAM Act.
4. Marc Anthony singing the National Anthem: Puerto Rican singer Marc Anthony has already encouraged Latinos to support President Obama in a video for the Obama campaign. On Thursday night, he sang the National Anthem. You can listen to Marc Anthony as he performed for the crowd at the DNC here.
5. Eva Longoria telling the crowd that she doesn’t need a tax break: She’s known for being a “Desperate Housewife,” but in the last year, Eva Longoria has raised her political profile as an Obama campaign co-chair. On Thursday, Longoria delivered a speech before the DNC highlighting the difference between President Obama and Mitt Romney when it comes to taxes and understanding the struggle of average Americans. She stated, “…the Eva Longoria who worked at Wendy’s flipping burgers — she needed a tax break. But the Eva Longoria who works on movie sets does not.”