Starting in Arizona, where TV ads will run in Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma in Spanish and English linking Mitt Romney to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, a new PAC Plus (PAC+) coalition of people of color and progressive whites is gearing up to target six key states: Arizona, California, Georgia, Ohio, New Mexico and Texas.
I look forward to seeing what they do in the other states that they have selected. They have currently targeted these six states for several reasons.
Our targeting criteria involve three levels of analysis:
Which geographic areas have the most potential to form a multiracial new majority and where is there a need for long-term infrastructure building?
Which races taking place within these geographic areas are worth contesting?
Where would adding our resources make a meaningful impact?
Julie Martinez Ortega and Steve Phillips
Their welcome message is powerful.
Our story is your story. It’s the American story, and, really, it’s the best of the American story. The history of the United States of America is a tale of two countries. Slaves and slaveowners, Pilgrims and Native Americans, Westerners and Mexicans. Over the centuries, the country has wrestled with exclusion and inclusion, repression and resistance, fear and hope.
We are well aware of the power of the 1 percent to garner money to attempt to influence elections. We know they are also behind voter disenfranchisement.
Our power is in people.
But it will not be effective unless we build stronger coalitions.
The two largest groups of “minorities” in the U.S. are blacks and latinos. Those communities should be natural allies, but that is and hasn’t always been the case. Though progressive groups in the past, and certain national organizations have always fought to forge broad coalitions, we need to see more intensive efforts towards bridge building.
Ethnic prejudices and economic competition have been used to divide people of color from each other, as well as from working class and progressive whites. The PAC+ National Board of Directors reflects the faces of the type of coalition building that is needed.
We know the demographics in the U.S. are shifting. In the past few weeks census data projecting the future of the U.S. have been in the headlines.
Minorities surpass whites in births.
Census Bureau “overlooked” 1.5 million people of color.
Texas is now “majority-minority”
States that have been “red” on the political map are now in play, and if we work harder bringing together natural allies, we can ensure a blue future in many parts of the U.S.
Markos Moulitsas explored part of this possible future in early May in Texas marches toward swing state status. Only question is ‘when?’ He concluded:
It’s a state that can be competitive, and certainly will be at some point. But how quickly that happens depends, in large part, in how effective Democrats are in registering and activating the state’s young Latino electorate.
I’d like to add that with these Texas demographics from 2010—”11.8%, African American; 3.8%, Asian American; 0.7%, American Indian; 0.1%, native Hawaiian or Pacific islander only; 10.5% of the population were of some other race only; and 2.7% were of two or more races. Hispanics (of any race) were 37.6% of the population of the state, while Non-Hispanic Whites composed 45.3%”—that coalition building will also be a key to victory.
Simply assuming that “Latinos” or “Hispanics” are a solid block is also a flawed analysis. Spanish-speaking communities across the U.S. are culturally diverse. Republicans, and pundits have bandied Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) name around as a possible veep pick for Romney, in hopes that his selection would garner enough votes from Latinos to swing the election his way in certain key states, but PAC+’s Julie Martinez Ortega challenges that in Rubio Reality Check. I had to chuckle when I read this:
Is Marco Mitt’s Brown Knight?
The Republicans have invested lots of $ $ $ in their Republican strongholds in Florida, and we all know that los Cubanos are supposed to be their silver bullet, at least that’s how the stereotypical narrative about our Cuban friends goes. But will they carry the day for Romney? After all, if you read Time Magazine, a bunch of not-so-photogenic dark-haired people and one Chinese American guy (AKA Latinos) will decide who our next President will be.
Since los Floridianos don’t even like Rubio all that much, don’t hold your breath. I already gave away the punch line, but here you go anyhow: When you add Rubio as Mitt’s Veep, Latino support for the Republican ticket… wait for it… does nothing! That’s right. It stays exactly the same with 52% of los Floridianos supporting the Democratic ticket and only 37% supporting the Republican ticket.
And here’s something else. Not only does adding el Guapo to the Republican ticket not help Romney with Florida Latinos, it actually HURTS him with everyone else. With Rubio on the ticket, Romney actually drops from 45% to 43% and Obama remains at 50% among all Floridians. Now, don’t be surprised the next time you watch the news and hear Rubio’s name spoken 5 times in reference to the Republican VP selection. And don’t get irritated when the pundits go on ad nauseam about how he’ll help garner that elusive 40% of the Latino vote for the Republicans. It’s just that the reporter isn’t aware of the facts. So, do your part to educate people about the Rubio Reality by passing this post along to everyone you know!
As we move forward in the months ahead, we need more people to educate and register voters, and we need bi or multi-lingual volunteers and phone bankers to do the outreach and build those bridges.
We need to forge stronger coalitions that cross “racial” and ethnic lines. Multi-racial/multi-ethnic coalition building is not easy. There are numerous studies and handbooks available online which explore the challenges. Here are two.
Multi-Racial Partnerships and Coalitions, Maggie Potapchuk
My sig line here is “If you’re in a coalition and you’re comfortable, you know it’s not a broad enough coalition”—Bernice Johnson Reagon. So I’ll close with a song from Bernice Reagon, who sings about the new day and new world coming if we decide where, and with whom we’ll be standing when it comes.
Source: Daily Kos