The Emerging Latina Leadership Advocates (ELLA) gathered for a recognition program, Sunday, August 5th, at Fiesta Jalisco restaurant, to honor Hispanic delegates for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, September 4th thru 6th. Nelda Leon, Olma Echeverri and Katherine Alexander received acknowledgements for their service to the Hispanic community and DNC care baskets that included tissues for crying, flashlights, Tums and a small bottle of liquor.
“With Hispanic and African American women being minorities, we have to work together. Find one other person to vote, making sure everyone votes all the way down the ticket, and understand how important it is to register and get involved,” said Leon, criminal justice professional.
Historically, the 2012 DNC includes the largest diverse of the 158 North Carolina delegates with 73 women, 60 African Americans, three Native Americans and eight gay, lesbians or transgendered.
“We don’t stand here on our own. We stand on your shoulders. Let’s get energized and let’s get Obama re-elected… support the values and issues of the president,” said Alexander, president Spanish American Democrats of Mecklenburg County.
Issues that stand out to Alexander include the Dream Act and House of Representatives Bill 931. The Dream Act, The Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors, will provide a pathway for citizenship for children brought to the U.S. by undocumented parents. The children must have received a high school diploma, GED or served in the military. August 15th, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will begin accepting requests for consideration of deferred action.
H.R.931 will make participation in the American Community Survey voluntary, except with respect to certain basic questions (name, contact number, date of response and how many live at the same address). The bill prohibits applying any criminal penalty for refusing or willfully neglecting to answer the survey. The ACS, sent to a random three million every year, provides data that helps determine how over 400 billion dollars in federal and state funds are distributed. Currently, U.S. law considers a refusal a misdemeanor which could constitute a fine of not more than $5,000. Proponents of the bill feel the 60 plus survey questions are intrusive.
Jennifer Roberts, Mecklenburg County Commissioner, Lawana Mayfield, City Council member, Connie Green-Johnson, Keith and Robin Bradford and Sonya Jacquez Lewis, Colorado delegate attended the program.