National Journal, ABC News and Univision discuss America's changing demographics, and the Hispanic surge at the Democratic National Convention. Democrats hope to court Latino voters, because the demographic is the path to victory in the 2012 Election.
First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992, Representative Xavier Becerra serves as Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, is a member of the powerful Committee on Ways And Means and is Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security.
His committee is responsible for formulating our nation's tax, Social Security, Medicare, trade and income security laws. As Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, Rep. Becerra wields a strong voice in House Democratic leadership, helping to set priorities and drive the legislative decision making process.
Ronald Brownstein is political director of the Atlantic Media Company and National Journal Group’s editorial director, in charge of long-term editorial strategy. He also writes a weekly column and regularly contributes other pieces for both National Journal and The Atlantic, and he coordinates political coverage and activities across publications produced by Atlantic Media. Brownstein was twice named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the 1996 and 2004 presidential campaigns. In addition, he is the recipient of several journalism awards, including the Exceptional Merit in Media Award from the National Women’s Political Caucus, the Excellence in Media Award from the National Council on Public Polls in 2005, and the Journalist of the Year Award from the Los Angeles Press Club in 2005. In 2007, the American Political Science Association presented him its Carey McWilliams Award for lifetime achievement.
Julian Castro is an American politician and the current Mayor of San Antonio, Texas. Castro served on the San Antonio City Council for four years before becoming mayor. He is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School.
Janet Murguia has devoted her career in public service to opening the door to that dream to millions of American families. Now, as a key figure among the next generation of leaders in the Latino community, she continues this mission as President and CEO of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States.
María Elena Salinas
Univision Network Anchor María Elena Salinas is the most recognized Hispanic female journalist in the United States. Named by The New York Times as "the voice of Hispanic America," for three decades, Salinas has informed millions of Hispanics in the United States, along with 18 countries in Latin America. As co-anchor of the highly-rated evening newscast "Noticiero Univision" and news magazine "Aqui y Ahora" (Here and Now), she has handled some of the most challenging assignments in modern-day journalism.
Salinas' work has earned her several journalistic awards including three national Emmy Awards and one regional. She was also part of the Univision news team that received the Edward R. Murrow Award for the network's coverage of the Atlanta Olympic Park bombings. Salinas has interviewed every U.S. President since Jimmy Carter and has been face to face with dozens of Latin American heads of state, rebel leaders, and dictators. In 2007, Salinas made history by co-hosting both the first ever Democratic and Republican candidate presidential forums in Spanish on the Univision Network.
Her influence reaches beyond television. Salinas is a radio analyst on Latino issues and is one of few Hispanic syndicated columnists in the United States, where her column is published in both Spanish and English, as well as on Univision.com and her own website MariaESalinas.com. In 2006, she published her memoir entitled "I Am My Father's Daughter: Living A Life Without Secrets," which received critical acclaim and made the best-seller lists for Spanish-language books on several occasions.
Salinas is also the official spokesperson for "Ya es Hora" (It's Time), a national citizenship and civic engagement campaign, that received the coveted Peabody Award for helping motivate Hispanics to participate in the American political dialogue. In 2000, Salinas launched a scholarship in her name to be awarded to a Hispanic journalism student interested in pursuing a career in Spanish language media. She is one of the founding members of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and sits on the board of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and the International Women's Media Foundation.
Salinas began her journalistic career as a reporter for KMEX-34 television in Los Angeles in 1981. Her insightful reporting on the impact of daily news to the increasingly growing Hispanic community in Southern California quickly earned her the credibility that would lead to her assume the anchor chair of "Noticiero Univision" in 1987.
Since then her brand of journalism has earned her dozens of awards and recognition from important groups such as the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, and the National Organization for Women that honored her with the coveted Intrepid Award.
Salinas has been featured as one of the most influential Hispanics in the United States in several publications including Hispanic Magazine, People En Español and PODER, and was named one of the "Top 15 Most Influential Hispanics" among Latino voters in a poll conducted by Hispanic Voter Trends.
Salinas was born in Los Angeles to Mexican immigrant parents. She resides in Coral Gables, Florida, with her two daughters, Julia Alexandra and Gabriela María.
Frank Sharry is Founder and Executive Director of America's Voice. With the support of allies in the immigration reform community, he created the new organization in early 2008 to focus on communications and media as part of a renewed effort to win comprehensive immigration reform. Prior to heading America's Voice, Frank served as Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum for 17 years. The Forum, based in Washington D.C., is one of the nation's premier immigration policy organizations, and has been at the center of every major legislative and policy debate related to immigration for the past quarter of a century.
Before joining the Forum, Frank was Executive Director of Centro Presente, a local organization working with Central American refugees in the greater Boston area. He initially became interested in immigrants and refugees while teaching in Singapore in the late 1970s. He was hired to assist with the rescue and relocation of boat refugees fleeing war-torn Vietnam and landing in Indonesia. Sharry is a native of Connecticut and a graduate of Princeton University.
Jake Tapper is Senior White House Correspondent for ABC News.
Antonio R. Villaraigosa is the 41st mayor of Los Angeles and has held the office since 2005. During his first term, Villaraigosa built the police force to its largest size in history, oversaw the steepest reduction in crime since the 1950s, and developed LA’s first comprehensive anti-gang strategy. Having dedicated much of his first term to reforming LA’s public schools, he now oversees the Partnership for LA Schools, which runs ten of the lowest-performing schools. With the launching of Green LA, Villaraigosa has set the city on the path to becoming one of the greenest large cities in the nation. Among the many improvements in becoming greener, LA has met the Kyoto targets for reducing greenhouse gases four years ahead of schedule, has met the first target of getting 10 percent of energy from renewable sources, and is on track to reaching 40 percent by 2020.
Julian Castro, mayor of San Antonio, discusses the rise of the Latino economic prosperity in America. Castro declares that the generational progress is a relay race towards the American dream, and Latinos have made large steps forward in the U.S.
Julian Castro, mayor of San Antonio, speaks about the future of Texas elected representation. Illustrating the growing influence of Latino voters, Castro argues that the new wave of voting power from Hispanics will make long standing Republican footholds more competitive by 2020.
Frank Sharry, Founder and Executive Director of America's Voice, argues that Latino voters have an easy choice in the 2012 Election. Although they might be disappointed by Obama's failed promises, Sharry asserts that Romney terrifies Latinos.