Here Are Some Latino Speakers at DNC 2016 to Watch

Lead Photo: Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters
Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters
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When Donald Trump’s team released a preliminary Republican National Convention lineup, only one Latino – Ted Cruz – made the cut. By the time the convention rolled around, a few more people of color came to speak on his behalf. But they were in the minority, and it became clear that the RNC wasn’t super concerned with inclusion. Speech after speech, Trump mouthpieces walked up to the lectern and spread false information about Latinos and immigrant communities. All the while, in the audience, people – who may or may not have been Latinos – held grammatically incorrect “Latinos Para Trump” signs.

A mere four days after the end of the RNC, the Democratic National Convention kicked off. Here, Hillary Clinton will accept the nomination for the Democratic party. But the narrative surrounding immigrants will be starkly different. “At the RNC, Donald Trump described a violent America, which featured the suffering of innocents at the hands of vicious undocumented immigrants; the convention also featured people whose son or daughter had been killed by an undocumented immigrant” Buzzfeed’s Adrian Carrasquillo wrote. In Philadelphia, immigrants will speak for themselves, they’ll give a face to all those enriching the United States.

At the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, here are a few Latinos who will explain why they stand with Hillary:


Karla Ortiz and Francisca Ortiz

Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal

When: July 25

The very young Karla Ortiz will speak with her mother, Francisca Ortiz. With a few years away until she becomes a teenager, Karla probably understands better than most how important immigration reform is. Her mother is undocumented, and the two constantly live in fear that she’ll be deported.

According to Buzzfeed, a lawyer took money from the Ortiz family over and over, but he didn’t help them. Immigration agents detained her father in October 2013, and they gave her parents an order of deportation Sen. Harry Reid and former Rep. Steven Horsford kept them from being torn away from their daughter.

Ortiz and her family attended the Nevada caucus in February, and the through tears, she asked Clinton to protect her parents. Karla wrote a letter to Clinton after their interaction. “One day my heart hurt and they took me to the doctor,” she wrote. “The doctor said that my heart speeds up and that he thought it was because I was afraid all the time. The doctor told my mom that she had to take care of my heart because fear could make me sick.”


Astrid Silva

REUTERS/Larry Downing

When: July 25

Astrid Silva may not be one of the most notable keynote speakers, but the 28-year-old DREAMer has been described as the face of immigration. Coming to the United States from Mexico at age 4, she has dedicated her life to immigration, and she serves as the organizing director at the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada. According to CBS, when President Barack Obama announced his executive action to protect millions of undocumented children from deportation, he used Silva’s story as an example.


Rep. Luis Gutiérrez

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 13: Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) speaks about immigration during a news conference on Capitol Hill, January 9, 2015 in Washington, DC. Rep. Gutierrez talked about plans to help educate immigrant communities and prepare for the implementation of the executive actions on immigration announced by President Obama in last November. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

When: July 25

At the end of 2015, Rep. Luis Gutiérrez endorsed Hillary Clinton. The congressman, whose repped Illinois since 1993, wrote an op-ed on Univision, explaining why he backs Clinton. “Hillary is with the Latina community and I am with her,” he wrote. “She will do what is best for Latinos and all Americans. Hillary is poised to propel the country forward, and I’m proud to be with her.”


Anastasia Somoza

When: July 25

Anastasia Somoza, an international disability rights advocate and speaker, and her twin sister were born with cerebral palsy and spastic quadripledia. She interned for Hillary on her 2000 senate campaign.


Eva Longoria

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

When: July 25

Eva Longoria cut her honeymoon short so that she could vote for Hillary Clinton at the California primaries. She hasn’t been shy about her support of Clinton. “A lot of people say, ‘I don’t care what a celebrity says.’ I don’t either,” Eva Longoria said the day before the Nevada caucus, according to the Daily Mail. “I’m here as an American, an American who cares deeply about the progress this country has made. And I’m here as a Latina. I’m also here as a woman who cares deeply about equity. I’m here today as a sister of a special needs woman whose health problems are a daily battle she has faced since the day she was born… I keep hearing, ‘I’m just not inspired by Hillary.’ If Hillary doesn’t inspire you, you aren’t paying attention.”


America Ferrera

Photo: Getty Images

When: July 26

America Ferrera has supported Hillary Clinton since the former Secretary of State’s first attempt to run for the presidency. She even penned a Huffington Post article – which was accompanied by a weird Photoshopped pic of her and Clinton watching Netflix – about why she proudly supports her. “I am a first-generation American, millennial, female voter and I’m not only voting for Hillary Clinton, but I also really like Hillary Clinton,” she wrote. “She’s the kind of woman I’d share a bottle of wine with. Maybe this is my vagina’s fault, but maybe I really heart Hillary because I was raised by a single mother who woke up everyday and did the unglamorous and grueling work of providing for her six children. Maybe that’s part of why I’ve come to recognize and admire Hillary for showing up, day in and day out, for the promise of unsexy, slow-going and hard-won progress.”


Antonio Villaraigosa

When: July 28

Former Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa has stumped for Hillary in the past, and just this week he outlined the importance of her nomination for the immigrant community. “People know her, they’ve worked with her, they trust her,” he said, according to the Los Angeles Times.


Dolores Huerta

When: July 28

At the end of May, the campaign named Dolores Huerta – a longtime Clinton supporter – a senior advisor to help with Latino voter outreach. Recently, in an interview with Democracy Now!, Huerta spoke about Clinton making history. “As Hillary Clinton said herself, that this is a historic moment that we have a woman who is going to be the nominee, a Democratic nominee, for the presidency of the United States of America,” she said. “And I believe that when Hillary gets elected, she will lift the tide for all women throughout the United States, and not only women, but also children, because in her career Hillary has done very much for children, starting when she passed the first healthcare act for children, which covered 8 million children.”


Eric Garcetti

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

When: July 28

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti may have been considered for Clinton’s No. 2 spot, but he said he wasn’t looking for a new job. Either way, Garcetti is fully backing Hillary. During the convention, he was overcome with emotion. “It’s impossible not to feel the joy of this historical moment,” he said. “I got tears in my eyes thinking about my daughter, thinking about this country and realizing that’s going to be the president.”


Lorella Praeli

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

When: July 28

Lorella Praeli celebrated her naturalization in December 2015. The Peru-born activist worked as the Advocacy and Policy Director for United We Dream. She was brought in as a Latino Outreach Director for Hillary’s campaign.


Joaquin Castro

When: July 28

U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro and his brother Julián are both Hillary supporters. “Well, first, I think that the Clinton campaign, the Clinton-Kaine campaign now, is doing an excellent job connecting with Latino voters,” he told PBS. “We have seen more permanent residents in this cycle wanting to become citizens. We have seen more people, including many Hispanics, registering to vote. And so that’s a good thing. And I do believe that she will get upwards of 75 percent of the Latino vote in this election.”


Sheila E

When: July 28

While she won’t be speaking, Sheila E + Family will perform on Thursday.