March 31, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - When prominent Latino activists meet with President Obama, there's one White House staff member present whom many of them have known since she was a child. Julie Chavez Rodriguez grew up handing out leaflets and knocking on doors with her grandfather, Cesar Chavez, whose campaign to organize farmworkers still inspires today's Latino leaders. As deputy director of the Office of Public Engagement, Rodriguez runs Obama's organizing efforts in support of immigration reform and supervises Latino outreach.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 11, 2014 |
A year ago, when the Republican National Committee's searing 2012 election postmortem was released, it was possible to imagine, for a fleeting moment, that the GOP might finally grasp why it has lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus' act of public self-flagellation showed that he was ready to ask tough questions of a party that has alienated the fastest growing demographic segment of voters in this country - Latinos - and failed to woo younger voters, women and gays.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 8, 2014 |
The first day you fast, says Eliseo Medina, your stomach begs you to reconsider. The second day is worse. "Your body starts asking for food," the 68-year-old local activist told me about his fast for immigration reform. "It becomes more difficult and you wonder if it's worth doing this. " But Medina's commitment is an extension of the work he began almost half a century ago, shoulder to shoulder with Cesar Chavez. So there was no letting up last fall, as he made his appeal outside the halls of power in Washington, D.C. When his stomach growled, he drew strength from fellow fasters as they joined hands and prayed.
March 8, 2014 |
OXON HILL, Md. - After steep losses in the 2012 election, there was broad agreement within the Republican Party that its biggest challenge was bridging the divide with key voter groups - minorities, women and young voters - who threw their support behind President Obama, giving him the crucial margin in battleground states. But a year after the GOP's so-called autopsy report, the speeches from the party's leading voices at the Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC, reflected a complex reality: Republicans are still searching for a unified message to reach those groups.
March 7, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - With their hopes for broad legislation to overhaul immigration policies all but dead for the year, advocates have turned quickly to a new target: Pushing President Obama to take executive action to ease deportations of immigrants in the country illegally. In a coordinated, aggressive and sharp-elbowed campaign, leaders who stood behind the White House not long ago as the president called immigration reform his top second-term priority are now attacking Obama for not doing enough on his own. Dismissing Obama's insistence that his hands are tied by the law, advocates plan to pile on until he relents -- as he did once before in the run-up to an election.
March 6, 2014 |
WASHINGTON -- President Obama insisted Thursday that he's not the "deporter in chief," as critics have labeled him, but the "champion in chief" of a fairer immigration policy. But until Congress passes a new law, Obama said, he is constrained by current statutes in how he treats immigrants who entered the country illegally. “I cannot ignore those laws any more than I can ignore any of the other laws that are on the books,” Obama said. “That's why it's important to get comprehensive immigration reform done this year.” Support for that view among reform advocates is splintering, a fact becoming clearer by the day. The president of the National Council of La Raza, the country's largest Latino advocacy organization, this week coined the “deporter in chief” term for the Democratic president the group has worked with in the past.