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Latino Leaders In Iowa Respond to National DNC Criticism

Democratic National Convention
In this image from video, Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, speaks Tuesday during the state roll call vote on second night of the Democratic National Convention.

The Democratic National Convention continues today, and some say certain voices are missing from the programming.

Three Latino speakers have a spot in the lineup at the DNC, but some national critics have said it is not enough. Activists have gone to Twitter to voice their frustrations about a lack of representation, but the criticisms haven’t quite reached all Hispanic people in Iowa.

Alexia Sanchez, executive board member of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) in Iowa City, said she was pleased with the many people of color featured at the convention. She said that does not mean Latino voices are not valued.

"It's totally valid that some Latinos and some folks feel that way with the DNC and what's going on in the upcoming events. While I do understand, I also recognize that there's a lot of different identities and a lot of different communities that are needing that spotlight during this time,“ Sanchez said. "We're all fighting for the same opportunities and empowerment. And I think this is one of the great ways that we can continue sharing that space when it's needed."

She said a great way the convention highlighted Latino perspectives was by Eva Longoria Bastón’s appearance as emcee.

"It does make a difference and it is powerful and makes a statement for sure," Sanchez said.

Although Sanchez does not fully agree with the criticism of a lack of representation at the DNC, Steve Villatorro does. Villatorro, the former vice-chair of the Democratic Party Latino caucus, said the DNC needs to work harder to represent one of its largest voter bases.

“I mean it’s very sad for the Latino community. And I hope the DNC can change, you know, in the next month before the elections," Villatorro said.

Villatorro said he wished Julián Castro, the only Latino democratic presidential candidate, had more speaking time. He listed off multiple other Latino leaders in government the DNC could have also invited.