MI FAMILIA VOTA Speaks With Pete Buttigieg on Latino Priorities and Campaign’s Diversity

Jan 30, 2020
8:33 AM

Editor’s Note: The headline to this story was updated to read “MI FAMILIA VOTA Speaks With Pete Buttigieg on Latino Priorities and Campaign’s Diversity” after the Buttigieg campaign contacted Latino Rebels, objecting to the use of “lack of diversity” in the original headline. It cited Buttigieg’s “40% of our 500 some people campaign are people of color” quote to MFV. The campaign also cited a POLITICO story about its diversity numbers.

On Wednesday, Mi Familia Vota (MFV) released a conversation that MFV’s CEO and Executive Director Héctor Sánchez Barba had with presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on January 11 in Las Vegas. MFV released this video hours after a New York Times story reported on how people of color felt about working in the Buttigieg campaign.

Here are some excerpts of what Buttigieg told Sánchez Barba on January 11 about Latinos:

  • On Latino staff on his campaign: “It is very important for us that our campaign reflects the country that we are seeking to serve and about 40% of our 500 some people campaign are people of color including Latino representatives who are making such important contributions, including seven who are in positions who are more senior across areas from policy to communications to outreach. We will continue as our campaign grows to prioritize and ensure that the Latino community and other under-represented communities have a voice.”

  • On representation of Latinos in his cabinet: “I am committed to making sure that our cabinet is representative, so the number may change from one year to another year or at various moments, but you can be confident, and I will commit that it will on balance reflect the makeup of our nation.”

  • On deportations: “The best way to make sure that someone does not have the threat of deportation hanging over them is to give them some sort of pathway to citizenship so they have some way to normalize their status, to begin with. Along that pathway, there may be stages, of permanent residency. But something that removes that threat of deportations.”

  • On Puerto Rico: “The resilience and character of Puerto Rico make the United States a better country. And we must begin with regard to what Puerto Rico offers the Puerto Rican people who are the life of this country both on the island and as they have become parts of other communities from coast to coast. What that means in concrete terms, we have to treat our fellow U.S. citizens, and we are talking about U.S. Citizens, not as second class citizens. And we have so many things legislatively that have that effect, from problems with our economic arrangements, an inferior pathway to getting disaster aide, in the wake of maria and now the disaster of earthquakes. When we look at Medicare and Medicaid and again it is inferior treatment, it needs to be leveled.”

  • On immigration reform: “[ what ] we do not want in the first hundred days but on the first day. There are a lot of things that are occurring on the border, enforcement priorities, detention centers, family separation, refusal to grant the right to asylum, all of which can be done with executive action. Seeing to it that there is no such thing as a for-profit detention center… This immigration reform has been waiting for thirty years, and it cannot wait anymore. So we will push Congress to do the right thing then I will act as soon as the reform reaches me.”

Previously, MFV released two other videos with presidential candidates.

This is the conversation with Tom Steyer:

And here is the one with Joe Biden:

With operations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Texas, MFV is “a national civic engagement organization that unites Latino, immigrant, and allied communities to promote social and economic justice through citizenship workshops, voter registration, and voter participation,” according to the media release about he Buttigieg video.