Posted by on September 03, 2012 in Blog

AAI today attended the opening council sessions of the DNC, including an ethnic council meeting chaired by AAI President Dr. Jim Zogby. The meeting opened with a few remarks by Dr. Zogby who commented on the essential importance of ethnic community organizing in the upcoming election. Speaking before an audience of approximately 200 people, Dr. Zogby emphasized the pivotal role that ethnic communities will likely play in a number of key swing states including Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Florida. He then introduced a litany of speakers including key figures in the Ethnic Council such as Jim Rosapepe and Danica Oparnica

Attendees also heard from Buffy Wicks, the Operation Vote Director for the Obama campaign. She outlined the basic electoral strategy for the coming months, and the Democrats’ three-pronged emphasis on voter persuasion, registration, and mobilization. Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA), a long-time supporter of ethnic American rights and a vocal critic of Congressman Peter King ‘s (R-NY) McCarthy-esque hearings on “radical Islam,” spoke to the vital significance of ethnic communities, both for the upcoming election and for the fabric of American society as a whole. He mentioned that President Kennedy referred to America as a “nation of immigrants,” and argued that only President Obama would hold true to that ideal.

Lastly, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz took the opportunity to contrast the “diversity” and “inclusiveness” of the DNC to the “special interest-funded, corporate-infused” Republican convention last week, which she described as “the old smoke-filled-room” type of event. She also spoke on the importance of ethnic inclusiveness and diversity within the Democratic Party, and urged the attendees to reach out to their networks, their friends, and their communities to ensure that Barack Obama wins a second term. Our video recording of Wasserman Schultz’s speech is below:

Stay tuned for more updates tomorrow, when the real convention activities begin.

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