With the 2004 presidential race drawing near, Latino political leaders are trying to position Latino votes as indispensable to winning the election. How well Latino political groups can coordinate their efforts in the upcoming 2002 election will tell a great deal about their potential influence in 2004.
Mario Garcia, a professor of history and Chicano studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and David Ayon, a researcher at Loyola Marymount University, will discuss "The Latino Vote in 2002: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives," at a UCSB Affiliates Town Forum on Monday, Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 21 East Constance Ave., Santa Barbara.
Cost is $5 for UCSB Affiliates, History Associates, and Chancellor's Council members and $8 for all others. Advance registration is required and can be made by calling the UCSB Office of Community Relations at 893-4388. The talk is co-sponsored by the UCSB History Associates.
Garcia, whose research has focused on Latino political leadership and political movements, will give the historical perspective. Contrary to some stereotypical beliefs, he says, Latinos have been active in American politics for many years, taking positions and leadership roles on issues such as labor, civil rights, desegregation and discrimination, jobs, schools, and housing.
Ayon, a senior research associate at LMU's Center for the Study of Los Angeles, will talk about the pivotal nature of the 2002 election as Latino organizations try to coordinate their vote promotion efforts on a national scale.
He has served as an elections analyst, consultant, and special producer for Spanish-language television news coverage of every electoral cycle since 1992.