More than 20,000 people from across the United States are expected to convene in downtown Milwaukee over the next few days as the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the nation’s largest and oldest Latino civil rights organization, hosts its 90th Annual National Convention & Exposition at the Wisconsin Center. Madison365 is a media sponsor of the convention.
“We are over-the-top excited to finally be here in Milwaukee kicking of the LULAC National Convention. For us, it’s a celebration of 90 years of service in transforming communities across America,” Sindy Benavides, CEO of LULAC, tells Madison365. “We are excited to be in Milwaukee which is a location that our LULAC members voted on years back to really celebrate the work that LULAC has done. We really want to have a dialog and talk about issues that impact the Latino community across America as we head into the 2020 presidential election.”
Speaking of the 2020 presidential election, the LULAC National Convention will include a town hall discussion on Thursday, July 11 with democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Julian Castro and Beto O’Rourke. LULAC will be hosting the town hall in partnership with UNIVISION.
“We are proud as the oldest legacy civil rights organization in the country to be working with America’s largest Spanish-language media company on such an important and historic event,” says Domingo Garcia, national president, in a statement. “LULAC and UNIVISION see this as the moment when our community begins the conversation that will decide the race for the White House and the future of more than 58 million Latinos.”
Warren will hold a separate town hall discussion on Thursday, July 11 at South Division High School on Milwaukee’s south side. The next day, on Friday, July 12, presidential candidate Marianne Williamson will speak at the Women’s Hall of Fame Luncheon.
“We also have [Democratic candidate for president in 2020 & Congressman for Maryland’s 6th Congressional District] John Delaney who will be joining us on Wednesday for the Wisconsin celebration,” Benavides says. “On Thursday, we will have [presidential candidate and] Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard joining us for the Defenders of Freedom Breakfast, as well.
“We’re really excited to see the White House hopefuls at our event but to also have a deep conversation about issues that impact our community,” Benavides adds.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. LULAC currently has more than 137,000 members. Their 2019 National Convention is titled “Movimiento LULAC: 90 Years of Building Power & Transforming Communities Across America.”
“There is just so much that is going on these next few days, it’s hard for me to pick out what I’m most excited about,” Benavides says. “Over 20,000 people will walk through the hallways of the convention and all of the events that we are doing. I’m really excited to get to know all of these people, many of whom are LULAC members.”
The four-day event will include speakers, workshops, youth programming and seminars on political topics.
“We have so many issues that we will be discussing because you know that the Latino community is not a monolithic community, we’re not a one-issue community. We have so many issues that impact us,” Benavides says. “It’s everything from looking at democracy and voting, census, equality, education, health, immigration, technology, the environment, the issue of Puerto Rico, representation. We really look at all of the issues that impact us in so many different ways. We address those issues and have dialog and make sure we leave the convention with greater knowledge and stronger skills.”
Other speakers at the convention will include Gov. Tony Evers, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele.
“I want to make sure that people know that most everything at the LULAC National Convention is completely free. For the presidential town hall, we are asking people to register,” Benavides says.
“One of our goals is that we want to make sure that when we leave the convention that we have stronger advocates and we are leaving a stronger Milwaukee,” she adds.
[Madison365 is a media partner with LULAC for its 90th Annual National Convention & Exposition in Milwaukee.]