conference is focused on Latinos
By Geronimmo Rodriguez
Daily Cougar Staff
In November, the battle between Tony Sanchez
and Dan Morales to become the first Hispanic governor of Texas gave rise
issues regarding Hispanics, and everyone
witnessed the divide of the Hispanic vote.
On Thursday, the images of Latinos within
the scope of political communications were discussed in order to improve
the ways in which they can
be better understood in politics.
UH's Center for Mexican American Studies
presented the conference, which was titled "Political Marketing and the
Latino Vote," from 9 a.m. to
5:30 p.m. Thursday at the University Hilton
Hotel Waldorf Astoria Room. It will continue today from 8:15 a.m. to 2:45
It featured presentations by guest speakers
who ranged from professors from around the country to those involved in
The speakers also answered questions from
"Political communication is very important,
and now with the rise of the Mexican-American and greater Latino vote,
it's going to become even
more important for our community," said
Tatcho Mindiola, director of CMAS and associate professor of sociology
at UH. "So the purpose of this
conference, which is the first of its
kind in the United States, is to bring focus upon that particular area."
As for the students, Associate Director
of CMAS Lorenzo Cano said he believes it was a great opportunity for them
to experience the
professional aspect of understanding political
"It's important for students to get involved
with the discussion because politics affects them every day of their lives,"
Cano said. "As individuals
who are training for their future careers,
they will be in positions to take major steps to contribute to some sort
of leadership, even if it's on a
"It's part of their overall development
here, not in the classroom itself, and it's important to stay focused on
the issues and the practices going on
within the political spectrum."
Both Mindiola and Cano based the conference's
theme on the relevance it has in today's politics.
"We try to pick a theme that we think is
timely, and now with Tony Sanchez and Dan Morales and the rise of the Latino
vote in the state, we
decided this was a very timely topic,"
For example, one of the guest speakers,
Federico Subervi-Velez, focused on the strategies Latinos must understand
and acquire to better
reflect Latinos in the media.
"The images of Latinos are too few right
now, and most of them are negative," he said.