Yep, while Republicans are hoping Latino voters stay home, Democrats are hoping we’ll come out in droves. So much so that there’s a heavy Latino presence on the lineup of speakers at the Democratic National Convention this year, starting with last night’s speech by San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who became the first Latino to give a keynote address at the convention.

I’m not one for convention speeches; they just remind me of the Democratic Party’s broken promises and the Machiavellian attempt to squirm out of any responsibility during campaign season. Let’s not forget President Obama has deported more immigrants than any other president in history and has only recently used his executive power to take baby steps to curb deportations for some. Also, the DREAM Act would have passed if five Democrats hadn’t voted against it. Nevertheless, I’m still interested in what these influential Latinos have to say. I really hope they will pressure Obama and the Democratic party to step it up. It’s not enough anymore to just not be as bad as Republicans.

All times are Eastern Standard Time.

5 o’clock hour:

Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez of Illinois, who will surely continue putting the spotlight on immigration reform

John A. Pérez, openly gay Latino speaker of the California State Assembly

6 o’clock hour:

Pedro R. Pierluisi, non-voting member of U.S. House, resident commissioner of Puerto Rico, who got some major flack from Al Punto’s Jorge Ramos during an interview about the state of Puerto Rico and the student protests

7 o’clock hour:

Live performance: singer/songwriter Jessica Sanchez, American Idol runnerup and daughter of Mexican-American Navy veteran

9 o’clock hour:

Stronger Together video: Immigration

Benita Veliz, DREAM Act activist 

Cristina Saralegui, the Latina Oprah and a strong advocate for Obama who recently launched an ad campaign to increase Latino support for Obama

10 o’clock hour:

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, chair of the 2012 Democratic National Convention Committee

Tonight’s speakers also include Sandra Fluke, Former President Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Arne Duncan, and more.


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