Photo: Political Organizer Fernando Romero
Latino leaders nationwide and in Nevada are quietly considering stepping back from the Democratic Party and forming an independent grass-roots political party.
Similar to the Tea-Party (in model only) the idea is being considered out of frustration over the Party’s inaction on immigration reform. Latino leaders have called their proposal “ Tequila Party.”
“I don’t know if it’s going to happen, but there’s talk,” said Fernando Romero, president of the nonpartisan Hispanics in Politics, Nevada’s oldest Hispanic political group. “There’s discussion about empowerment of the Latino vote.”
After a record turnout in the last elections, many Latinos are discouraged at the lack of the Democratic Party’s policies that would benefit the community.
“There’s a feeling that Democrats aren’t listening,” said Louis DeSipio, a Chicano studies and political science professor at the University of California, Irvine.
Congress’ actions over the next month could decide the fate of the burgeoning Tequila Party. Many feel that if comprehensive immigration reform is shelved again, Hispanics will likely decide to strike out on their own.
“It would definitely induce us,” Romero said. “We would have to do something at that point to get ready for 2012.”
The grass-roots organization could operate as an affiliate of the Democratic Party or as an independent movement, as the Tea Party was initially. Politicians affiliated with Tea Party groups won more than 40 congressional seats in the midterm elections. All ran as Republicans. Even though some of the politicians lost, they were given a major stage and were able to raise significant funds.
Hispanic leaders would like to spur something similar.