Statistics, glitz, and politics... While this might sound like the national Census gala at the White House, it was not. It was the 40th anniversary of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), a national civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S.
It was standing room only at the two luncheons where Senator Barak Obama and later Senator John McCain addressed the group. Obama hit several emotional and eloquent points, where he was loudly cheered and liked. McCain held his own in a town hall style meeting after his address taking on some hard-hitting questions. It seems that his candor and honesty may have earned him some points in the crowd.
More than 5,000 people attended the workshops, town hall meetings, and leadership training sessions in San Diego. Southwest Airlines hosted the Affiliate Luncheon where more than 2,000 community leaders joined to hear from L.A.'s Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and where we heard Dr. Samuel Betances speak about everything from education to aging. He humorously talked of his wife and shared his view that women do not have hot flashes, they have power surges! And with a 48% high school drop out rate among Latinos, he talked about how the best economic stimulus package is a college degree!
At the affiliate luncheon, on July 12, I had an opportunity to address the group as well. I shared my thoughts on our connection to NCLR with this quote:
"Dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres." -- Tell me who you are with, and I'll tell you who you are.
This is a proverb I first heard from Dominga & Juan Medrano, my grandparents when I was a little girl growing up in Texas. At the end of my talk, I asked attendees to think of other proverbs they learned growing up and to please share them with us as well. I look forward to hearing from you on our blog.