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Hispanic Delegates Underrepresented at DNC

Hispanic Business, News Report, Richard Kaplan Posted: Aug 31, 2008

Editor's Note: Hispanic delegates accounted for only 12 percent of the Convention's 4,400 delegates. While these numbers are up from 9 percent in 1996, they still fail to match Hispanics' share in the general population at 15 percent.

Before a gathering of 80,000-plus Democrats, fans, well wishers, and curious spectators, Sen. Barack Obama accepted his party's nomination as presidential nominee at Denver's Mile High Stadium Thursday evening. His acceptance speech resonated with the theme "E Pluribus Unum," which roughly translated means, "Out of many, we are united as one." Sen. Obama declared that Americans walk many different paths in life and come from many varied lands, but the nation unites around a single shared set of values and ideals.

Not only did the convention rhetoric celebrate America's origin in diversity, so did the faces of the official delegates. Yet, out of this diversity, how did Hispanics fare? Unfortunately, not well.

Hispanic delegates, according to data provided by the Democratic National Convention Committee, accounted for only 12 percent of the Convention's 4,400 delegates. While such numbers are up from 9 percent in 1996, they still fail to match Hispanics' share in the general population at 15 percent.

The DNCC statistics revealed that for the first time in history, women made up a majority of the delegates at 50.1 percent. In addition non-Hispanic whites saw their numbers reduced to about 2,495 or 56.7 percent, a decline from 66.7 percent 12 years prior in 1996.

African Americans, a very powerful presence in the Democratic Party, but only 13 percent of the entire population, comprised fully 24.5 percent of the delegates. That number was an increase from 19 percent in 1996.

Lastly, Asian/Pacific Islanders added up to 4.6 percent of the 2008 delegates, a small jump from 2.9 percent in 1996.

The numbers, while showing that the DNC was fully inclusionary, underscored the importance of Hispanics continuing to get more involved in politics.


Related Articles:

DNC: Courting the Latino Vote

Latino Janitors Make the Convention Hall Shine

The Other Denver: Hispanics Haunted by Specter of Deportation




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