When guests showed up at Delia’s house party in Santa Fe, New Mexico for the launch of Latinos for Obama last week, they were treated to a spread of cheese, crackers, fruit—and of course, some pan dulce and chips with guacamole.
“The pan dulce was a big hit,” Delia says. “I have to give a lot of credit to my husband, Paul. He speaks Spanish fluently, and I like to say he’s más mexicano than some mexicanos I know. He went back to the store and I asked him to get this and get that. He was wonderful and I couldn’t have done it by myself.”
The party was a chance for Santa Fe Latinos to come together and talk about what matters to them in this election.
“People were very open, and it was very nice to hear their ideas and concerns about the election. That was very heartwarming. I’ve gotten calls from lot of people that came, saying they were very pleased to have been here. And I’m hoping that’s going to lead them to host one themselves or get others on the bandwagon, because that’s the way to win this."
Delia is 70 years old, and she takes a Middle Eastern dance class at her local community college, where she’s trying to make sure her younger classmates are registered to vote in November. At the party, she encouraged folks to get involved however they can.
“One person who has a challenging job said 2008 was the first time she had ever pulled out the big bucks for a candidate, and she said she would do that again this time, even though time constraints kept her from volunteering. She offered to have big party at her house, too.”
A highlight of the Latinos for Obama house parties across the nation was a phone call from comedian George Lopez.
“Getting kind of a cheerleading thing coming from him was pretty awesome,” Delia says. “He told us about how during the last campaign, he was told Senator Obama would call him at 2:15 p.m. He was watching him on TV, saying ‘Oh yeah, like he’s gonna call me.’ And sure enough, the phone rang. That might be just one personal story, but it points to the President's character."
Party-goers also took time to reflect on President Obama’s accomplishments for Latinos in America—and Delia did her best to remind them of the progress we’re making.
“I like to say ‘Obama cares.’ Health care reform helps Latinos because many of us have diabetes, which is a pre-existing condition, and many people can’t afford health insurance. It’s especially important for older Hispanics who have Medicare, but it’s not enough and they don’t have secondary insurance to pay their medical bills. Also, Pell Grants are definitely helping Latino youth who are going to college. If we don’t stay the course with President Obama, that means these kids won’t be able to get a higher education, and it affects their ability to get good jobs and achieve a higher standard of living. So education and jobs are the biggest things, and I know he’s tried very hard. I have a lot of cards up my sleeve to try to convince people.”
Delia’s been involved with the campaign since 2007, and she’s still dedicated to helping protect our progress by persuading her friends and neighbors—including last week’s party guests—to pitch in and do their part.
“Some of the people I talk to are a little younger, so when I say ‘Look, I’m 70 and I don’t have all that energy,’ they say ‘Okay I’m gonna help.’ I kind of set an example and encourage young people to do something, because it takes all of us working together.”
Delia’s already scheduled another Latinos for Obama party in her home—and this time she says the Mexican food will be accompanied by mariachi music, too.
Sign up with Latinos for Obama to join volunteers like Delia who are taking ownership of this grassroots campaign.