Q&A With CO Democratic Chair: Part 2

A few weeks ago, the Confidential interviewed Pat Waak, the Colorado Democratic Party Chairperson.

Part 1 discussed the state’s Democratic Party, the Democratic majority, and what it means a nationally. This part revolves around the Latino population: what it means for politics, and the immigration issue.Q: How do you think Latino populations played a role in 2004, and how do you think they continue to play a role?

A: “I think it did play a role in 2004. Now, you have to understand that the voting population of the Latino population is still a very small percentage statewide, but any small percentage can make a difference in a state that runs such close elections. So I think it was very very important in 2004. I think it’s going to be important in 2006.

“I’m very concerned because I know that there’s such a split within the Latino population over the immigration issue-and there’s certainly a split there in terms of the attitudes of what just happened in the legislature.
(See below.)

“Of the total group of DNC members who are elected and appointed DNC members for the state-all of them are Latino but one. And so we listened to them, and we are looking at a better strategy for getting the Latino vote out, but one of the things we’re going to be talking about soon is what effect did this immigration legislation have-how do we get around that, or how do we deal with that in talking with the Latino voters.”

When Waak references what happened in the legislature, she is talking about the government’s “special session” on immigration and the laws that came out of it.

The interview will conclude in Part 3.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at erosa@www.coloradoindependent.com.

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