What's the word on the street here in Tampa which is hosting more than 50,000 people for the 2012 National Republican Convention?
Who better to ask than a taxi driver. I mean think about it. They talk to everyone and see everything. I struck gold when Carlos took Natascha OS, director of LATISM's South Florida Chapter and I to our hotel.
Wouldn't you know? He had A LOT to say.
- When I asked Carlos what is his opinion on Republicans, he said that he believes they want to "push Latinos out of the country." In politics perception is everything and polls confirm Carlos is not alone. Within the context of the demographic growth of the Hispanic community and its impact on politics, Houston, or GOP, we have a problem.
- Obama 2012's defining Mitt Romney has worked with someone like Carlos. Not releasing his tax returns has created not just a "likeability" but a trust issue and he worries that Romney will favor the rich over the working class.
- No surprises here but immigration reform is important at a family level because status is split.
- And here's the biggie: Carlos can't vote because he's a legal resident. But a whole lot of people he knows from work, his 'hood, church, and familia can because they're citizens. I can't stress enough the importance of these personal networks and their potential for impact if the people who are eligible to vote register and show up on election day.
¡Psst políticos! A twist on the Golden Rule: treat others as you would like to be treated because if you pick on someone who isn't your own size, they may know people who are your size or together, are bigger.
Click below to watch: "La Voz de Pueblo RNC 2012: the Taxi Cab Interview" which is in Spanish but with loose translation subtitles:
To read and see more of Viviana's 2012 Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention coverage, click here.