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art by Favianna Rodriguez

Art by Favianna Rodriguez

“ May we seize the arrogance to create outrageously. Soñar wildly—for the world becomes as we dream it. ” – Gloria Anzaldúa, Author

New Leadership at Presente.org

October, 2015

Dear members, friends, partners, and colleagues:

It is with tremendous excitement that we announce new leadership at Presente.org. Oscar Chacon and Favianna Rodriguez will be taking over Presente.org as interim co-directors. Oscar and Favianna are groundbreaking leaders for Latino equality and bring 2 decades of combined experience working to advance the rights of Latinos. They will be working closely with Matt Nelson, Presente.org's new Managing Director. Matt is a seasoned campaign strategist, organizer, and communications expert who formally served as the Organizing Director at ColorOfChange.org, and was recently featured in the first major book on the Ferguson Uprising entitled, "Ferguson is America: Roots of Rebellion".

We are in the midst of a pivotal moment for Latinos nationwide, given the unprecedented hate speech and rampant discrimination mounting as we move towards 2016. Our new leadership will be essential to building political power and influence, and Presente.org plans to continue and expand efforts to hold all Democrats and Republicans accountable for their discriminatory policies and speech.

We are also excited to announce that after years of holding Democrats accountable on the issues that are most important to Latino communities, our former Executive Director Arturo Carmona has been tapped to push these very policies in the Presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders in an effort that acknowledges the growing strength of the Latino voting bloc.

Our issues are winning, and they are winning because of the hard work of our hundreds of thousands of members and supporters like you.

In just the last two years, we successfully helped push President Obama to stop deportations of millions of young immigrants and their parents. We held Democrats who opposed halting those deportations accountable, shaming them in their districts and and challenging the notion that either party can win without Latino support. We played a central role in the media justice space, holding major corporations like Comcast and other telecoms accountable to the interest of Latino families. And we’ve effectively given voice to Latinos on the issue of criminal justice, who are disproportionately victimized by law enforcement around the nation.

But our communities are also facing tremendous violence and hateful discrimination, despite these victories. We are arrested at higher rates for crimes we commit at far lower rates than white Americans. Latinos are the fastest growing incarcerated population as a result of the Obama Administration's’ brutal immigration detention policies. Latinas make only 55% of what white men make for the same hour of work. Racial inequality is rampant. Latinos are disproportionately affected by climate change. We face sky-high cancer and asthma rates from toxic fossil fuel facilities in our communities, along with extreme flooding and droughts caused by the same fossil fuels and climate change.

We have the numbers and the power to win. With our new leadership, Presente.org will continue to fight for Latino equality. We will hold Democrats and Republicans accountable. We will continue to dismantle our nation’s vast and discriminatory mass incarceration system. We will push to end the use of toxic fossil fuels and address climate change. We invite you to join us.

In solidarity,

The Presente.org Board of Directors, Adrianna Quintero-Somaini, Oscar Chacon, Favianna Rodriguez, Daniel Souweine, Maria Rodriguez

We rely on contributions from you to see our campaigns through. Please donate to support our work.