“I certainly would have liked to have a stronger Latino Caucus on the Hill,” says Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck.
Democrats touted 7 Latino candidates this time around, but only 3 were able to claim victory on Tuesday - incumbents Sen. Luz Robles and Chavez-Houck and newcomer Angela Romero in House District 26. Despite a 43% success rate, Chavez-Houck sees lots of positive signs for the future.
She says three of their candidates, Celina Milner, Liz Muniz and Josie Valdez laid a great foundation for another run at office.
“They ran an amazing ground game. Milner and Muniz came within 2-4 points of their opponents. They fought the good fight and got awfully close.”
Chavez-Houck also says she sees a sort of evolution occuring on the Hill. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are starting to think about policies that benefit everyone, including minority groups.
“A lot of times the things you’re doing for one community benefits another. It just has a different cultural flavor.”
She says the business community already sees the value of reaching out to Utah’s minority and immigrant communities.
“There are other states and regions jumping ahead of us economically because they are embracing these communities. We have the opportunity to move ahead in these market. A lot of the solutions are already there, and they’re not just a benefit for minority groups.”
Making these changes, recognizing these voices is not going to be easy. It will come down to authenticity vs. pandering.
“You can’t just find a Latino and throw them on the ballot,” says Chavez-Houck. “The demographics are changing. There are a lot of working class families in this state.”
So, will that turn into opportunities for minority candidates at the ballot box?
“I certainly hope so. There are a number of emerging minority communities around the state. There are lots of Latino folks in Cache Valley and Weber County. I’d love to see some candidates from those parts of the state. That’s the work we need to do over the next year.”
So I made some predictions for last week’s elections. I didn’t do as well as I thought I would, but I did hit on 95%.
Yes, I thought Mia Love would oust Jim Matheson.
I also thought Democrats would drop to 12 in the House. They were able to avoid huge losses and only dropped to 14.
So, while I’ve been getting gleeful FB messages from people like Rep. Marie Poulson who have been asking me “how I like my crow?” (fried, maybe?), I would like to point out that not only did I have the guts to make those predictions (I didn’t see anyone else doing it), I did correctly guess 95 out of 100.
I will proudly claim that “A” grade on my report card.
Inside Little League Football:
On a cold and snowy Saturday, the Jordan Maroon Mity Mites fell to the Alta White team 6-0 in double overtime in the championship match.
A foot of snow on the ground turned the game into a slippery war of attrition. Boys would get up from a run with their facemasks packed solid with snow.
In the end, the cold and fatigue caught up with these very young men and ended their quest for the title.
Lots of tears as they trudged off the field for the final time this year. A heartbreaking scene for sure.
But, there’s a good lesson here. Sometimes you can give everything, leave it all on the field, and you still don’t win.
A tough lesson. A hard lesson to learn when you’re 11.
And, in the end, it’s a game. The boys played with joy and enthusiasm. They love their coach. They love each other. That’s what matters, and what they’ll remember.
“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut, who would have turned 90 years old this week.