No group is more crucial to the outcome of the 2016 presidential election than Latino voters, and no group of voters is more in play than Latinos during this campaign season. A surge in Latinos of voting age combined with Donald Trump's polarizing comments about Mexican immigrants have put Latinos at the center of the race for the White House.
Every year an estimated 800-thousand Latino youths reach voting age and an almost equal number of immigrants from Latin America become naturalized U.S. citizens. That means by next November the ranks of eligible Latino voters will have grown by 4 to 6-million since the 2012 presidential election.
This event, part of Milano's Politics and Policy series, will offer a fresh examination of the role of Latinos in the 2016 election. Featuring a panel of journalists, pollsters, and political insiders, we'll explore political, demographic and economic trends that will shape the outcome in 2016.
Join us on Monday, December 7th for a conversation organized by Feet in 2 Worlds, The Center for New York City Affairs and the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at The New School.
Moderator: Ray Suarez, Host, Inside Story, Al Jazeera America
Managing Director, Make the Road Action Fund
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
Republican National Hispanic Assembly
Principal at Latino Decisions
Mi Familia Vota California
Jeff Smith is Assistant Professor of Politics and Advocacy at Milano, The New School for Management and Urban Policy in New York City. Jeff majored in Black Studies and Political Science at UNC-Chapel Hill and earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis. Jeff, who has taught political science at Washington University and Dartmouth College, teaches and conducts research on campaigns and elections, public policy, race, urban politics, advocacy, and the legislative process. At Washington University, he received the Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence.
Jeff served in the Missouri Senate from 2006-2009 as the nation’s only white state senator from a majority-black district. Since then, he has consulted on affordable housing policy and completed a memoir about his experience in politics. Jeff contributes to The Recovering Politician, a new blog for former elected officials. His writing has been featured in Inc. and New York magazines, and he has been profiled in Harper’s, The New Republic, and other periodicals.
In 2004, Jeff ran for the congressional seat vacated by Dick Gephardt, losing narrowly to Rep. Russ Carnahan. His youth-powered grass-roots campaign was chronicled in the film Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?, which was lauded by the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune, and short-listed for an Academy Award.
Jeff co-founded the Confluence Academies, a group of inner-city charter schools. Jeff became the Senate’s leading voice on education reform, passing major education bills including a program offering loan forgiveness for top collegians who teach in disadvantaged areas after graduation.
In 2006, Jeff was named a rising star by St. Louis Magazine, Alive Magazine, and the Riverfront Times.
Ray Suarez joined The NewsHour in October 1999 as a Washington-based Senior Correspondent. Suarez came to The NewsHour from NPR where he had been host of the nationwide, call-in news program "Talk of the Nation" since 1993. Prior to that, he spent seven years covering local and national stories for the NBC-owned station, WMAQ-TV in Chicago.