Colorado Dems launch Latino Youth Council in effort to connect with Latinos ages 18 to 25

The Colorado Democratic Party has its sights set on a growing demographic -- young Latinos -- and has launched an initiative called the Latino Youth Council in order to organize and connect with those it sees as crucial to the future of the party. "We are seeing politically that this is a particular and important cross-section," says spokesman Matt Inzeo. "This is a chance to really activate that particular subset and give them a voice."

Inzeo says the Latino Youth Council is unique; he doesn't know of any other state with a similar initiative. Through a mentor program involving older, established Latino leaders, as well as other interactive efforts, the Colorado Dems hope to bring Latinos ages eighteen to 25 off the political sidelines and into the game, he says.

"One of the things we need to hear from them is their take on issues that affect their community," Inzeo says. "We have a reasonable understanding of the perspective of more experienced Latino leaders, but the youth perspective we'd like to see fleshed out more."

He adds, "The youth vote was key to President Obama and the Democrats in 2008. And our Latino community, certainly in Colorado, has been a key constituency that the party has been trying to build a long relationship with.

"If young voters are going to be so critical to Democratic success and we want to build a real, meaningful relationship with the Latino community and something more durable than intense outreach right before Election Day, let's go to the folks we can have a multi-generation relationship with."

Youth interested in joining the Latino Youth Council can contact the Colorado Democratic Party at (303) 623-4762 or [email protected]. Applications are due September 12.

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Melanie Asmar is a staff writer for Westword. She joined the paper in 2009 and has won awards for her stories about education, immigration and epic legal battles. Got a tip? She'd love to hear it.
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