I read your recent front page story, spotlighting the opening of the RNC’s very first Texas Hispanic Community Center right here in Laredo, our community of special interest to the Republicans because of their “….big victory with the mayor winning a county where Joe Biden won by 17%. Your story goes on to relate how this Hispanic Community Center will serve as the GOP’s base for telling their story, the one that proves that they are ‘….the party of freedom, prosperity, and opportunity, and the Democrats are the party of socialism and government control.”
The local Republican Party Chair then goes on to emphasize how this Center will serve as the base for their “ambassadors” of Republican “values and family values “that they share with our community, especially our Hispanic Community, values which include “…opportunity, right to life, freedom…” vs. what the Democratic Party has been doing for the “past eight months, i.e. “government control and socialism…” He reminisces about how “…..just six to seven months ago, we were a prosperous nation where everything was moving forward economically and less unemployment and no inflation….” He complains about now having to “put up with inflation,” of an “unheard of tax and unspoken tax that is given to the humble hard workers that we are here in South Texas.”
I realize that my response is lengthy BUT it is factual and true, and I would ask that since you were willing to give their inaugural event front page optimal coverage, you will grant me the courtesy of printing my full response, and here it is:
• From Washington D.C. to Austin, the Republican Party peddles threats of violence, conspiracy theories, racism, misogyny, and corruption. Texans are fed up. Trump has spent the past four years dividing our country and inciting violence. During his presidency, hate crimes increased and hate groups were emboldened. Trump and the Republicans’ failure to take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously also meant that Trump left office with the worst jobs record since 1933.
• Hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost their lives to COVID-19 because the Republican Party failed to take this pandemic seriously — or worse, decided to play politics with the CDC, WHO and issues of public safety.
• Their failure to respond to the virus has also decimated the U.S. economy, but Biden has made great progress to undo the harm of the past four years. In fact, President Biden has led the U.S. through some of the strongest quarters of economic growth, and he’s only a few months in.
• President Biden and Democrats in Congress passed the American Rescue Plan that sent direct relief — cash in pockets — to Americans across the country. The bill has also provided relief to millions of families and small businesses all across the nation during this stressful time.
• Every Republican in Congress voted AGAINST this bill, including both our Texas Senators Cruz and Cornyn. This is part of a pattern of Texas Republicans putting politics above Texans, and abandoning our communities when we are most in need.
• Republicans are O.K. with giving massive tax breaks for the rich while we in the middle and lower class pay more for the services we all need and use
• Through President Biden’s Infrastructure Bill, Democrats are passing legislation in Congress that would create millions of good-paying jobs – jobs you can raise a middle-class family on. Jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree. It’s a blue-collar blueprint for America.
• Biden’s Infrastructure Bill will rebuild roads and bridges and modernize America’s airports, rail, and public transit systems. It will deliver clean drinking water and high-speed internet to every household in the country. It will help us tackle the climate crisis by electrifying school buses, building electric vehicle chargers across the country, and upgrade our power infrastructure to be resilient against natural disasters.
• Like the interstate highway and transcontinental railroad, this legislation will create benefits in communities across the country for decades to come. It will strengthen our competitive edge against China, so that American workers, businesses, farmers and ranchers can compete and win. -2-
• Upon taking office, President Biden worked to immediately address the nation’s health and economic crisis by passing the American Rescue Plan. Since Inauguration Day, there has been historic job growth – the most in any president’s first six months.
• The average number of new unemployment insurance claims has been cut by more than half.
• Independent projections from the CBO, the IMF, the Federal Reserve, the World Bank, the OECD, and many others all forecast America this year reaching the highest levels of growth in nearly four decades.
• The economy has grown at a 6.4% annualized rate so far this year—far higher than forecasters had predicted at the end of last year.
• President Biden has stressed why we need the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and his Build Back Better plan to sustain that growth in the years to come.
• Americans from across the political spectrum know that the president’s economic recovery plans will create jobs, increase wages, spur growth, and bring down costs for working families.
• While experts believe – and the data show – that most of the price increases we are seeing are expected to be temporary, smart, sustainable investments, with appropriate financing, will increase productivity and output, and reduce costs.
• President Biden’s plans will tackle some of the most persistent economic challenges in America. Challenges like rebuilding America’s transportation infrastructure, revitalizing American manufacturing, and reducing the cost of child care and education.
• Smart, prudent investments like these will enable more Americans to enter the labor force, increase the supply of goods that consumers want to buy, improve the resiliency of our supply chains, and reduce the costs of producing and getting goods to market.
• Republicans continue to try and distract with incorrect border security information. They always go back to migrants when they want to distract from the massive amount of harm Republicans are doing to Texans. They’re using the oldest trick in the Republican play-book — scapegoating immigrants to distract from their colossal failures that have cost Texans their lives.
• Abbott has consistently failed to keep Texans safe –from leaving border communities to face the massive toll of the pandemic, to mismanagement of the winter storm, to prematurely lifting COVID restrictions.
• Abbott’s attempts to change the channel continue to do MORE damage to Texans. He has failed at his job and his efforts to distract people are leaving even more Texans to die.
• The situation on the border is the direct result of four years of Trump’s racist policies, which left a massive backlog of people desperately seeking asylum. Abbott prefers to scapegoat immigrants rather than actually do something to support border communities –he refused FEMA funding to vaccinate migrants and has left border residents to die of COVID-19.
Republicans Don’t Want Solutions on Immigration — They Want a Political Crisis
• A report revealed that Republicans saw the challenges coming at the border and plotted ways to use the issue to sabotage President Biden and politicize the lives of children to try to win elections.
• Republicans had 4 years to fix the immigration system and only made it worse. They separated children from their parents, ended DACA, gutted asylum, and attempted to pass legislation cutting legal immigration in half.
• The fact is that the largest increase in migration in decades began in the spring of 2020 — following Trump’s cruel and inhumane family separation policy, which clearly did not serve as a deterrent to migration.
• Republicans are not interested in solving the problem. Instead of working with Democrats on solutions, Republicans are using immigration as a political football to distract from the president’s popular economic relief package and high approval rating.
• The Biden administration is bringing order and humanity back to the immigration system.
• The administration restarted the Central American Minors (CAM) program that Trump terminated to provide a safe and orderly means for children to reunite with their parents in the United States.
• USAID leveraged more than $85 million to support vocational training, education, and employment opportunities for at-risk youth and increased food security and incomes for vulnerable communities.
• The administration continues to send messages to the region that people should not make the dangerous journey north and that we are establishing protection programs in the region.
• The American people support commonsense immigration measures.
• There is overwhelming support for a path to citizenship and responsibly managing the border.
• Just like the COVID package, Republicans are ignoring the will of the American people and their constituents and refusing to solve the problem.
• Americans support the president’s fair, orderly and humane approach.
• Republicans have nothing except cruelty, chaos. The president believes that we can have a well-managed border and also treat people fairly and humanely.
The President has laid out a clear vision that includes:
• Investing in Central America to stabilize economies, address violence, and strengthen governments and civil society;
• Establishing refugee processing in the region and creates other legal channels for people to migrate so they don’t have to make the dangerous journey north;
Strengthening other countries’ asylum systems
• More technology at the border and repairing crumbling infrastructure at ports of entry;
• Provides more asylum judges to deal with the backlog and efficiently and fairly process asylum claims.
• (Republicans are fighting us every inch of the way to make sure this doesn’t happen)
• Latinos in the United States and in Texas/Laredo are not a monolith. This is a diverse group of people with a long and rich history in our state. They are afforded their right to think and vote as individuals and not be lumped together as a group.
• That being said, we understand that the Democratic Party is a better representation of the values of Latinos because we share the same values of caring for one another, not leaving anyone behind, fighting against hate and racism, and making our society a more just and equitable place to live, work and raise a family.
• Democrats are increasing our Latino outreach across the state, but unlike Republicans, we aren’t new to this. We have been heavily invested in these communities for decades, but our outreach will continue to grow.
Protecting the Right to Vote for All Americans
• The right to vote is the foundation of democracy. And free and fair elections that reflect the will of the American people must be protected and defended.
• But as many Americans, especially people of color, face significant obstacles to the right to vote, we must meet the greatest threat to our democracy since the Civil War. Denying the right to vote is grounded in autocracy, and it is undemocratic, un-American, and unpatriotic.
Child Tax Credit: Thanks to President Biden’s efforts and the successful passage of the American Rescue Plan, tens of millions of American families covering nearly 60 million children began saw their much-needed monthly Child Tax Credit payments hit their bank accounts. The Child Tax Credit puts hundreds of dollars a month in the pockets of American families. Americans struggling to meet basic needs and cover basic expenses can rest calmly knowing they’ll be able to pay the bills and buy groceries at the end of the month.
If these accomplishments, realized in less than twelve months, in the midst of one of the most horrific health disasters in our lifetime, a pandemic that Biden inherited and which he also quickly moved to address, is socialism, is government control, then sign me up for it. I’ll take it any day to false rhetoric that proclaims to be for the people but lets them freeze to death, ignores a local NGO besieged by thousands of migrants sent to them by border officials, and is either silent or obstructive when our children are forced to go into classrooms unprotected from either a vicious virus or, as we’ve seen too often, a crazed gunman.
And in closing, let me share with your readers what our Webb County Democratic Party has been doing for months, immediately after last year’s primary elections and continuing to this day. We are Democrats, every single one of us a volunteer, funded by our own local efforts, not a penny coming from corporate or national party venues. We have been engaging voters, block walking, registering voters, hosting and participating in wholesome community events, helping volunteers become VDRs.
Our Webb Community has come to expect us to be present, and we have built strong coalitions with local, regional and state organizations because we know and understand that it is grassroots representation that is the most legitimate.
I urge anyone with progressive Democratic values to come to our Headquarters, at 101 W Village Blvd from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p. m. Monday to Friday. We are always happy to accept new volunteers!
Sylvia Bruni, County Chair-Webb County Democratic Party