El Paso Lawmaker Denied Admittance To Hispanic Caucus Because He’s White
Congressman Beto O'Rourke is not being allowed to be a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus because he is not Hispanic. The CHC's mission is to "voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States". But I guess they don't care about "advancing" the 80% of El Paso Hispanics because we voted in the white guy to represent us. Big ups to you, CHC!
A CHC spokesman said they were just following the bylines of their group - as is their right - and said he wasn't aware of anyone ever asking that the rules be changed, or if those rule could or would be changed until their members were consulted.
There are a number of other Hispanic caucuses such as the Mexican American Legislative Caucus that will allow non-Hispanic members if they represent a district that is more than 50% Hispanic.
So my question is, what would happen if a Hispanic lawmaker was denied admittance to a legislative Caucus based only on his ethnicity? Do you think that would fly? Do you think a non-Hispanic lawmaker can represent a largely Hispanic region?
I wonder if our local Hispanic lawmakers, former lawmakers, and community activists are going to make a phone call to the CHC and ask that O'Rourke be admitted to their group. He is, after all, our duly elected representative, and we are an overwhelmingly Hispanic population.
I'm looking at you El Paso City Council, El Paso County Commissioners, former Congressman Silvestre Reyes, former State Rep. Norma Chavez, community activist Jaime O. Perez! You guys should be making phone calls in support of O'Rourke and asking the CHC why they are so blatantly discriminatory against one of our lawmakers. I thought we were all "created equal" under the Constitution - or is that just when Hispanics are feeling discriminated against?
Call or facebook our reps and former reps so our elected officials - no matter what their ethnicity - can have a seat at the table where decisions about our region are being made! Want to contact Congressman O’Rourke? Tweet him @RepBetoORourke.