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Texas Democratic Party Launches New Online Latino Initiative, ¡Pa'delante Tejas!

by: Omar Araiza

Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 04:15 PM CDT

La Valiente, a loteria depiction of Wendy Davis by ¡Pa'delante Tejas!
The Texas Democratic Party launched today a new online initiative aimed at increasing Democratic outreach to Hispanics, ¡Pa'delante Tejas!

The ¡Pa'delante Tejas! (roughly translates to Onward Texas) initiative expands the conversation about Texas values through a bilingual English and Spanish content. The initiative aims to engage with Hispanic leaders, the grassroots, and cultural creators to provide regular political and cultural updates and collaboration opportunities.

Statement from Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa:

"We aren't sitting idly by as Republicans say one thing during the campaign season and vote another way. Our Democratic Party values are synonymous with The Hispanic community. From our work to supporting public education and health care access, to our work for comprehensive immigration reform and the Dream Act, Texas Democrats proudly votes for policies that share our values. ¡Pa'delante Tejas! is a part of our continuing work to speak to all Texans about our shared values. Tejanos understand the power we have in our voices, and now we're organizing to increase that power through our votes."

¡Pa'delante Tejas!'s Facebook, Twitter and blog site can be found through the following links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/padelantetejas
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PadelanteTejas
Blog: http://www.txdemocrats.org/espanol/blog

Read more about how Democrats are engaging the Latino community below the jump.

Countering the Republican National Committee's Texas Hispanic Engagement Team, a Republican effort to build a "permanent presence in the Hispanic community" and "grassroots infrastructure," the Democratic National Committee (DNC) launched Spanish-language online ads and robocalls targeting Republicans on the government shutdown earlier this month.

The Spanish-language calls and Twitter, Facebook and Google ads targeted Latino voters in Florida, Nevada, Arizona, and Texas, states with large Hispanic populations.

Calls in Texas spoke about Ted Cruz's leadership role in bringing about the government shutdown.

Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa believes Republicans just don't understand Latino voters.

"DC Republicans can pour money into Texas, but they can't buy the Hispanic vote out here," Hinojosa said in a statement, adding: "We see where the Tea Party has led Republicans in our state - and how they spend their primaries fighting over who can be the most anti-immigrant. The problem with the Republican Party and Hispanics is a policy problem, something no marketing campaign can fix."

TDP spokeswoman Tanene Allison says she's gotten requests to use Wendy Davis' La Valiente image in many different ways, but the party will just be using it to capture the grassroots outreach.

Ada Ortega, TDP's Latino media coordinator, believes Davis' personal story resonates strongly with Latino voters.

"She represents that strong figure of a woman, and was a single mother as well," Ortega said. "She did everything she could to provide for children, and that story - I have a lot of friends and people I know who can identify with that."

The Battleground Texas team launched their own Latino fellowship program earlier this summer, aiming to ensure that the next generation of Latino leaders have the skills and knowledge they need to succeed and play prominent leadership roles in the future of the Democratic Party.

As more and more Latinos continue to gravitate away from the Republican Party, some elected officials even choosing to abandon the party, Democrats are launching their biggest efforts yet to engage the community. Numbers large enough to turn Texas into a strongly Democratic state.

The race to blue has begun.

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