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Clinton Campaign Stops in Denver

CAFECITO WITH CHELSEA CLINTON AND AMERICA FERRERA

What began 25 years ago as a social gathering for Latina women in Denver to support one another in professional and social endeavours is now a nationally recognized cafecito bringing in some of the most influential women from the national community, including cultural icons Chelsea Clinton and America Ferrera.

On behalf of former-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, her daughter Chelsea Clinton is touring the US with her long-time friend, actress America Ferrera. The two spoke at the Feb. 19 cafecito held at mmm…coffee! in the Santa Fe Arts District in front of a large crowd of invited guests, including several CU Denver students.

Ferrara, before introducing Clinton to the crowd, spoke directly to issues facing the Latino voting community. Ferrara mentioned that the Latinas are not a “one-issue community,” and that the scope of Latino voter interest extends far beyond immigration issues. In turn, Clinton expanded more on her mother’s goals and policies.

The Democratic primary debates have focused heavily on education, which is of importance to college students across the nation. Democratic primary contender Senator Bernie Sanders has promised students free college education. Both Clinton and Ferrara touched on Sanders’ campaign.

“Senator Sanders has said that he wants everyone to be able to go to college tuitionfree and he will pay for that by expecting states to come up with a majority of the funding,” Clinton said. “[My mom] says that anyone coming from a family making $250,000 or less, from a middle class or working class family, their student should be able to go to public colleges and universities tuition-free. Families making more than that should pay into the system to finance the education of students from middle class and working class families.”

“It’s also just a different view of equity. She believes that families that have done well in our country should help expand the circle of opportunities for families that haven’t done well yet. She jokes, but I think it helps illuminate the point: She doesn’t think the government should have responsibility of paying for Donald Trump’s youngest son to go to school.”

Ferrara joined the Sanders conversation, and offered her perspective on his campaign. “Bernie, as he and his followers often say, wants to lead this country to a revolution,” Ferrara said. “Instead, Hillary is, and has been, leading us to an evolution.”

Clinton also emphasized Hillary’s support for what has been accomplished under the Obama administration, including health care plan which Hillary unsuccessfully attempted to champion a version of in the 1990s.

“I hope, as more young people continue to engage in issues in this election, they really look at who has a better record of being a change-maker and delivering change,” Clinton said. “They’ll at least come to understand why I’m such a passionate supporter of my mom’s.”

Kimberly Villegas, a Business Management major at CU Denver, enjoyed the presentation, although she still remains undecided on which candidate is deserving of her vote. “There are many issues that need to be tackled,” Vargas said. “There’s a lot of responsibility behind making voting decisions. Voting often feels like the only voice we have in the bigger picture, in how our country is ran.”

The cafecitos, which were started by founding member and organizer Rosemary Rodriguez and friends, have had a huge impact on CU Denver students.

“It’s so fascinating to see 25 years later where they’ve ended up, as some of the biggest movers-and-shakers in Denver,” said Alexis Harrigan, CU Denver Masters in Public Administration student and manager of city affairs for Denver Public Schools. “As a Latina woman myself, it’s really inspiring to see where they’ve made it, and frankly the path that they’ve paved for us has a lot less obstacles than they had.”

The Clinton cafecito sparked urgency for many in attendance. “It’s very important for college students to vote,” Vargas said. “We get so caught up in so many things in our daily lives, that taking the time to vote and find our voice in the world is critical.”

—Madi Bates and Savannah Nelson

Above: Chelsea Clinton and America Ferrera discussed the upcoming election

photo courtesy denverpost.com

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