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Presidential Election 2016: Bernie Sanders Adds Arturo Carmona for Campaign's Latino Outreach

First Posted: Oct 05, 2015 12:56 PM EDT
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Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign has finally added a name for its Latino outreach with Presente.org executive director Arturo Carmona.

A statement from Presente.org, an online Latino organizing group based in Los Angeles, announced Carmona was tapped to join Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign. According to Politico, Carmona will be the Southwest political director for Sanders.

"I am going to work hard to build a strong team that can connect Bernie's campaign with Latino families. As the son of an immigrant, his story resembles that of millions of Latinos in the U.S.," said Carmona in a statement.

With Carmona helping Sanders, Presente.org announced its new leadership. For the interim, Favianna Rodriguez and Oscar Chacon have been named co-directors and work closely with the group's new managing editor, Matt Nelson.

"We are in the midst of a pivotal moment for Latinos nationwide, given the unprecedented hate speech and rampant discrimination mounting as we move towards 2016. Our new leadership will be essential to building political power and influence, and Presente.org plans to continue and expand efforts to hold all Democrats and Republicans accountable for their discriminatory policies and speech," read an open letter from Presente.org's board of directors, noting Chacon and Rodriguez have two decades worth of experience working to advance Latinos' rights.

The Sanders campaign has been working on boosting its efforts against racial inequality. With Carmona's inclusion, Presente.org acknowledged racial inequality is among the top issues facing Latinos, as well as African Americans.

"We are arrested at higher rates for crimes we commit at far lower rates than white Americans. Latinos are the fastest growing incarcerated population as a result of the Obama administration's' brutal immigration detention policies," read a statement from Presente's board of directors, later adding, "Racial inequality is rampant. Latinos are disproportionately affected by climate change. We face sky-high cancer and asthma rates from toxic fossil fuel facilities in our communities, along with extreme flooding and droughts caused by the same fossil fuels and climate change."

Based on polling data comprising of 250 Latinos, a majority of respondents are unfamiliar with the independent Vermont senator. For Sanders, 35 percent of Latinos said they don't know or are "not sure" of him, 23 percent have a "neutral" feel towards him. On the bright side, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton has a more negative view than Sanders, but more Latinos do recognize the former secretary of state than Sanders.

The poll, conducted by Hart Research Associates and Public Opinion Strategies for NBC News, Telemundo and Wall Street Journal, did see Sanders easily defeat current Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump with 71 percent to 17 percent.

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For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Politics Editor Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: m.oleaga@latinpost.com.

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