"A Day Without An Immigrant" was a success pure and simple. A million folks across the nation participated. Daily Commentary and The Young Political Consultant went to the one at Houston's Memorial Park. One of My Best Friends addressed the thousands of beautiful people there - "today we march, tomorrow we vote" - she was great.
Businesses closed. Construction sites were near empty and resembled ghost towns.
Think about it. Most of these folks took the day off of work to attend. They sacrificed a day of wages to show support for an issue that has energized millions. Now that is commitment. As I surveyed the sea of "gente" yesterday, I fantasized about the political and electoral potential.
The GOP has blown it. They banged on a community and the community banged back. The GOP has kissed off a growing political force. Yesterday, at a North Carolina college campus, the College Republicans held a rally where they sold bricks that symbolized building a border wall - fuel to the fire? Of course, the Dems haven't done anything to harness this political energy. Yesterday I saw one of the unions out front. I also saw a national grass roots group. The Dems should have had an army of Latino organizers at the event planning meetings. They should have been out there handing out signs, T-shirts and caps.
ABC news said last night that yesterday's rallies had the "look of a powerful political movement." They're right. GOP operatives are trying to figure how they can win in locales with growing Latino communities. For now, they can take comfort in the fact that Dems don't appear to be capitalizing and/or organizing.
Memorial Drive is a major artery into downtown that runs right through Memorial Park. Those that take Memorial Drive home are usually of the affluent persuasion. Yesterday they got an eyeful of "la gente" in action.
May 2, 2006, 9:00AM