Democratic National Convention 2012 Notebook: Fighting for North Carolina's Hispanic Vote

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That Mitt Romney is having trouble attracting the Hispanic vote is no surprise, even to him.

During his stop in Charlotte last week, a chorus of young people protested the presumptive GOP nominee's promise to veto the Dream Act.

Will Romney's campaigning with sidekick Marco Rubio, a Florida Senator, and the slight softening of his hard-line stance be enough to sway Hispanic voters in swing states like North Carolina? Not if Hispanic Democratic organizations in the home of the 2012 Democratic convention have any say.

Katherine Archuleta, national political director for Obama for America, was special guest speaker for Yo Cuento - "I count" - a voter registration kick-off event at Coffey & Thompson/Gil Gallery on Thursday night. "We are going to take North Carolina," she said. She spoke about giving all children and families the same chance to succeed "no matter what language they speak in the home or how much money they make."

Placing Hispanic Americans in the long-revered quest to achieve the American dream was the theme of the evening. Olma Echeverri, state chair of Hispanic-American Democrats of N.C., talked about "fighting for a future" by volunteering and encouraging family and friends to vote. Her goal, she said, is "to re-elect President Barack Obama for four more years." She endorsed the president's "working to make health care more accessible for nine million uninsured Hispanic Americans," and his programs for students and seniors.

There was music, food and the serious message that Latino voters will be a deciding factor in the 2012 elections. Archuleta said she would return for the September convention in Charlotte, which she called "a beautiful and inspirational place to be." And you can bet that Democrats will be working until then and on to November to win the votes of a crucial constituency in the swing state of North Carolina.

In other convention news that might particularly interest fun-loving Creative Loafing readers, the Charlotte in 2012 convention host committee is seeking a qualified entertainment management company for the media welcome event on Sept. 1 at NC Music Factory. The manager will work with Charlotte in 2012 to get the entertainment and will be responsible for booking, communicating with, coordinating, and stage managing all acts for the event for the expected 15,000 media folk.

If you're interested in bidding, you must be registered and have a completed profile in the vendor directory. Proposals must be submitted to events@clt2012.com by 5 p.m. on May 7. Click here for more instructions.

Mary C. Curtis, an award-winning Charlotte, -based journalist, is a contributor to The Washington Post's "She the People" blog, The Root, NPR and the Nieman Watchdog blog. Her "Keeping It Positive" segment airs Wednesdays at 7:10 a.m. on Fox News Rising Charlotte, and she was national correspondent for Politics Daily. Follow her on Twitter

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