MILWAUKEE (SPECTRUM NEWS) — Thousands of people are expected to come to Milwaukee for for the League of United Latin American Citizens National Conference.
Organizers expect people to come from every corner of the U.S. and are planning on between 15,000 to 20,000 in attendance.
League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, president Domingo Garcia said they chose Milwaukee because Wisconsin is a swing state in the 2020 election cycle.
“It's an area for growing latino population, and a growing diversity there in the Milwaukee area so we thought it was just time to come there,” Garcia said.
Garcia said he hopes the conference will build momentum on getting latino people motivated to get politically active.
“We start activating our civic engagement, one of the goals we have as LULAC, even though we're nonpartisan, is to make sure people register to vote, get out and vote and make sure people make a difference in their neighborhoods and communities,” Garcia said.
That's something Christine Neumann-Ortiz and Milwaukee-based Voices de la Frontera strive to do all year.
Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of the civil rights organization focused on immigrants rights says the LULAC conference will help with that goal.
“Having a large conference of this size with an estimated 20,000 people participating through the course of those days creates an opportunity to engage people on some things that they immediately need such as opportunities for jobs, interest in activities in sports, or healthcare access to basic healthcare needs,” Nuemann-Ortiz said.
The conference will feature a town hall with democratic presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders, Julian Castro, Beto O'Rourke and Elizabeth Warren.
“It really highlights the importance Wisconsin, Milwaukee in particular, and the fact that latinos are a significant presence in Wisconsin and contribute in many ways economically, politically, socially, to the fabric of this state,” Nuemann-Ortiz said.
While energizing voters and the community is one goal, The conference will also address national topics impacting immigrants and latin people.
Like the migrant camps at the southern border and the citizenship question on the 2020 census.
“That struggle for civil rights to make sure that everybody has an equal shot at the American Dream, that the playing field of American politics and economics is leveled for everybody that's our goal and that's what we want to come out of our convention,” Garcia said.
The conference is also focusing on youth education and engagement. They are encouraging high school and college students from around the country to come, even bringing bus loads of high school students and making college visits along the way.
This is the 80th year the conference has been held. The conference runs from Tuesday, July 8 through Saturday, July 13 at the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee. Anybody can come and for more information you can look online here.
Charter Communications, the parent company of Spectrum News 1, is sponsoring the "Wisconsin Celebration" day of the LULAC Conference on Wednesday, July 10. Anchor Jason Fechner will emcee the event that features Governor Tony Evers and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. We will have coverage from the celebration on Spectrum News 1.