By Mark Weyermuller -
"Building Strong Latino Leadership" was the convention theme this past weekend at the Hotel Lincoln in Chicago. It was the site of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly Illinois State Convention 2015. The state chairman is Deb Gordils, who also coordinated the event with the help of many volunteers.
The convention consisted of speakers, seminars, networking, films, and some wonderful meals. Aaron Del Mar, the Cook County Republican Chairman, was the featured speaker at the breakfast. Later in the morning Congressmen Bob Dold, State Senator Jim Oberweis, and United States Senator Ted Cruz all appeared by video.
The Mexican Consulate was present to read the Benito Juarez letters. Other attendees included Darnell Macklin, vice chair of the Cook County Republicans and one of my favorite Republican boosters, Joe Chavez Ptak. Tom Donelson from Americas PAC spoke along with Lake County Republicans Frank Martinez and Quinton Sepulveda.
For lunch, the group headed across the street to the Chicago History museum. Former congressman and current WIND 560-AM radio host Joe Walsh spoke at this event. After lunch, attendees toured the museum. We were surprised one of the main displays had been moved to a Springfield museum, the "Lincoln Deathbed." Small business owner Lori Diversey stopped by for lunch. She is famous for her "Cavechick Cookies" now featured at Whole Foods in Chicago.
Seminars included fighting election fraud presented by Sharon Meroni and Illinois State Representative Tom Morrison spoke on "The American Dream." The afternoon also included a private screening of "The 40 Film" with a question and answer period by director and producer John Morales. The movie is described as a wake up call for Americans that investigates the aftermath of legalized abortion over the last 40 years. Find out more on this link: wwwthe40film.com.
Veterans were well represent including Francisco Vega and Rich Martinez, at 93 and 89 years old respectively. Rich's grandson, Richard Martinez was also present and happens to be running for alderman of the 10th ward. Aldermanic candidate for the 44th Ward Scott Davis also spoke. Scott is well known for his opposition to the red light camera program in Chicago.
According to Deb Gordils, her job is to win Latino support for the Republican Party in Illinois. She plans to reorganize the group into seven RNHA districts and prepare for elections in 2016. Newly elected officers include Gloria Cudi, Elida Cruz, John Guevara, and Deb Gordils will remain as state chairman. Deb acknowledges that there are multiple Republican Hispanic groups in Illinois which may cause some confusion. She hopes to rally everybody to work together.
The event concluded with an Italian Buffet dinner at Ranali's just around the corner of the Hotel Lincoln. More information on the group can be found at this link : ILRNHA.ORG . or on Facebook under "Hispanic Republicans Illinois."