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USC Alum Returns From DNC To Lead ‘ Calif. Latinos For Obama’

Eric Burse |
September 10, 2012 | 10:07 a.m. PDT


 Eric Burse/Neon Tommy)
Eric Burse/Neon Tommy)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After attending the Democratic National Convention, Bertrand R. Perdomo-Uclés knows how critical the Latino vote will be in the presidential election this fall.

Perdomo-Uclés, a 2011 graduate of USC with a major in public policy, management and planning, attended the DNC as a California delegate, but now returns as the leader for the "California Latinos for Obama" program.

The U.S. Hispanic population grew by 43 percent from 2000 to 2010, accounting for more than half the entire nation’s population increase in that decade.

This year the DNC drew a record number of Latino delegates (about 800, more than any such event for either party) and there is an active effort to get more involved. Battleground states like Florida, Ohio and North Carolina have significant Latino populations that could play an important role in a close election.

“The party platform issues delegates get to vote on, such as the economy, education, healthcare, housing and immigration, are critical for our nation’s and my own community’s health,” Perdomo-Uclés said.

At his new post with California Latinos for Obama, Perdomo-Uclés will be the lead for all events and mobilization efforts targeting Latinos in the state. Securing bilingual volunteers will also be a key task for Perdomo-Uclés.

“I was able to meet delegates and guests from California that all want to be leaders in their communities for our program,” said Perdomo-Uclés. “All the way from Sacramento to San Jose to the Central Valley.”

Perdomo-Uclés knows a lot about organizing and raising money. He organized his own campaign last spring to be a California delegate for the national convention. He also has worked in several political offices and on several community campaigns in South Los Angeles.

He raised $1,700 in less than three months to attend this year’s convention. Perdomo-Uclés turned to GoFundMe.com and enlisted help from a cinema school friend to film a video for the campaign. He invited his professors, neighbors, fraternity brothers in Delta Omicron Zeta and colleagues to support him by donating.

“Proud of you Hermano! ¡Sigue luchando por nosotros!” reads a message donor Charlie Arreola wrote on Perdomo-Uclés’ GoFundMe.com page with a donation of $100.

“I’ve known Bertrand for years and he has continued to be such a great support for me,” wrote Karla Barajas, who donated $5. “I know he will represent us well. Fight On Bertrand!”

“Your'e making all of your friends and family proud bro,” wrote Christain Rodriguez, who donated $30 online. “Represent the great state of California. I love you like a brother man, and proud to have you as a mentor.”

Similar messages and donation amounts lined Perdomo-Uclés’ page. By Aug. 20, he had raised $1,660 from 49 donations, just $40 shy of his goal.

Now that Perdomo-Uclés has experienced the convention, he says he better equipped to lead the Latino campaign efforts in California.

“I also was able to see specifically what areas we need to concentrate on in our state,” Perdomo-Uclés said. “Latinos mobilize differently than other demographics. Mobilization is the biggest thing, we have to get people registered and to the polls this November.”

Reach Contributor Eric Burse here.



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