By Lisa Esquivel Long
FORT WAYNE — A trio of siblings is working to increase Latino representation in Allen County politics.
Pablo and Iseah Hurtado and their sister Cassey Suthers on Dec. 29 held the first fundraiser for Latino Democrats of Allen County, a group they formed in April.
Gorditas, Empanadas, Tamales, OH MY!, held at Allen County Democratic Party headquarters, 7301 Decatur Road, will provide funds for some of the group’s efforts this year, said Pablo Hurtado, president of the group.
Suthers said they want young people to have Latino role models so they can see themselves in those roles. They want to spotlight Latinos in the community including teachers and business owners. Also, they are reaching out to new citizens.
“They get their paperwork and don’t hear how to vote,” said Suthers, the group’s vice president. “They’re citizens now and want to do their part.”
Pablo Hurtado said, “There’s a lot of Latinos in Fort Wayne. We want to let people know we’re a massive presence.”
According to census estimates, as of July 2018, Fort Wayne’s Hispanic/Latino population was 8.7 percent of the total 253,691 listed in the 2010 census.
The group canvassed for candidates running in the November election and held rallies and meet-and-greets with candidates.
“Our goal for 2019 is to put on community events,” Pablo Hurtado said, including having speakers on topics that members can suggest.
“Now that the midterms are over,” he said, “we have a lot to do. We can get more people engaged.”
They sold out of the 100-plus tamales within 1½ hours of the 4-hour fundraiser, which they publicized through the group’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LatinoDemsAc and website, //latinodemsac.wordpress.com. They plan to have another soon, Pablo Hurtado said.
Membership in the group is $20 per person a year.