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Wildfires burn through Colorado causing thousands to evacuate, and protests in Turkey are in 13th day. Tune in at 7am ET.
September 5th, 2012
11:26 AM ET

Actor John Leguizamo on importance of arts funding, Latino issues and why it 'doesn't make sense' for Latinos to be Republican

Emmy Award-winning actor John Leguizamo is in Charlotte this week for the Democratic National Convention to promote the Creative Coalition, a non-profit organization advocating for public funding for the arts as an economic development resource.

“It’s always the first to go and the arts are actually what keeps us cutting edge against China and India,” Leguizamo tells Soledad O’Brien. “It’s been proven that for every dollar spent, you get seven dollars back that’s taxable from the arts. The iPod was created for what? For music.”

The Colombian American actor also weighs in on the DNC’s first Latino keynote speaker, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, and on the Republican attempt to court Hispanic Americans.    

“[Julian Castro’s] going to be our president,” Leguizamo says. “That’s how you felt last night being a Latin man, just, wow, we’ve come a long way and we’re going to have our Obama, a Latin Obama.”  

“Latin people for Republicans are like roaches for raid,” he adds. “It doesn’t make sense. [Republicans are] not for us. You’re not for my values. We’re working class people mostly and blue collar. We’re your cops, we’re your firemen, we’re your carpenters and the things we need – we need to protect our unions, we need to protect our Medicare, we need to protect the working class person.”

June 21st, 2012
01:55 PM ET

NALEO president Sylvia Garcia says immigration, jobs, education top agenda at national conference

It is one of the most anticipated Supreme Court decisions that could shake up the 2012 presidential race. The high court is expected to rule soon on Arizona's immigration enforcement law. The core issue: Do states have the power to enact their own immigration policies?

Sylvia Garcia, president of NALEO, weighs in on the anticipated Supreme Court ruling and what she hopes to hear from Mitt Romney and President Obama on national immigration issues.


Filed under: 2012 Race • Economy • Education • Latino issues