Four Democratic candidates for President spoke at a public forum in Milwaukee on July 11 at the Wisconsin Center, organized by the Hispanic Civil Rights organization, LULAC.

The LULAC event was joined by former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and former U.S. Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), for a bilingual evening on a national stage.

The League of United Latin American Citizens and Univision partnered to produce the nation’s first Campaign 2020 Presidential Town Hall for the Hispanic community, during the 90th Anniversary LULAC National Convention and Expo.

“Univision’s exclusive polling of Latino eligible voters attests that our community is listening closely to the candidates vying to occupy the White House in 2020. They are turning to Univision News properties to become informed voters,” says Lourdes Torres, Univision’s Senior Vice President for special projects. “Events such as these play a major role in reminding candidates that they also must talk to Latinos and we are excited to partner with LULAC in this task.”

Led by LULAC President Domingo Garcia and CEO Sindy Benavides, LULAC’s four-day convention was estimated to attract over 20,000 Latino leaders from across the country for seminars and events. Anchoring the Town Hall broadcast on-stage for Univision was the celebrated news anchor Enrique Acevedo. Alongside him for LULAC was David Cruz, also an award winning broadcast network journalist.

Each of the Presidential hopefuls gave a two minute introduction to the live audience in Milwaukee – broadcast nationwide, to pitch why they deserved the Latinx vote. That segment was followed by an interview with Acevedo, and a Q&A with members of the audience facilitated by Cruz. Departing the Town Hall stage after presenting closing remarks, the audience was asked how the candidates responded to their questions.

All images published here were taken by the Milwaukee Independent during the Presidential Town Hall. Univision provided a LiveStream of the broadcast, which has been edited into segments by candidate, and displayed with selected quotes from each speaker during the event.

  • Julián Castro,
    former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

We have these little children that are being separated from their parents, that are being kept in conditions where some of them don’t have soap, they don’t have toothbrushes, they’re crowded into pens. They’re going to be traumatized, many of them, for the rest of their lives.

From 1929 to about 2004, we actually used to treat someone crossing the border as a civil violation, not a criminal one. Post 9/11, it started being treated as a crime and then we started seeing a lot of the problems we are seeing today.

It makes no sense to make a policy based out of fear. I’m not going to make policy based out of fear. I’m going to make policy to stand up for people who need a voice right now.

The question is: are we going to continue to be a nation that expands opportunities? Or are we going to go backward and become a nation where opportunity is only afforded to those who look a certain way and who sound a certain way?

  • Elizabeth Warren
    U.S. Senator (D-MA)

Wow, he’s going to follow the law (in response to a question about Trump backtracking on efforts to add the citizenship question to the census)? This is not about trying to find out real information about citizenship and non-citizenship in America. This is just about trying to stir up more hate. To try to get some more people excited.

Donald Trump has one big message to the American people: If there’s something wrong in your life, if there’s something that’s not working, blame them. Blame people who don’t look like you. Blame people who don’t sound like you. Blame people who don’t pray like you. Blame people who weren’t born where you were born.

No great nation tears families apart. No great nation locks up children. We need to provide more aid around the world, particularly in central America. We should be a country that builds a future here, in America, and helps people do that around the world.

We have a chance in 2020, in a democracy, to take back the government and make sure it works for all of us. We can attack the corruption of a government in Washington that only works for those with money. We can attack it head on. And we can make this government work not just for those at the top, but for everyone.

  • Bernie Sanders
    U.S. Senator (I-VT)

There are very few candidates who have spent as many years working for the working men in the country. I don’t believe America is about three people owning more wealth than the bottom half of the country. I don’t believe America is about giving massive tax breaks to people who don’t believe it when we have 500,000 people sleeping on the streets today.

Trump is doing something unprecedented as a president. He is trying to divide this country based on the color of our skin, or our religion, or our sexual orientation. And the reason he is going to lose is because we are going to do the exact opposite. We are going to bring our people together.

It is hard to defend a system in which we have a president who lost the popular vote by 3 million votes, so the answer is yes (in response to a question about abolishing the Electoral College).

In America today we have 34 million people who have no health insurance. We have even more who are underinsured and that hits the Latino community particularly hard. Americans do not love their health insurance companies. Medicare for all will be achieved by millions of people standing up to insurance companies and drug companies.

Trade agreements have not been written with the needs of working people or poor people in mind. They have been written to protect the best interests and the profits of multi-national corporations who often write these agreements behind closed doors.

  • Beto O’Rourke
    former U.S. Congressman (D-TX)

As president I will lead the effort in re-writing our immigration laws in our own image, to reflect our values. The reality on the ground here in Milwaukee, in El Paso, Texas, across this country, is that the very presence of immigrants makes us stronger, makes us more successful, and makes us safer and more secure.

I want to make sure that we elevate the priority of this hemisphere in foreign policy. There has to be oversight, there has to be accountability, there has to be justice.

Lee Matz