This past weekend California Republicans gathered in Los Angeles for their Fall convention. Among the chatter of who would run for Senate and which candidate would capture the Presidential GOP nomination, many activists were focused on how to grow the Party. The convention’s agenda included a forum focusing on Asian-Americans and a Latino town-hall.

My view at the CA GOP Latino Town-hall tweeted from @BettinaInclan

Saturday’s Latino town-hall was a first for the California GOP, who under the new direction of chairman Tom Del Bacarro, has undertaken a statewide effort to remake the image of the Republican Party through local town-halls and an aggressive media strategy. The town-hall conversation was moderated by popular Spanish-language media host Santiago Lucero of Univision’s Voz y Voto. It featured a variety of panelists including grassroots activist Luis Alvarado of Los Angeles and City of Downey councilman Mario Guerra. (pictured below)

A main theme throughout the event was the need to have a consistent message and a long-term relationship between Latinos and the Republican Party. Emphasis was made that Latinos are not a monolithic voting bloc and they are not single issue voters. Various panelists and attendees discussed the need to discuss the tone of the immigration debate, and the need to expand the conversation on issues like the economy and education.

It’s no secret the California Republican Party has had a complicated relationship with the state’s Latino voters. In the past, the Party has not adapted to the growing Latino community, which represents almost a quarter of the electorate. Those numbers will only continue to grow, as more than half of California children are Latino, according to the latest U.S. census.

As the Hispanic population has risen, the GOP registration has declined. Republicans now account for 31 % of registered voters, compared to 44 % for Democrats and about 20 % for independents. The reality of the problem facing California Republicans in connecting with Latinos is in the numbers, as SF Chroncile’s Joe Garofoli correctly points out “Key fact: No Republican Latinos hold statewide office or serve in the Legislature. El bupkis.”

Many in the California GOP are working hard to improve the relationship with the Latino community and establishing streams of communication for a long-term inclusion effort. Other activists are taking matters in their own hands, establishing independent organizations to create a farm team of Latino leaders to run for elected office. Read more about the town-hall event here:


One of the great things about living in Northern California is the proximity to the beautiful vineyards. While my political leanings might make me stand out among my left-leaning neighbors, we all agree on one thing: the economy stinks. On a recent trip I saw this poster and I fell in love:

Recently my boyfriend and I went on a camping trip to Yosemite National Park. I wanted to share some of the 300+ pictures from the trip (posted 6 photos below).   Most of these photos were taken with my iPhone and used Instagram filters for some extra definition. Follow me on Instagram at BettinaInclan or view more here.

Below are some two photos of us as we climb up Vernal Falls on the Mist Trail.


This image below is of us at Yosemite, composed of a collection of photos I have on my iphone. I use the iphone app – PhotoMosaica to get the effect. Very cool.

(Photo after the jump)

The San Francisco Chronicle takes a hard look at Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa, his record and legacy in LA Mayor Antonio Villarogoso takes on big issues.”

Antonio Ramón Villaraigosa, born Antonio Ramón Villar, Jr., became a Latino superstar, when first elected as Mayor of Los Angeles in 2005. He is the third Mexican American to have ever held the office in Los Angeles, and the first in over 130 years. Many throughout the Latino community had high hopes for the new Mayor Villaraigosa. Yet, his career is plagued with public scandals and disappointments.

I spoke to Carla Marinucci, San Francisco Chronicle Political Writer, for the article on the Mayor and the views by some Latinos

“But GOP strategist Bettina Inclan, an expert in Latino politics, argues that the mayor is also “a walking negative stereotype,” citing Villaraigosa’s past personal problems as evidence of a lack of judgment.

“In all his years in office, Mayor Villaraigosa is better known for his personal scandals and ethics violations than for improving Los Angeles or creating jobs,” she said. “Latino voters want someone they can look up to, and Mayor Villaraigosa has routinely come up short.” … READ MORE

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa topped a list of all-time worst Angelenos chosen by online voters on a Los Angeles Times poll.

The Washington Examiner reports on a new survey stating young Latinos, ages 18 – 29, favor a more fiscally conservative message, which includes reduced government spending and decreased regulation of business.

Thanks to Google + and friend Samuel Rosado I saw this new data on young Latinos political leanings and it started an interesting conversation on the lack of GOP efforts, as well as failures by the Democrats. The reality is the GOP should be inspired by this information and finally implement a real program to engage Hispanics. A program that includes connecting with Latinos on a cultural level, engaging directly with the community, promoting GOP talent and recruit strong Hispanic candidates /surrogates.

Read more from the Washington Examiner: “New survey finds young Hispanics open to conservative values”

“The survey, which has a four percent margin of error (plus or minus), interviewed 600 people was conducted April 16-22 by Kellyanne Conway’s the polling company inc./Women Trend survey firm for Generation Opportunity, a recently launched conservative activist group that aims to educate and mobilize young Americans about the economic challenges facing their generation.

Among the results were these:

• By nearly a 3:1 ratio, Hispanic young adults prefer “reducing federal spending” (69%) to “raising taxes on individuals” (27%) in order to balance the federal budget.

• 70% of Hispanic young adults would decrease federal spending if given the chance to set America’s fiscal priorities.

• A 57%-majority of Hispanics agree that “if taxes on business profits were reduced, companies would be more likely to hire.”

• In a separate question, a 56%-majority concurred “the economy grows best when individuals are allowed to create businesses without government interference.”

The survey results are more proof that young Latinos, much like the rest of the Hispanic population, are respective to the Republican message, especially when it includes individual rights, free markets and limited government. 

Next week, I embark on my third cross-country road trip. My father will once again join me as my fellow road warrior. This time we depart from Miami, Florida with the final destination of Northern California. I will be tweeting (and hopefully blogging the 7 day trip) with Papa Inclan.

We are tentatively scheduled to make stops in New Orleans, Houston, Hidalgo, San Antonio, El Paso, Tombstone, Phoenix, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Las Vegas…. What do you think? I would love some suggestions for places to visit in these cities and places along the day…

Papa Inclan during road trip #1 at the Badlands in South Dakota

Papa Inclan is very excited about the trip. In February he retired as a school bus driver and now spends time working in his workshop. He misses driving, and like any father is excited about spending time with his kids. While Papa Inclan has toured every corner of his homeland of Mexico, before our first road trips in 2009 he had only been to Florida (where he resides) and Michigan in the 30 years he has lived in the U.S.

I want to make it a great trip for Papa Inclan. A few things to know about him, he loves Westerns and anything from the Old West. His greatest love (besides his family) is baseball, baseball and baseball. He is the strong and silent type and doesn’t leave home without a large camera (picture of Papa Inclan posted above).

Here are some more pictures from our road trip in 2009: click on the link for more photos….

The Hispanic population in the U.S. accounted for more than half of the total population growth in the country outpacing other demographic groups, according to a new report by the U.S. Census Bureau – Hispanic Population: 2010.

Among the many findings, include that the Hispanic population grew by 43 percent, or at a rate of four times faster than the rest of the U.S.

The Hispanic population, accounting for over 15.2 million,  has continued to remain concentrated in the same three states: California with 27.8 percent, Texas with 18.7 percent and Florida with 8.4 percent. Yet, Hispanics are branching out with the most increase in population being seen in the South and Midwest. In the South, the Hispanic population grew by 57 percent, and the Midwest saw a jump by 49 percent.

While the largest Latino group continue to be Mexican and Mexican-Americans,  many of today’s Hispanic immigrants come from a variety of countries including over 1 million individuals from Salvadorans, Dominicans and Guatemalans.

Read the full report here: