- (March 2007 ) Espinosa Meets Presidential Candidates
On March 27-29, 2007, Gaston Espinosa was part of a select national delegation of civil rights leaders, scholars, and clergy that traveled to Washington, D.C. to discuss comprehensive immigration reform. He personally spoke with senior liaisons working directly with Senator Harry Reid (D) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D) and had meetings and direct discussions on Capitol Hill with presidential candidates Senator John McCain (R), Senator Sam Brownback (R), and Senator Barak Obama (D), who had to postpone his meeting due to a last minute scheduling conflict. He also met with Congressman Henry Cuellar (D). He asked a number of questions to the presidential candidates, and they have since contacted him about data on national trends and his advice about how to conduct outreach to Latinos and various religious constituencies.
During his visit, Espinosa gave two keynote presentations on “Trends in U.S. Latino Religions and Society” and “Latino Religions, Politics, and the Presidency” to fifty civil rights leaders and opinion makers. He provided an historical and a statistical overview of the issues surrounding immigration reform and discussed the growing political power and voting trends of the U.S. Latino community by religious affiliation over the past three presidential races in 1996, 2000, and 2004. Espinosa also participated in an historic joint Latino-African American civil rights coalition.