No one can remember the last time so many Republican leaders penetrated as deeply into the heart of this particular Democrat strong-hold in the Village of Haverstraw, in Rockland County. This was the first time that a concerted effort was made to re-introduce the voters in the Village of Haverstraw to the Republican message.
In a capacity filled room at the Kings Daughter Library in the Village of Haverstraw overlooking the Hudson River on a sunny Saturday, Republican leaders from several New York Counties attended a campaign work-shop conducted by the Leadership Institute of Washington, DC and Red Pillar Consulting, LLC, of New York.
Manny Rosales, National Chairman, Latino National Republican Coalition, headquartered in Washington, DC sponsored the workshop on behalf of the New York State chapters, which included Orange, Putnam, Nassau, Orange, and Rockland Counties.
The workshop instructed local candidates and their campaign staff personnel on the fundamentals of running a political campaign. The material included crafting the message, communicating with voters, structuring a campaign staff, forming and executing a plan.
Manny Rosales emphasized that the best way to connect with voters and manage volunteers is to personalize the message and value volunteers. Chairman Rosales is the former Director of Coalitions for the Republican National Committee in Washington, DC. He said in response to a question as to why does the Republican Party seem to discard their experienced campaigners and former candidates: “We should value our alumni and learn from their experiences.”
Rockland County Republicans in attendance included Clarkstown GOP Chairman, Ralph Sabatini, Clarkstown Highway Supervisor candidate, Frank DiZenzo and Denise Weiss, nominee for Clarkstown Justice. Typical of the exercises conducted was the challenge to candidates to explain their platform to the audience in thirty seconds. Sabatini commented on the impressive amount of material covered in a short period of time while Denise Weiss said: “It was extremely informative and helpful.”
Real Estate professional and political independent Richard Sena told the assembly he was taking away from the training the need for more organizations like LNRC in Rockland County; “The Democrats are losing people like me, but the Republican establishment isn’t winning us over either.”
J.C. Hernandez from the Leadership Institute hammered home the point during his presentation that one reason Republicans are falling short is because they appear unable to sustain coalitions and they must improve how they communicate their message. “Barry Goldwater lost a Presidential election by the largest landslide ever heard of in his time. Ronald Reagan won by the largest landslide ever heard of in his time. They both essentially had the same message; one communicated it effectively and the other did not. “
Charlie Banks from Red Pillar, LLC gave an illuminating presentation on the power of social media in its’ reach, impact, and effectiveness. His instruction demonstrated how the deft use of social media tools extend a campaign’s reach in conveying a timely and impactful message to the public. Red Pillar, LLC also included a block of instruction about the mechanics of petition preparation and how to avoid fatal flaws many candidates experience causing them to fail to get on the ballot.
The Latino National Republican Coalition aims to draw greater diversity into the Republican party from voters that have a cultural inclination toward traditional conservatism. J.C. Hernandez recounted a polling experiment of Democrat voters that voted in the Presidential election between Romney and Obama. The test group voted 60% to 40% for Obama. However, when they were asked to poll on policy issues differing between the candidates, without the candidates name associated to it, they voted 60% to 40% in favor of Romney over Obama.
This workshop was open to all Republican candidates, their campaign staffs and interested members of the public. It was held in the Village of Haverstraw because no community should be abandoned by the Republicans no matter what the ethnic demographics indicate. Messaging was a focal point of the training workshop. The message that can be taken away from our meeting is that the Latino National Republican Coalition intends to be a force for Republicanism in Rockland County. It intends to aid up-and-coming candidates and staff workers to help get principled Republicans elected.It is no secret that Rockland County has diverse pockets of ethnic voters that remain untapped by Republicans. LNRC New York Chairman Rubén Estrada says:
We at the Latino National Republican Coalition see our name as not one that will segregate or develop silos. We are all Americans and Republicans, but must realize that to win elections, we must attract a group of voters who have historically felt excluded by the Republicans. We must create an atmosphere of inclusion and that is the role of LNRC. I have 45 years of party building experience. I attest to the fact that despite the best efforts of myself and many others nationally and locally, we still have more work to do. It will take local Republican leadership working with our Rockland LNRC Chapter to help get this job done for the good of all Republicans.
It is time to realize as Reagan did when he said “Latinos are Republican. Many just don’t know it yet.”