CHICAGO — A well-known Chicago Latina shared her story Thursday, one where she will be a key figure in organizing the upcoming 2024 Democratic National Convention.
This week, Lisa Hernandez — born and raised in the Petrowski Park area of Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood — sat down with WGN News’ Lourdes Duarte to talk diversity for what’s expected to be one of the largest political events of next year.
Hernandez took over as chair of the Illinois Democratic Party about a year ago, becoming the first Latina to do so, and her new role comes as Democrats around the country tackle a number of issues, including immigration — a problem Chicago has struggled mightily with on its own, as thousands of migrants have been forced to live at local airports and police stations as City leaders scramble for a solution.
Already, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration has brought up the possibility of more migrants being bused to the City leading up to the 2024 DNC as a way for Republicans to derail the picture of Chicago’s sanctuary city status.
“It’s a conversation that we are beginning to have,” Hernandez said, in reference to the migrant situation factoring into DNC planning. “But the federal government needs to do all that they can.”
While the conversation plays out, Hernandez has been tasked with making sure there’s diversity among the delegates and volunteers at a time when the Democratic Party is fighting to retain Black and Latino voters.
“What we were going to push for is … 12,000 volunteers for the DNC,” Hernandez said. That’s a pretty heavy lift.”
According to Hernandez, about 900 volunteers have already signed up to work the convention, and with less than a year to go before the 2024 DNC kicks off, she said diversity and inclusion will be her primary focus heading into the flagship event.
“I was a state representative first,” Hernandez said. “But representation is no doubt important and essential in the types of policies that we want in place.”