hillary clinton
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is relying on Latina staffers and volunteers to help her cleanly win early primary states like Nevada and Colorado, where woman and Latino voters will be key constituencies as she moves to consolidate gains against rival candidate Bernie Sanders. Above: Clinton smiles while attending a panel on healthcare in San Juan, Puerto Rico, September 4, 2015. Clinton, who won the most Democratic delegates in Puerto Rico during her failed 2008 presidential bid, is also rallying the growing Boriqua diaspora in states like Florida. REUTERS/Alvin Baez

As this article hits the web, Hillary Clinton will be preparing to address a middle school in the highly Hispanic Washoe County, Nevada. Hundreds and possibly thousands of Latina students, moms and other area residents are likely to attend, soaking in Clinton’s stump speech. But it’s not just Hillary Clinton who will be calling on Latinas in and around the Reno, Washoe to support the first viable female presidential candidate. Latinas from New York and other states will be phoning into Nevada as well, as part of a new Hillary campaign initiative called “Mujeres in Politics.”

"Latinas are the CEOs of their family and community and will play a critical role in securing the nomination," New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito told NBC’s Suzanne Gamboa following a pro-Hillary phonebank in her city.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign in Nevada has been compared to Barack Obama’s campaign, usually in the sense that it invests more in door-knocking and pavement-pounding and less in massive media buys. But Mujeres in Politics is similar to Obama’s campaign organization Organizinf For Action* in another way as well: if successful, it could outlast the campaign.

Mujeres in Politics will be bilingual, according to Mark-Viverito, and focus not just on caucusing and voting for Clinton but also “fights [Latinas] are waging” and “the importance of their civic participation,” Gamboa reports.

Nevada has been a laboratory of Democrats’ experiments at courting the Latino vote. By 2010, Nevada Senator Harry Reid abandoned his nativist stances on immigration (he had supported the repeal of birthright citizenship). Reid embraced not only positions popular with Latinos but also hiring many Latino staffers and stumping for local Latino candidates (many of these Democrats were knocked out or never got in the 2014 midterm.)

“Latinos certainly saved Harry Reid,” Gary Segura, a member of Latino Decisions and a professor at Stanford University, told Newsweek shortly after the 2010 election.

Up about 15 points over Bernie Sanders in Nevada, Clinton might not need much saving. But Clinton isn’t taking any chances, focusing on Latina voters as well as Latina campaign professionals like Amanda Renteria, her campaign manager, and Lorella Praeli, her National Director of Latino Outreach.

“What we started [...] with 50 women from all over the country coming into our headquarters was to make sure that we develop a plan to make sure that Latinos and in particular Latinas turn out in large numbers and that they will make the difference,” Praeli, Politico .

Right now, Mujeres for Hillary is keeping organizers up at night (see tweet below). If successful in transcending the political campaign, it could have more Latinas up at podium.

*Full disclosure: I was previously employed by OFA.

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