Beto O'Rourke Visits Historic Hispanic Landmark in Boyle Heights
Beto O'Rourke, a 47-year old former three-term congressman representing El Paso Texas, now running for the 2020 democratic Presidential nomination, arrived at La Casa Del Mexicano, a historic hispanic landmark that has been around for 88 years, located in Boyle Heights. With a small turn out of supporters that came to the event on Saturday, O'Rourke used the moment to send a personal message to the crowd.
Before O'Rourke spoke, Congressmembers Jimmy Gomez and Norma Torres spoke about the immense amount of passion and support that O'Rourke gives to victims of gun violence, how he understands the seriousness of climate change and understands the struggles of the families under the poverty line that have trouble making ends meet.
After the introduction, O'Rourke came on and spoke about the Hispanic community and stories of triumph within that community in Texas. He also mentioned other stories of racial and social inequalities between Hispanic Americans and the laws of the time.
O'Rourke proposed stricter gun regulations on weapons like AK-47s and a AR-15s, saying that he'd met a Republican that is the owner of an AR-15. That Republican said, “I have no use for that gun. I can’t hunt with it. I cant use it for self defense and the only thing that I can do is take it out to the range. I would gladly give it up because I have kids and I fear that someone else can buy the same gun and take it to my kids school.’’
O'Rourke mentioned the shooter in El Paso, who two months ago killed 22 people in three minutes with a variant of the AK-47 assault weapon. O'Rourke offered a solution to the problem, explaining that if he were to be elected President, he would issue mandatory buybacks of assault rifles.
"The time is ticking," O'Rourke said, turning the conversation to climate change.
He proceeded to tell the crowd a story of when his son discussed with him how if nothing is done to stop climate change now, his son at his age will not be able to live in El Paso. He also added that El Paso is one of the hottest places in the country. O'Rourke's stance on climate change was that there is only a limited amount of time to act before we face irreparable changes in the climate. Although he offered a lot of ideas about what we should do, he didn't go into detail how he would prevent further changes in the environment.
O'Rourke was asked about how he plans to make college tuition more affordable for students if elected president.
“I will make sure that the first two years of any higher education is free and I will make sure that a four year program is debt-free," O'Rourke answered. "Not just for tuition, a lot of candidates are exclusively focused on that but tuition as well as room and board and books the full coast of higher ed.’’
O'Rourke added, "I will make sure that those that have outstanding student loan debt, if they dedicate any part of their career to public service -- so teaching or working at the VA or working at the local, state, or federal government -- then their student debt is wiped clean and clear so they can focus on that service."
Beto O’Rourke is one of 12 candidates seeking the Democratic Presidential Nomination in 2020.
UPDATED: A previous version of this story reported Congressman Jimmy Gomez endorses Beto O’Rourke. Congressman Jimmy Gomez has not yet endorsed any candidate running for President in the democratic primaries. We regret the error.
UPDATE (10/14/19): A previous version of this story reported that State Senator Maria Elena Durazo introduced Beto O’Rourke. Senator Durazo did not speak at this event. We regret the error.