The new “DAPA Dinners” campaign has its first scheduled event on the books. Martin O’Malley’s presidential campaign announced today that the candidate will join Workers Defense in Action PAC and the Ramirez family of Austin, TX on Thursday, November 12th for a midday meal.
The Ramirez family has lived in Central Texas for years. All of Ramirez children attended the University of Texas (UT), or are currently enrolled there. They graduated at the top of their classes. Mrs. Ramirez is a stay at home mom and caretaker of the family. Her husband works in a recycling center and has worked in construction. They are active members of their community, both through their church and with Workers Defense in Action PAC. Learn more about the entire family here.
“DAPA Dinners” is a new initiative that invites all 2016 candidates, Senators, and Members of Congress to join an immigrant family for dinner on or around the one-year anniversary of the DAPA announcement on November 20, 2015. As Elise Foley wrote yesterday about the new “DAPA Dinners” effort, “the organizers said…[t]hey’re willing to do the dinners any time that’s convenient and in any state — a move that makes it harder for candidates to use scheduling conflicts as an excuse.”
The O’Malley campaign’s plan to visit a DAPA-eligible family on Thursday is set to make modern presidential history. We are not aware of any previous occasions of presidential candidates visiting with a family headed by an undocumented immigrant. The O’Malley campaign’s embrace of “DAPA Dinners” also raises the stakes for other presidential campaigns, including fellow Democratic contenders Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and the entire Republican field. Will they show the same openness to meeting with DAPA families and hearing their stories? Currently, only Carly Fiorina’s campaign has declined the offer unequivocally.
Workers Defense in Action PAC is the lead group organizing the DAPA Dinner tomorrow, with support from America’s Voice, United We Dream Action and Center for Community Change Action/Fair Immigration Reform Movement.