Tuesday, October 19, 2010
DANIELLE OLDHAM -- Nimble-Minded & Approachable -- Is The FOUNDER OF YOUNG SOUTH TEXAS VOTERS
El Defenzor met with the new and captivating founder of Young Voters of South Texas, Ms. Danielle Oldham. Young Voters of South Texas is a movement started Over the last several months many have seen her attending events and recruiting young people to work on the various democratic campaigns and appearing on radio, television and on Facebook.
Danielle exemplifies what is needed in the Democratic party: A new generation of leadership. Born and raised in the Mid-west, Ms. Oldham comes from a conservative Democratic background. Working on her second degree at Texas A&M University she has found time to launch Young Voters of South Texas and has taken a page from other young politicos who are using the internet, television and radio to bring out their voice.
Ms. Oldham is one of the few young people in the community who are exhibiting leadership skills in politics while using up to date technology to get out her message and unify the party for people under 30. " I have a great deal of respect for the strong efforts that the Democratic party has made. However, I have noticed deeply entrenched factions within the party that often make it difficult to have unity. Through my analysis of South Texas political trends over the last 10 years it is clear that formerly a dominating faction could control the rest of the party, but now that the Democrats are catching more and more Republican opponents, we need to set aside factional disputes and be much more inclusive. This is where the media comes in: If we can bring on candidates who are able to educate the public on their qualifications and show the face of the Democratic party in the most positive light. This strategy cuts through the factions and creates a sense of unity that is much needed."
When asked if she thought that the Democratic party and liberalism are one and the same she responded, "I am originally from the mid-west. I see a lot of commonalities with the predominately hispanic population here. My fiance Anthony Gomez from Robstown, and his family, exhibit the typical Democratic conservative example I am acquainted with from the mid-west, which is hardworking blue collar people who are patriotic and have a strong sense of family and service to our country with deep convictions regarding their belief in God. He is currently in San Antonio receiving therapy, under the Wounded Warrior program, after returning from a tour of duty in the military in Afghanistan. What Republicans are saying is simply not true, when they accuse all Democrats of being in favor of abortion or that all Democrats are socialist that is not only an inaccurate comment but also self-serving and irresponsible."
Her past experience in politics has been on local and national races. Over the last 3 years while in South Texas she was a grassroots organizer for the Obama campaign and is now an advisor for the Joe A. Gonzalez and Joe Benavides campaigns. "Mr. Flores, the chief advisor for both Gonzalez and Benavides has taught me a lot about bringing out a strong message and a seemingly overnight presence in the media. The Lopez family and Joe Flores have been gracious enough to create a show for me on the station which has been quite successful and well-received."
Ms. Oldham recognized the contributions of the Lopez family in South Texas political broadcasting and was appreciative and humble: " Few appreciate the efforts that these two gentleman (Carlos Lopez and Joe Flores) have made in creating a sense of community and enthusiasm within the Democratic party and helping turn out the vote. Joe created my show's concept and we recently have had 8 candidates on the show which will be shown throughout the early voting time period as well as election day. Judge Marisela Saldana, Mark Skurka running for District Attorney, Jenny Dorsey running for school board, Judge Joe A. Gonzalez for County Commissioner, Joe Benavides for Justice of the Peace and upcoming guests Terry Shamsie for Family court along with Manuel Banales seeking re-election for the 105th District court are among the guests who will appear on KTMV.'
When asked about her political aspirations Ms. Oldham was quick to add, "I am not ruling out a future seeking office, but at my age, 25, I am looking towards completing my second college degree and entering graduate school while collaborating with Mr. Flores to create more political and community programming. I am grateful for the support and welcome that I have received from the Democratic party and am confident that candidates that have worked so hard will be victorious November 2nd. I also want to thank El Defenzor and the Villarreal family for the conscious awareness created through its publication and internet presence and for this interview."
When asked about trying to keep our youth in South Texas, Ms. Oldham concluded the interview with the following soundbyte, "I believe in Corpus Christi and this community. We have excellent education, colleges, and people. We just need more true economic development that is open to bringing outside help. We as a community collectively have turned away excellent opportunities and I hope with my media message I can help encourage young people not only to vote but to stay here to build a life and become civic-minded citizens who will help our community and contribute to job growth and economic prosperity."
It is clear that this is only the beginning of the movement for young people that Ms. Oldham is creating and we at El Defenzor will be watching her progress very carefully and with enthusiasm.