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What does it take to stage a successful rally? Today’s debate will be surrounded by several rallies across campus, the My Country, My Vote rally at Farrand Field is expected to be one of the biggest. The event, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., is focused on the candidates’ anti-immigration rhetoric and will include many Latino and immigration leaders as well as local non-profits.
Speakers such as former Denver Mayor and U.S. Secretary of Transportation and Energy Federico Peña, activist Dolores Huerta, and Spanish actor Esai Morales will be among the 13 others speaking on immigration issues at the event.
Mirna Castro, the event coordinator for the rally has been working closely with the university to ensure that the event runs as smoothly as possible. For her, the amount of preparation that goes into this event is crucial.
“The CU staff have really been incredible in helping us put all of this together,” said Castro. “As you can see their out here from early in the morning helping to route people to the right places, and putting down this flooring to protect the turf.”
When asked about some of the challenges to producing an event like this, Castro pointed out a few parts of the rally that needed to be worked out.
“It was definitely interesting to figure out with Zach [the head of maintenance] the irrigation system, the do’s and the don’ts of the area,” she said. “And with so many different activities going on today at CU-Boulder I think that transportation and parking was the biggest hurdle to overcome.”
Transportation is a big issue today, as many students have had to move their cars to east campus to accommodate the many media outlets that will be covering the debate.
To combat this, Mirna has ordered charter buses to transport a good bulk of individuals from Denver to CU. Mirna has also worked with board members of the Boulder Valley school district to secure parking lots at both Boulder High School and University Hill elementary school. CU is also providing 44 reserved parking spots behind Farrand field for each speaker during the rally.
Today’s event is a big deal for the creators of My Country, My Vote.
“More than a protest, this is actually a 12 month campaign to get people to vote,” said Castro. “We aren’t protesting anything, we’re not really having any sort of protest toward anything specific, it really is a non-partisan effort to really talk about the rhetoric that has been going on around the country against immigrants. We want the people in the next 12 months to get out, and get registered to vote and vote when the time comes.”
So what does this rally want to accomplish?
“The goal and the ask for us during this event will be that the next president and congress really make immigration one of their top priorities during the first 100 days of the presidency,” she said. “So for us it really is fair treatment of our immigrant communities, and fair immigration laws that allows for families to stay together and not the separation of families that we have been seeing.”