Editor's note: Maria Cardona is a Democratic strategist, a principal at the Dewey Square Group, a former senior adviser to Hillary Clinton and former communications director for the Democratic National Committee.
By Maria Cardona, CNN Contributor
(CNN) - Much has been written about the GOP’s huge hole with Latino voters and how that will prevent them from reaching the White House. In fact, a new poll of just Latino voters has no Republican presidential candidate polling above 14% against President Obama. Dios mio! As if that weren’t enough, the GOP is now busy with their shovels digging themselves another hole, this time with another incredibly important demographic – women.
We are talking about 53% of the electorate and an electorate made up of many independents who look at issues and candidates, not necessarily party identification. President Obama won women in 2008, 56% to McCain’s 42%, a big reason he is in the White House today. But even as recently as late last year, independent women were not supporting President Obama, a fact that was of great concern to the White House and a reason they kept focusing like a laser on economic issues and fixing policies they could influence like student loans, mortgage relief, and yes, implementing the Affordable Care Act regulation ensuring all women could have equal access to life saving health care services without paying out of pocket expenses.
For that, the Administration found itself in a maelstrom for several days. The Catholic Church came down hard on the White House for believing their religious freedoms were being infringed upon by mandating they provide birth control to women who work at any of their affiliated facilities like universities or hospitals. But because the Administration was focused on doing what is right, and not what is politically expedient, they went back to the drawing board and put forth a compromise that would not violate anyone’s religious freedoms while still ensuring all women had access to critical health care services.
By Sally Holland, CNN
(CNN) - African-American boys and girls have higher suspension rates than their white or Hispanic peers, according to new data released by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights on Tuesday. The report looks at race, educational equity and opportunities of U.S.students.
"Perhaps the most alarming findings involve the topic of discipline," said Education Secretary Arne Duncan. "The sad fact is that minority students across America face much harsher discipline than nonminorities, even within the same school. Some examples – African American students, particularly males, are far more likely to be suspended or expelled from school than their peers."
"We cannot suspend, expel and arrest our way out of our nation's education problems," said John Payton of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in response to the report.
"In fact, relying upon exclusionary discipline policies actually fuels academic failure and drives achievement gaps," he added.
According to the report, African American students are more than three and a half times likely to be suspended or expelled than their white counterparts.
Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported stories from undercovered communities.
TLC's "All-American Muslim" won't have a second season - Detroit Free Press
Federal court to debate Michigan's affirmative action ban today - The Detroit News
Opinion: How Asian Americans shape the debate on affirmative action, and the three things missing in the discussion -Time.com
Silicon Valley leaders give financial assistance to undocumented youth -The Wall Street Journal
"The New Jim Crow" prompts debate about "race policy as drug policy" -The New York Times
By the CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) - A Florida high school valedictorian and her sister who were facing deportation will instead meet Wednesday in Washington with Sen. Marco Rubio, after being granted a reprieve.
An immigration judge ruled last week that Daniela Pelaez, 18, and her sister Dayana were to be deported for being in the country illegally.
But Immigration and Customs Enforcement Tuesday gave the sisters a two-year reprieve. The decision was made under the policy of prosecutorial discretion, which is designed to prioritize deportation for illegal crossers with a criminal record, instead of those who pose little or no risk.
"The agency exercises prosecutorial discretion, on a case by case basis, as necessary to focus resources on our stated priorities," ICE spokesman Nestor Yglesias said in a statement Wednesday.
Editor's note: Ruben Navarrette Jr. is a CNN.com contributor and a nationally syndicated columnist.
By Ruben Navarrette Jr., CNN Contributor
San Diego (CNN) - Now that we have Sonia Sotomayor, a Latina, on the Supreme Court, the esteemed body will soon find itself in the middle of a telenovela.
The storyline involves the contentious issue of affirmative action, which is central to Fisher vs. University of Texas, a case that is scheduled to come before the court this fall. It will cast a spotlight on two of the court's justices: Sonia Sotomayor and Samuel Alito. Affirmative action seems to be intensely personal to both of them, though for very different reasons.
First, let's take a minute to note just how similar Alito and Sotomayor are in terms of their background. Both are baby boomers, born just a few years apart. Alito is 61 years old and Sotomayor is 57. They grew up in neighboring states. Alito is from New Jersey and Sotomayor is from New York. Both came from ethnic, working-class families. Alito's parents were teachers, Sotomayor's father was a tool-and-die worker and her mother was a telephone operator. Finally, both went to Princeton University and Yale Law School, where both served as editors of the Yale Law Journal.