Julian Castro is the first Hispanic in the history of Democratic national conventions to be the keynote speaker. Castro is believed to be destined for higher national office someday and his primetime speech Tuesday night is seen as a command performance -- if he shows a U.S. audience of tens of millions the magnetism that has wowed those in political circles who see him as a star, it could be his career break-out moment.
The Illinois congressman was going to skip the convention, but he will be there -- at least on Wednesday -- to speak. Gutierrez, whose speaking role was announced over the weekend, has been Congress's most vocal champion for the DREAM Act, a measure that would allow immigrants brought as minors and who meet a strict set of criteria a path to legalization. Will he carry the DREAM Act torch to the convention, making it a key part of his speech? Gutierrez is loyal to his party, but he also marches to his own drumbeat, not hesitating to call out President Obama when he has felt he has not fought hard enough for things such as the DREAM Act.
He is the chairman of this year's Democratic National Convention, and is scheduled to speak. Watch for him to reprise an accusation that made headlines last week, when he held a press conference to say that the Republicans could not expect to persuade Latino voters that they have their best interests at heart through their convention's line-up of prominent Latino political leaders for primetime speaking roles. "You can't just trot out a brown face or a Spanish surname and expect people are going to vote for your party or your candidate," the mayor said.
DREAMers and others, with documents and without, plan a steady and vocal presence at the convention to press for comprehensive immigration reform. A large group of undocumented immigrants traveled through several states, holding rallies in each, and have ended up in Charlotte, North Carolina, over the weekend. On Monday night, the eve of the convention, they will hold a rally.
A co-chair of the Obama campaign, Longoria has a speaking role at the convention. She is also expected to be at many of the week's events -- but without an empty chair.
The Puerto Rican crooner will do what he does best -- sing. He got tapped to sing the national anthem Thursday at the Bank of America stadium before the President accepts his nomination with the speech that will officially close the convention. Marc Anthony has been involved in the Obama campaign in various ways this year, including doing ads supporting his re-election.
The former Republican -- who ran as an independent in a 2010 election for U.S. Senate after losing the primary to Marco Rubio -- made waves on Aug. 26, right before the GOP convention was to begin in his state, with the announcement that he was endorsing Obama. It wasn't long before he appeared as a featured speaker for the DNC convention. Rubio says he's "curious about what he'll say."
The Texas congressman chairs the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. His father, Henry B. Gonzalez, served in the House of Representatives for 37 years. Gonzalez himself is in his 7th term, but is not seeking re-election, though he is considered a shoo-in.
The Democratic National Convention is from September 3 to September 6 and these are the people that Latino voters should be paying most attention to.