A concept at first, developed by Hispanic Republican activists, Stepping Stones is a tool for any Conservative organization or club to utilize in their local region to positively impact students. We already know the dismal statistics regarding high school drop out rates, but we Republicans aren’t doing anything about it.
Sure, we may run for school board, and we may help people get elected, but what are we doing that has a tangible effect on the community? What are we doing to make people say, “Wow, the Republican Party is really making a difference in the local community.”
We have a perception problem.
For decades, Democrats have positioned us as the bad guys, and now, most Hispanics and Blacks believe it. Not because they have any reason to believe it, but since we do nothing to overcome the perception, it still exists.
If we expect to gain the trust of the community, we have to be involved in advancing it. We cannot just attend monthly luncheons and expect to penetrate with our message. We have to take the message to the people.
How do we do that? Should we start by getting teams of Hispanics together to walk in neighborhoods we’re unfamiliar with? That would be typical. What about making calls, sharing our conservative message? Please…
We need new tactics. A new approach. One that begins at the top and connects with the grass roots. Do we have that now? I don’t think so. I think we’re miles apart from our Democratic competitors. They are in full scale assault, and we’re sitting on our hands as a Party, afraid to discuss issues because we fear backlash. Because of our hesitation, the Democrats are blowing our doors off.
Don’t we understand the demographic trends? Don’t we realize we’re running out of time?
Earlier this week, I met a family at their home. It was a Stepping Stones Home meeting, set up by Bobby Vickery, a concerned Republican in Navarro County. He’d heard us speak about our education initiative and how we wanted to speak directly with parents and their children about education. So, he arranged the meeting.
When I arrived at the Garcia home, I was welcomed with open arms. The father and mother were both present, along with two daughters and one of their friends. We talked about their obstacles, outlining their plans and giving encouragement that there is light at the end of the tunnel. One daughter is in her second year at Navarro College. The other is senior at Navarro High School. Both, bright, intelligent young women with aspirations for success. One wants to become a teacher and the other, a business owner.
I asked the younger daughter, “Why is it you want to go to college and earn a business degree?” She replied, “because I like things, and I know it’s going to take a lot of money to get the things I want.”
We talked for two hours, going back and forth between parents and their children. When it was over, I closed my notebook and reviewed what I had collected. In my hands, were the forms they completed, including their personal contact information, teachers, parents, and goals. Everyone was on the same page.
I asked them, “So how politically active are you guys?” they all started laughing, somewhat embarrassed to admit they were not active at all. “That’s OK,” I said. “It’s never too late to start.”
In my opinion, that’s outreach. We’re just getting started and we need your help and support to broaden our reach. If you’re interested, please contact us to receive more information on how you can get started in your local area. Together, we can alter the image of the Republican Party within the Hispanic and Black communities. We can position the Party as the Party that helps people advance…as it should be.