Bernie Sanders highest-ranking Latino operative Arturo Carmona is joining mitú, a digital media company aimed at young Hispanics, BuzzFeed News has learned.
Carmona, who crisscrossed the country for Sanders as deputy political director with a focus on garnering the support of young Hispanics who responded to his candidacy much more than older Latinos did, will lead community engagement and public affairs.
The platform, which calls itself "unapologetically Latino," uses humor and cultural connections to engage young Hispanics through videos, and launched an initiative called T.A.C.O. (Take Action, Commit Others), with a goal of using social media and celebrities to help register 1 million Latinos, which Carmona will spearhead.
"One of the many things that the Bernie Sanders campaign revealed is that the younger voters across America are looking for a better future, an aspirational view of this country that advances their interests and those of their families," he said.
He sees parallels between the campaign and what the young site is trying to do. In practice, he said that would mean venturing into political issues from the campaign like immigration, education, and climate change, and said the "unapologetically Latino" aspect of the company means they will take on Donald Trump and have not made a determination if they will go further.
“With a long track record culminating with his most recent experience as a top manager for the Bernie Sanders for president campaign, Arturo’s hands on experience in organizing Latinos digitally, politically, and on-the-ground will be essential for our work ahead,” said Beatriz Acevedo, mitú president and founder.
Carmona hopes to expand strategic partnerships outside the company and create special initiatives around the election. Young Latinos are an oft-repeated target for companies and campaigns, because the Hispanic electorate is disproportionately younger than other groups.
National Council of La Raza (NCLR) partnered with mitú on the T.A.C.O. voter registration effort that launched in May and includes a website and a Latinos Vote app.
At launch, Rosario Dawson — a staunch Sanders supporter and critic of Hillary Clinton all the way to the Democratic convention — called Latino millennials "the face of the new American majority" with a responsibility to transform the country.
"That's why I'm proud to be a part of a historic effort to register and activate 1 million Latino millennials. This election will be decided by us, all of us, and we must do everything in our power to ensure that we create the kind of future that we know is indeed possible," she said at the time.
The company was unable to provide BuzzFeed News with the number of Latinos that have been registered to vote since May.
While Carmona seeks to continue his campaign work reaching Latinos, another high-profile Sanders staffer Erika Andiola is set to join "Our Revolution," the political organization created by Sanders alumni to continue the work started by the Vermont senator.
Trump will be a target because he's a threat to Latinos, Carmona said.
"As a company we're extremely concerned by the messages that Donald Trump is advancing, it's a very dangerous precedent for our country," he said.
Of Trump's policy pronouncements and comments moving forward, "we're going to have a robust discussion and analyze — or make fun of — what is said," he added. "We're going to push interesting memes and take the gloves off a little bit."
Adrian Carrasquillo is the White House correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
Contact Adrian Carrasquillo at email@example.com.
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