Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., a leading advocate in Congress for immigration reform and Latino communities, will address the UNITY '12 Convention in Las Vegas Saturday on behalf of President Obama's campaign for reelection.
"I am honored to represent President Barack Obama before the nation's most diverse journalism organization," Gutierrez said. "The president and I believe we prosper when we recognize that diversity is a singular strength of America and that as a nation we are all in it together and stand strongest when we stand united."
The convention's Candidates' Forum featuring "A Conversation with Rep. Luis Gutierrez" is scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 4 at the Mandalay Ballroom IJ in the Mandalay Bay South Convention Center in Las Vegas.
After opening remarks, Gutierrez will be interviewed by veteran journalist Willie Lora, news and political director of CNN en Espanol. The forum, sponsored by Time Warner, will be streamed live online and the audience in and outside of the room will be able to submit questions via Twitter, #UNITY12elect.
The candidates' forum at UNITY '12 is an opportunity for the presidential candidates to address the 2,300 journalists, media executives and community members gathering in Las Vegas this week.
"We are pleased that the Obama campaign will be answering questions from such a diverse group of journalists from all across the country as we enter the height of this year's presidential campaign," said Onica Makwakwa, executive director of UNITY Journalists, based in McLean, Va.
Makwakwa said that repeated invitations were made to both the Obama for America campaign and the Mitt Romney for America campaign for their respective presidential candidates to attend.
The Romney campaign declined the invitation and offered no surrogate. Obama campaign officials said the president was not available and tapped Rep. Gutierrez to represent him before the convention of journalists.
In 2008, then-Sen. Obama addressed the Unity convention in Chicago.
UNITY '12 is a quadrennial gathering of the journalists and diversity advocates who comprise an alliance of the Asian American Journalists Association, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Native American Journalists Association and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. UNITY represents more than 4,000 journalists.
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