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Dominguez to vote for Obama, Van Hollen in November

by Kara Rose

Staff Writer

“Inclusivity is important for a healthy, creative community,” said 42-year-old Jose Dominguez, executive director for Pyramid Atlantic Art Center in Silver Spring.

Dominguez — a Silver Spring resident who manages the operations, fundraising and arts education programs for the community — said that is why he is voting for same-sex marriage in the upcoming election.

“We want people when they come here [to] Pyramid to bring their whole self to it and to not feel that their partner is in some kind of a secondary status,” Dominguez said. “We want them to be a whole person here because that’s part of being a creative person.”

Inclusivity is also why Dominguez, a registered Democrat, said he is voting for President Barack Obama in the November election.

“I agree where he stands in terms of women’s right to choose, I believe in the importance of affordable health care, and I also am really excited about the people that he has put together in his team,” said Dominguez.

Dominguez has lived in Silver Spring since 1998, but his family moved to Miami from Cuba in the late 1950s. He supports the Dream Act because he believes everyone should have the opportunity to “nurture” their artistic abilities.

“If you do not have the ability to go to school in terms of the university and get a great education, your ability to develop your creativity at a college or a university is going to be kept from you,” he said.

While Dominguez said he is in support of same-sex marriage and the Dream Act, he said he is hesitant to vote for the gambling bill.

“It hasn’t made a case to convince me,” he said. “While we can always use more money and more jobs, I’m not convinced that it’s going to deliver that in the way it’s being presented.”

The closeness of the presidential race, Dominguez said, is what worries him the most.

“On both sides, we’re so divided and regardless of who wins the presidential election, we can’t continue down that path of two Americas,” said Dominguez, who believes opportunities and dialogue are the keys to bridging that gap.

Pyramid Atlantic has seen support from the state and county “diminish” as arts budgets are cut smaller each year, Dominguez said. On the home front, he said he feels Rep. Christoper Van Hollen Jr. (D-Dist. 8) of Kensington is someone “committed” to the district who is visible in the community and is “always vocal about the issues.”

“I always see him and I always see his people at important events, and that’s what I want from my congressman,” he said.