Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Latino Leadership Pushes for Greater Representation in Top Government Positions

blog post 6-6






A new initiative among top Latino lawmakers focuses on expanding the number of Latinos in various departments and appointed positions. Their goal is to create a network of Congressmen, Senators, appointed officials, and advocates for the Latino community that is representative of the growing Latino population.

“If we don’t start seeding our leadership now, then it’s going to be a deficit for the long term, that’s both political office plus appointeds,” warned Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz.

One goal of the initiative includes creating a pipeline for increasing the diversity of senior-level jobs in government agencies. Representative Ben Ray Lujan recently met with White House representatives to formulate this strategy, stating that “a more diverse workforce that looks like the face of America is critically important as we look the administration.”

There are currently only 28 Latinos out of the 435-member House, and only 3 of 100 Senators. Even with high-level appointments such as Sonia Sotomayor and Julian Castro, Latino leaders understand there is much work to be done.

Cristobal Alex, executive director of the Latino Victory Project, a movement looking to develop Latino leaders and elected officials, explains that “one of the reasons Latinos participate in politics at such a low rate is because they don’t see themselves reflected on the ballot.” As the Latino population continues to grow, so must its representation in all areas of the government.