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The results of the 2020 census showed that Milwaukee’s Latinx community grew dramatically over the past ten years, adding up to a total just below 20% of the population. One of the main purposes of the census is to use that data to draw new district boundaries that uphold voting rights for people of color so that community members can elect the representative of their choosing and have a fair and equal voice in what happens in our city.
Since roughly 1 in 5 of all Milwaukeeans are Latinxs, 3 out of the 15 Alderpersons on the Common Council should come from and represent the voting choice of Latinx voters. Unfortunately, in November 2021, the Common Council passed new aldermanic district maps that maintained the status quo of only two Latinx majority districts (districts 8 and 12), and failed to create a new, third Latinx majority or near-majority district. Fortunately, in early December 2021, Voces de la Frontera and other organizations succeeded in pressuring the Mayor to veto those maps, and the Common Council voted unanimously to sustain the veto later that month.
Now, as Alderpersons go back to the drawing board, we must continue to pressure our Alderpeople to stand up for Latinx voting rights and democratic principles. Voces de la Frontera has proposed two maps to the Common Council that succeed in creating a third Latinx majority or near-majority district, and we must do everything we can to pressure them to pass one of those two maps.
You can help by submitting an e-comment to the Judicial and Legislative Committee before their meeting this coming Monday, January 10 at 1:30pm. In addition to talking about why this issue matters to you personally, feel free to use the talking points below to submit your testimony.
- Democracy means that each of us – we the people – get to have a say in what happens in our communities. We all deserve the right to elect our preferred representatives at all levels of government.
- That’s why in 2020, Voces de la Frontera actively worked during a pandemic and under a hostile presidential administration to encourage Latinxs to participate in the census so that new districts would accurately reflect the dramatic growth of Milwaukee’s Latinx community for the next decade.
- Latinxs now make up 20% of Milwaukee’s total population and are largely concentrated in Milwaukee’s south side. The Common Council must reflect our City’s racial diversity. Since 1 in 5 of all Milwaukeeans are Latinxs, 3 out of the 15 members of the Common Council should come from and represent the voting choice of Latinx voters. The Common Council must create three Latinx majority or plurality aldermanic district.
- As populations grow, so should political power and representation. We already have two Latinx majority districts (districts 8 and 12) and creating a third Latinx majority or plurality district will allow Milwaukee’s growing Latinx population to have a fair and equal voice in our city for the next decade.
- Aldermanic district boundaries should be drawn to ensure fair and equal representation for all voters – especially voters of color who have been historically disenfranchised, They should not be drawn to protect incumbent alderpersons.
- As a majority people of color, working-class city, the members of the Common Council have a major opportunity to advance the voting rights for all by creating fair maps.
- Members of the Common Council, I urge you to stand up for racial justice and democracy by passing either one of the two maps submitted by Voces de la Frontera that would create a third, Latinx majority or plurality district.