Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Latino Voting Power: Throw Us A Bone!

Being from one of the original Latino families in Santa Barbara -- being a De La Guerra and all, I wasn't too surprised to see the Latino voting issue in today's News-Press. It's something they throw at Latinos maybe once a year to show they are thinking about us. They did the same thing with North County Christians (killing two birds with one stone) today with the article on faith healing in Santa Maria. Do they trot out these articles during the holidays and just brush them off? Can't blame them in a way -- I'd rather be home than working at the beige tower.

"In the larger historical perspective we've known that there's this kind of lag between the Latinos who actually vote and the larger Latino population," said Mario Garcia, a UCSB history and Chicano studies professor.

This is unfortunately true when you look at the the numbers as much of our Latino population in the county is under 21 and 2/3rds of those of voting age just plain don't. I like that SBCAN and PUEBLO (aka SEIU local 621 for the masses) are doing work on Latino empowerment. But how about this from the Republican Party Chair:

Monte Ward, the chairman of the county's Republican Party, said that apart from looking for more volunteers who speak Spanish, locally at least, the party isn't doing anything special to attract Latino voters.
"We don't target any particular group," Mr. Ward said.

Classic response from THE MAN (for a definition of THE MAN -- see Jack Black's School of Rock). Anyway, this is hard to believe from our friends that brought us Abel Maldonado, Joe Amrenderiz and my favorite Joe Centeno. I'm more of a Salud Carbajal fan...

The truth is homeowning Latinos will continue to be as conservative as their gringo counterparts and that's all right with me. I'm glad Scott Hadly is writing political articles again but does it really serve Latinos to keep pointing out that they are "low propensity"?

When's TravisFactsWrong coming back from vacation?