Demographic influences on Latinos' political empowerment: Comparative local illustrations

Demographic influences on Latinos' political empowerment: Comparative local illustrations How do Latinos gain local political power, given their demographic proportions and characteristics in a community's population? This paper examines the influences of population structure, socioeconomic factors, and residential patterns on the process by which Latinos have translated their numbers into an effective political presence in five California cities. The distinctive routes to empowerment evidenced in these cities reveal the varied possibilities local demographic settings may offer and the sensitivity of different election systems to those settings. Two alternatives are considered: (1) a change from election at large to election by single-member district, or (2) augmentation of Latinos' citywide voting strength in deciding the second- or third-place winner in a multi-member at-large election format. The findings can inform local districting efforts planned around the 2000 census. Their implications extend more broadly to courts applying laws intended to safeguard minority voting rights; and to public policies aimed at balancing interests that unify a community and those that may divide its members. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Population Research and Policy Review Springer Journals

Demographic influences on Latinos' political empowerment: Comparative local illustrations

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Geography; Demography; Economic Policy; Population Economics
ISSN
0167-5923
eISSN
1573-7829
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1005914503677
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

How do Latinos gain local political power, given their demographic proportions and characteristics in a community's population? This paper examines the influences of population structure, socioeconomic factors, and residential patterns on the process by which Latinos have translated their numbers into an effective political presence in five California cities. The distinctive routes to empowerment evidenced in these cities reveal the varied possibilities local demographic settings may offer and the sensitivity of different election systems to those settings. Two alternatives are considered: (1) a change from election at large to election by single-member district, or (2) augmentation of Latinos' citywide voting strength in deciding the second- or third-place winner in a multi-member at-large election format. The findings can inform local districting efforts planned around the 2000 census. Their implications extend more broadly to courts applying laws intended to safeguard minority voting rights; and to public policies aimed at balancing interests that unify a community and those that may divide its members.

Journal

Population Research and Policy ReviewSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 7, 2004

References

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