: News

After Setbacks, D.C. Latino Community To Flex Growing Political Clout

Play associated audio

By Patrick Madden

After a series of setbacks, Latino leaders in D.C. say it’s time the growing community organizes itself and flexes its political clout. Even before the state of Arizona enacted its controversial immigration law, advocates for D.C.’s Latino community say there’s been a growing sense of anger and frustration.

There was the city’s decision to sign on to a federal program that helps local police catch illegal immigrants. There’s an anti-loitering proposal working through the D.C. Council that advocates say targets Latinos. And, most recently, a proposal to cut the city's Office of Latino Affairs’ budget by half next year.

"I think we saying ‘no more,' we are going to stop these and we are going to organize ourselves and push-back," says Juan Carlos Ruiz, Director of Advocacy for the Latino Federation of Greater Washington.

He’s helping launch the Latino Action Coalition later this month. The group will register Latino voters, organize get-out-the-vote operations, and try to turn D.C.’s growing Latino population into a powerful voting bloc.

"Our message is we are here, we count, we are voting, and from now in the future, when you want to talk for us, don’t talk for us - talk with us and we come together," he says.

Latinos make up more than ten percent of the city’s population. And that percentage is expected to grow. Ruiz says the coalition will focus on wards 1 and 4, which have the highest concentration of Latinos. Registering voters will be the first priority, but he says the group has its eyes on a bigger prize: Latino representation on the D.C. Council.

WAMU 88.5

It Takes A Nation: Art For Social Justice At The Katzen Arts Center

As the Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party, graphic artist Emory Douglas created striking visual images for the movement's publications and posters.

NPR

How Arnold Palmer Hit A Hole-In-One With His Signature Drink

As we mourn the golf great, we acknowledge another contribution he made to our culture: the tasty and refreshing iced tea and lemonade beverage that carries his name.
WAMU 88.5

It Takes A Nation: Art For Social Justice At The Katzen Arts Center

As the Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party, graphic artist Emory Douglas created striking visual images for the movement's publications and posters.

NPR

Live Fact Check: Trump And Clinton Debate For The First Time

NPR reporters and editors are live annotating Monday night's debate. Read the latest fact check, analysis and context here.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.