Latino Voting Power In Nebraska Diminished

Last week in our national Latino redistricting roundup, we reported that in Nebraska Latino voter power was set to be diminished under a recently adopted redistricting plan. This week the group Somos Republicans wrote a little more extensively on the redistricting, an excerpt from a press release notes:

Omaha has one of the largest and most vibrant Latino populations in the Great Plains region, including a majority Latino population in South Omaha. South Omaha even has one of America’s few Latino museums.

Many politicians participated in the parade, but noticeably missing from the parade were any Latino state legislators. Nebraska has no Latino state legislators, and in 144 year history as a state there has only been one Latino legislator, Ray Aguilar, from Grand Island, who left due to term limits. According to the 2010 census, 9% of Nebraskans are Latino. Of 49 state senators, one would expect 4-5 state senators who are Latino, and yet there are none. Neighboring Kansas is 9.3% Latino, and has five Latino state legislators.

There is no lack of qualified Hispanic candidates in South Omaha. South Omaha leader Rebecca Barrientos-Patlan ran in 2008 for State Senate, losing to former Ben Nelson staffer Heath Mello, who was heavily backed by the Democrat Party. South Omaha has never had a Latino legislator is due in part the current districting scheme, which divides South Omaha into several legislative districts, and combines South Omaha neighborhoods with very different neighborhoods outside the area, such as the upscale condo area just south of downtown Omaha, and part of suburban Sarpy County.

The Omaha World-Herald reported that the city’s Latino voting population was split between two districts under the current plan, although there was some controversy about creating one majority Latino district. The paper goes on to say that a May 13 hearing will allow for people to comment on this current Latino vote-splitting plan. The Nebraska State Paper noted that “The officially nonpartisan Nebraska Legislature has a solid Republican majority, and those with the majority draw the lines.” KVNO news seconded that sentiment.

Ultimately, it’s bad for the entire state of Nebraska if the Latino vote is not represented. What happens if you have a sizable and growing portion of the population that is being disenfranchised? Discontent, resentment and nothing good, one can glean from the often violent and painful suffrage movements for women in the 1920s and minorities in the 1960s. Let’s hope that for Nebraska, and the other states in our redistricting sights, there’s still hope for equal representation.

Follow Sara Inés Calderón on Twitter @SaraChicaD

[Image By Darwinek]

Subscribe today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Must Read

How a harsh criticism turned ‘Coco’ into Pixar’s most uniquely made movie yet

Victor Landa November 17, 2017

Director Lee Unkrich was hot off the box office success and Oscar win for 2010’s “Toy Story 3” when he delved into making a movie that focused on the Mexican […]

Trump Administration Targets and then Mocks Immigrant with Prosthetic Leg

Victor Landa November 15, 2017

A 20-year-old undocumented immigrant with prosthetic leg and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status has been detained by federal immigration agents and held without charges for over a month, treated inhumanely […]

More Latinas are becoming teachers and reshaping our nation’s classrooms

Victor Landa November 29, 2017

The growth of the Latino population in the United States will have a lasting cultural and intellectual impact beyond the arts, food, and celebrations. More and more, Latinas are becoming […]

As Numbers Grow, Recognizing Generations Of Latino Veterans

Victor Landa November 10, 2017

As the nation honors its veterans, government officials point to the growing numbers of Latinos in the military, while Hispanic scholars and historians remind us of the generations of Latino […]

U.S Hispanic Chamber Leader Who Has Had Turbulent Relationship With Trump May Be Ousted

Victor Landa November 22, 2017

The US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) is moving behind the scenes to oust its prominent president Javier Palomarez over allegations that he misused the organization’s money for his personal […]

How Indie Latinx Comic Book Authors Are Capturing the Latinx Experience

Victor Landa November 13, 2017

Back in 2010, comics creator Javier Hernandez was walking around San Francisco with his friend Ricardo Padilla when he had an idea: Why don’t they build a comics convention focusing […]

Half of Latino Immigrant Characters on TV Are Portrayed as Criminals, Study Finds

Victor Landa November 1, 2017

Define American, the immigration nonprofit founded by Pulitzer-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, has released its first-ever media reference guide for writers, directors, and producers concerning Latino immigrant characters. Immigrants and […]

Hispanic Caucus denies membership to Republican Carlos Curbelo

Victor Landa November 17, 2017

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Thursday denied Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo his membership bid, the latest volley in a nasty dispute between the Florida lawmaker and some members of the […]