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The weakening of Latino political power in Colorado

Posted: February 12, 2016 at 9:15 am by , in Featured, Morning Magazine

“In the last 25 years that Latino population increased substantially, it’s now at 21% but we still have just 11 Latino legislators in the state Capitol.”

Journalist Marianne Goodland says that political representation at a state level has declined dramatically for Colorado Latinos in the last 10 years. “What we had 25 years ago was proportional representation… in 1991 there were 12 Latino legislators out of 100 and the population of Latinos in Colorado at that time was about 12.8% so it matched up pretty well.”

Goodland says that despite the Latino population growing in the state, representation has declined “it’s now at 21% but we still have just 11 Latino legislators in the state Capitol, more or less split evenly between the House and Senate.”

Goodland looks at the reasons for this trend in a recent article in the Colorado Independent.

“Latino lawmakers say part of the reason stems from Hispanic migration from rural parts of the state to the metro areas.Colorado had a significant Hispanic population dating back to long before the state was a state or the United States was even the United States. That population was centered largely in the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado.”