Texas Latinos: 1/3 of Population, 1/4 Majority Districts, 1/7 of Congressional Seats

Monday, June 04, 2012
(graphic: Printelect.com)
Growth in the number of Latinos was single biggest reason why Texas was awarded four more congressional districts after the 2010 census. And yet when the next Congress convenes, Latinos are not expected to make gains in Texas’ delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Currently, Latino lawmakers account for five of Texas’ 32 representatives in Washington. By next year, Texas will have 36 representatives, but Latinos will probably still only number five in the delegation.
Nine of the 36 Texas seats next year will be from Latino-majority districts, but either three or four of these will be represented by non-Latinos. In one such district, state Rep. Marc Veasey, an African-American, is favored to defeat former state representative Domingo Garcia in a July 31 primary runoff.
The disparity is surprising to some, considering the fact that Latinos were responsible for 65% of the state’s population growth from 2000 to 2010. Overall, they make up 38% of Texas’ population, but only 25% of registered voters.
Some observers tried to put a bright spin on the unexpected outcome, arguing that Latinos can flex their political muscle in ways other than just electing Latino candidates.
“The purpose of increasing Hispanic political opportunities is not about sending more Hispanics to Congress. I don’t know why people think that way,” Nina Perales, a lawyer at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, told The Washington Post. “It’s about increasing the voice of Latino voters. They can elect whoever they want.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
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Teresa 9 years ago
Latins = The original tribe of Latium near Rome (modern day Lazio area). Some of their dednacsents, combined with a partial Trojan ancestry per Virgil's Aeneid, went on to build Rome. Later the term Latin was applied to all the territories of the Roman Empire which spoke a language derived from Latin. In their own languages (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, French), they call themselves Latino. The Italians are the closest modern relatives of the original Latins. In the Roman Empire, the others have lineage from Roman colonizers, but in Spain the people are also part Celtiberian, the French are also part Gaul, the Portuguese are part Lusitanii, but they all have a Latin lineage, and their culture is derived in some way from their Roman roots. It shows in the style of thinking, the family structure, the relationship with parents and elders, etc, sometimes in their physical similarity to Italians but not always. So I think of them as second-generation Latins.The next (third) generation of Latinos are the people in countries where the second-generation Latins explored and colonized. So French Quebec is Latin, and the Spanish-speaking areas of Central South America and Caribbean plus the Portuguese-speaking Brazilians are Latins. This is mostly linguistic. Many people there are genetically Latin by ancestry, but many are Native American instead and have their own culture. Some have combined lineages, and some descend from Africa or other immigrants from anywhere in the world. Nevertheless, the most Latin families in Latin America usually have ancestors from Spain and Portugal, and sometimes Italy. It reflects in the type of family and its relationships, its values, culture, etc.Among the Latinos, the Spanish-speaking subset are Hispanic (those who speak the language of Hispania). Again this is mostly a linguistic term rather than an ancestral one. Some may have true Hispanic and Latin heritage and some may not, or some are partial.So an Italian is definitely a Latin (the original). In Italian that would be Latino. In the US most people think of Latinos as people coming from Latin America, where many people are truly Latinos but there are many people with other ancestries that are totally unrelated. But they all officially speak Hispanic (Spanish) which is the legacy of the Spanish Empire, which in turn has the legacy of the Roman Empire, which in turn was initiated by the tribe of Latium.

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