Report Finds Latino Representation Lacking in State Government Appointments
A new report from the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Institute (LPPI) offers an in-depth picture of the state of Latino representation across the California governor’s leadership cabinet and influential state governing bodies. Latinos make up 39.1% of the state population but only 18.4% of executive appointees, according to the report. Among all women, Latinas remain the most underrepresented. The report also found a lack of Central and Southern California voices on executive boards and commissions. These influential state governing bodies play a critical role in advising the administration, establishing statewide policy priorities and regulatory standards, and determining the allocation of billions of dollars in public resources. The report noted that Latinos who do serve on these bodies tend to be more recent appointments: 70.7% of Latino appointees were appointed in the last four years, while non-Hispanic white appointees are more likely to be legacy appointments carried over from a previous administration. Policy recommendations outlined in the report include limiting these legacy reappointments and issuing an executive order that sets directives for reaching proportional representation of the state’s diverse constituencies across race and ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation and geographic residence. “Without representation in these bodies, the myriad of policy reforms necessitating a Latino lens evolve into a universal approach that can leave Latinos worse off,” LPPI Executive Director Sonja Diaz told the Sacramento Bee. “Our elected leaders have an obligation to do more to ensure the state’s diverse Latino population is truly represented as architects of state policy and rule-making.”
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