Late last Friday night (October 29th), the Milwaukee County Board finally approved new County Supervisor district maps. Despite the two-month long process, the map failed to take into account the fastest growing constituency in the great state of Wisconsin – our Latino or Latinx community. According to the 2020 Census, the Latino community jumped in Milwaukee County by nearly 27,000, while other populations saw substantial decreases.
There was an opportunity to draw a map that paved the way for a greater voice for the state’s fastest growing demographic, Latino Wisconsinites. The 15th Supervisory District of the Milwaukee County Board has historically been a south side district. And on Friday, there was an opportunity to approve a map that would have made the 15th District 27% Latino. Instead, the map was gerrymandered, diluting the Latino voting age population to a mere 18.9%.
As the first Latina woman elected to the state Legislature (now the first Latina woman elected to the Milwaukee Common Council), I can tell you firsthand the fights I have had with the Republican-controlled Legislature, on behalf of my constituency – my community. And, I’ll admit, I have even had to contend with members on my own side of the aisle, at times.
The Latino community is a young community, many are new to this state, and we are an immigrant community. We have fought, tooth and nail, for recognition, voice, and power here in our home state. Despite our gains, we are still fighting for a seat at the table.
Last Friday, the Milwaukee County Board once again pulled the seat out from under us. That is shameful and unacceptable, and I call on the County Board to correct this massive error.
Now these maps move to the City of Milwaukee. I commit to the people of Milwaukee that my colleagues and I at City Hall will work to ensure that our redistricting process will be fair and just, and our Latino community will be respected in this process.