STATEWIDE – In response to the ongoing struggle to achieve fair maps in Wisconsin, Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera, issued the following statement:
“The bedrock of our democracy depends on equal representation for everyone in our state, especially for people of color who’ve been historically and are presently disenfranchised through partisan gerrymandering and voter suppression laws. For the past three decades, Latinxs have been sustaining the state’s population and have been critical in essential industries and communities across the state. Latinxs are now Wisconsin’s largest demographic of people of color and the fastest growing population of any ethnicity, showing a 33% population growth rate from the 2010 to 2020 census.
The Latinx community has specific policy needs, such as in-state college tuition equity, access to drivers licenses, and protective labor legislation. The ability to pass such policies is determined by whether legislative districts are fairly drawn and provide the opportunity to elect representatives that come from our own ranks.
It is now clear that for the upcoming decade, no new state legislative district map will be produced by the Wisconsin Legislature and Governor Evers. Anticipating exactly that, Voces de la Frontera became a party to the federal case, BLOC, VOCES et al v. Spindell et al, earlier this summer, and it has intervened in a similar case, Johnson v. WEC, currently before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Through litigation and organizing, Voces has 5 objectives: A
- Maintaining and strengthening Latinx majority and influence Assembly districts – Districts 8 and 9, respectively — that Voces won in its 2011 federal Voting Rights Act litigation in the Baldus case;
- Ensuring that the Latinx population is not “cracked,” or divided up, in the Senate district plan to create the opportunity for the election of a Latinx candidate of choice to the Senate in the future;
- Standing in solidarity with the efforts of African-American voters to guarantee their ability to elect candidates of their choice to best represent their community;
- Statewide, making sure Wisconsin’s legislative districts are fair, giving voters the power to select their legislators and hold them accountable for the next decade;
- Identifying opportunities at the local and state level where Latinx growth can translate into a seat at the school board, city or county level of government in order to give voice and visibility to the Latinx community, standing in solidarity with the needs of a multiracial working class, and opposing all forms of discrimination.”