The Silent Crisis: Involving Latinos in Decision-Making & Why Latino Representation Matters provides a measure of the economic, social, and political inclusion of Latinos at mid-decade in three cities of the Commonwealth where about one fourth of the state’s Latino population lives. Often wrongly referred to as a “new population,” Latinos have been present in Massachusetts since the end of the 19th century, arriving in large numbers beginning in the 1960s and 1970s and growing to nearly 630,000 persons (9.6% of the population) by 2010. That same year, they accounted for 62.1% of the population of Chelsea, 17.5% of the population of Boston, and 10.6% of the population of Somerville.
The report focuses on reflective representation, that is, the type of representation that seeks to reflect the demography of a certain group or population. It defines representation of Latinos in executive positions in city government and among members of boards and commissions in relation to the representation of Latinos in the overall population of the cities. It identifies under-representation when the level of representation in government bodies fall below the proportion of Latinos in the population of each city. The report utilizes census data to describe the population of each city; each city’s publicly available data on specific executive positions and boards and commissions; and interviews conducted with government officials in the cities.
The report demonstrates that while the Latino presence in each of these cities has grown and become increasingly evident, the presence of Latinos in city government has not kept pace. Instead, in each city, we find a gap between the presence and growth of Latino communities and their representation in the halls of government.
Part of the UMass Boston Community-Engaged Teaching, Research, and Service Series. http://scholarworks.umb.edu/engage
Uriarte, Miren; Jennings, James; and Douglas, Jen, "The Silent Crisis: Including Latinos and Why It Matters, Representation in Executive Positions, Boards, and Commissions in the City Governments of Boston, Chelsea, and Somerville" (2014). Human Services Faculty Publication Series. 1.
Greater Boston Latino Network