Latinos have the largest gap in California government leadership positions

Although Latinos make up a significant portion of California’s population, the group remains underrepresented on influential state boards and commissions, according to a recent study. The UCLA Latino Politics and Policy Institute study found that Latinos have the largest representation gap of any racial and ethnic group among appointed leaders in California. One of the governor’s many responsibilities is to choose people to serve in high-level leadership positions in his cabinet and on the various commissions and boards of the state. These rulers have a say in government laws and spending. “We need many firsts at every level,” said Yana Garcia, the first-ever Latina from California to serve as secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, also known as CalEPA. . Garcia is one of several Latinos chosen by Governor Gavin Newsom to fill leadership positions across the state. According to the UCLA study, more than 70% of Latinos appointed to cabinet, state board and commission positions were appointed by Newsom. Garcia, who was sworn in last month, is of Mexican descent and has family ties to Oaxaca. “Those roots have really shaped my interest in environmental justice from the perspective of understanding what drives people away from home and what drives people to seek opportunities elsewhere and often that has a lot to do with it. with water issues, access to land, access to a clean and safe environment, and a supply of healthy food,” Garcia said. California plans to cut most of its petroleum use and of gas by 2045 and will phase out the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035. Garcia notes that these policies will require Latin American representation, among other marginalized groups, regarding rebates on electric vehicles . and infrastructure.” I think it’s crucial to have people who not only understand the socio-economic demographic makeup of our communities, but also the cultural barriers and opportunities. ties that can exist when talking day to day,” Garcia said. “I think it’s important to recognize that there are certain barriers to rapid deployment, one is cost and the other is making sure we’re getting the word out, that we’re able to get people to understand to our communities that electrifying our future is something we can all do.” While Garcia and other Newsom appointees serve as a starting point for a more diverse government that reflects the state’s population, experts say there’s still a lot of work to be done. The UCLA researchers found that although Latinos make up 39.1% of California’s population, they make up 18.1% of executive appointees. “It’s really a challenge to overcome this history and this legacy of underrepresentation and it’s a huge task for the governor to do,” said UCLA researcher Paul Barragain-Monge. “It’s definitely something we think they’re up to.” The study found that Latinos have the best representation in public education with 27% appointed to educational boards and commissions. “It’s always a challenge given that this is the most represented sector or issue, but the fact is that Latinos make up over 55% of our K-12 education system and 43% of the student body in state higher education,” Barragain-Monge said. The sector where Latino representation was the most anemic is criminal justice, where Latinos hold 10% of appointed positions in California. “The reason this is a problem is that the Latino population makes up over 40% of the jail and prison population in California and Latino youth are 65% more likely than white youth to encounter the justice system,” a said Barragain-Monge. The UCLA researchers recommend that the governor consider limiting the granting of legacy term renewals and instead, leverage term limits and job openings to bring in new, more diverse voices. They also urged him to sign a bill that would have created a system to track and report the demographic makeup of gubernatorial appointments, for his administration and beyond. Newsom vetoed the bill, SB 1387, in September. “I am deeply committed to making appointments at all levels of government that reflect California’s diversity. My office makes an intentional and transparent effort to build a diverse and qualified pool of candidates for these positions,” the governor wrote. “However, implementing this bill is expected to cost millions of unaccounted for budget dollars to update the appointment request system to track and report additional data points. Our state being faced with lower-than-expected revenues in the first few months of this fiscal year, it is important to remain disciplined in spending.”

Although Latinos make up a significant portion of California’s population, the group remains underrepresented on influential state boards and commissions, according to a recent study.

The UCLA Latino Politics and Policy Institute study found that Latinos have the largest representation gap of any racial and ethnic group among appointed leaders in California.

One of the governor’s many responsibilities is to choose people to serve in high-level leadership positions in his cabinet and on the various commissions and boards of the state. These rulers have a say in government laws and spending.

“We need many firsts at every level,” said Yana Garcia, the first-ever Latina from California to serve as secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, also known as CalEPA. .

Garcia is one of several Latinos chosen by Governor Gavin Newsom to fill leadership positions across the state. According to the UCLA study, more than 70% of Latinos appointed to cabinet, state board and commission positions were appointed by Newsom.

Garcia, who was sworn in last month, is of Mexican descent and has family ties to Oaxaca.

“Those roots have really shaped my interest in environmental justice from the perspective of understanding what drives people away from home and what drives people to seek opportunities elsewhere and often that has a lot to do with it. with water issues, access to land, access to a clean and safe environment and a supply of healthy food,” Garcia said.

California plans to reduce most of its oil and gas use by 2045 and will phase out the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035. Garcia notes that these policies will require Latin American representation, among others. other marginalized groups, regarding discounts on electric vehicles. and infrastructure.

“I think it’s crucial to have people who not only understand the socio-economic demographic makeup of our communities, but also the cultural barriers and opportunities that can exist when talking day to day,” said Garcia said. “I think it’s important to recognize that there are certain barriers to rapid deployment, one is cost and the other is making sure we’re getting the word out, that we’re able to get people to understand to our communities that electrifying our future is something we can all do.”

While Garcia and other Newsom appointees serve as a starting point for a more diverse government that reflects the state’s population, experts say there’s still a lot of work to be done.

UCLA researchers found that although Latinos make up 39.1% of California’s population, they make up 18.1% of leadership appointments.

“It’s really a challenge to overcome this history and this legacy of underrepresentation and it’s a huge task for the governor to do,” said UCLA researcher Paul Barragain-Monge. “It’s definitely something we think they’re willing to pay for.”

The study found that Latinos have the best representation in public education with 27% appointed to educational boards and commissions.

“It’s always a challenge given that this is the most represented sector or issue, but the fact is that Latinos make up over 55% of our K-12 education system and 43% of the student body in state higher education,” Barragain-Monge said.

The sector where Latino representation was the most anemic is criminal justice, where Latinos hold 10% of appointed positions in California.

“The reason this is a problem is that the Latino population makes up over 40% of the jail and prison population in California and Latino youth are 65% more likely than white youth to encounter the justice system,” a said Barragain-Monge.

The UCLA researchers recommend that the governor consider limiting the granting of legacy term renewals and instead, leverage term limits and job openings to bring in new, more diverse voices.

They also urged him to sign a bill that would have created a system to track and report the demographic makeup of gubernatorial appointments, for his administration and beyond.

Newsom vetoed the bill, SB 1387, in September.

“I am deeply committed to making appointments at all levels of government that reflect California’s diversity. My office makes an intentional and transparent effort to build a diverse and qualified pool of candidates for these positions,” the governor wrote.

“However, implementing this bill is expected to cost millions of unaccounted for budget dollars to update the appointment request system to track and report additional data points. Our state being faced with lower-than-expected revenues in the first few months of this fiscal year, it is important to remain disciplined in spending.”

Bernard P. Love