Monday, June 8, 2015

The Westside Brown-Out

Occasionally social media conversations inspire me to write a blog post and today was such a day.

The conversation was about the District 1 run-off race and someone made a comment about neither candidate having a Spanish last name.

Well it got me to thinking about the fact that the westside really doesn't have any Latino elected officials and hasn't for some time. The ones they have had like State Rep Joe Moody and the late Constable Robert White, didn't have Latino last names even though they both identify as Latino.

Before I go any further I would like all the westside gringos reading this to relax. This isn't a criticism that you guys are white and hold all the offices, just a statement of fact so calma la...

All the school board members are white.

The Justices of the Peace are white.

The elected constable on the westside is white.

Both city reps are white.

The commissioner is white.

Unless I'm missing it, there are no Latinos holding elected office in west El Paso (other than Moody who is half). The last time someone Latino represented a district that was compromised of large portions of the westside is Anthony Cobos. Before that I think it was Elvia Hernandez.

Several candidates have tried to win in those areas but it may be a function of a more conservative electorate as well. Most of the races have a primary component and so when it comes down to D versus R in those areas, the Latino candidates are typically the D's like Sergio Coronado and Julio Diaz.

Even in the city council races Latino candidates just haven't done well on the westside. Josh Dagda is actually Latino. He was the second Latino candidate that City Rep Cortney Niland defeated.

Manny Hinojosa has now run for city council on the westside twice and hasn't had any luck either and this time Bertha Gallardo and Daniel Lopez both had poor showings in the District 1 race.

There were Latino candidates in all of the westside EPISD school board races and none of them managed get a win.

There is most certainly a brown-out on the westside and it will likely continue for the next few years considering all the westside seats were determined within the last year.

Just an interesting phenomenon I thought I'd share.

(NOTE: I got a call from Peter who was bothered by what he felt was an implication on my part that he isn't Latino. He identifies as Latino. I read what I wrote a couple times now and I never say that in this piece although I guess you could infer that. To clarify I used the term Latino in place of Mexican-American or Chicano, which is how I identify, which in this case is probably pretty sloppy on my behalf considering his father is Argentino. So my bad..sorta.)

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