Over 500 Latinx leaders in California urge Newsom to appoint Latinx senator to replace Kamala Harris
In California’s 150-year history, there has never been a Latinx U.S. Senator representing the state.
Hispanics and Latinos make-up the largest ethinic population in California, but no Latinx leaders have ever filled the state’s largest positions of power.
California has never had a Latinx Governor or U.S. Senator, but if Senator Kamala Harris becomes Vice President in November, the state is way past due to have its first Latinx senator to represent its majority, and California Governor Gavin Newsom has the authority to make history.
California’s Latinx leaders are represented throughout its legislature, and smaller governmental positions — through state representatives, state senators, mayors and councilmembers — but its two U.S. Senate seats and the Governor's office are yet to be touched.
And while the government position is taken for now, Harris’ seat may soon find itself empty.
Now, over 500 Latinx leaders across California have banded together, calling on their governor to appoint a Latinx Senator should the Biden-Harris campaign win the presidency.
CA is 40% Latino, yet we have never had a Latino/Latina represent our state in the United States Senate. That could change this year. Today, @LatinoCommFdn and over 500 Latino leaders across CA are calling on @GavinNewsom to appoint a Latino/a. @cmarinuccihttps://t.co/ycU2kGVWJc
— Latino Community Fdn (@LatinoCommFdn) August 20, 2020
Drafted by the Latino Community Foundation, signers argue that Latinos make up only 4% of the Senate despite making up 18.5% of the American population.
“It is up to states like California to do their part to ensure that we are building more diverse and inclusive institutions reflective of our society,” the letter reads.
Nationally, only nine Hispanic Americans have served in the U.S. Senate — four of which are currently serving, including Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, the first Latina ever elected to the U.S. Senate.
There is no excuse for California’s lack of representation within its most visible positions of power, especially with its abundance of qualified Latinx candidates open to consideration. Not only would this sort of representation be historic, it could potentially open the doors to even higher political positions, as it did for Harris.
As witnessed in the last two weeks, and from reactions to this year’s DNC, Biden’s selection of Kamala Harris as his running mate proved that representation mattered.
These 500 leaders are all addressing Newsom in a collective call to action: The time is now to elect the first-ever Latinx U.S. Senator from California.