“Silent Majority / Mayoría Silenciosa: Texas’ booming Hispanic population deeply underrepresented in local politics”


Austin American-Statesman and Ahora Sí  
October 21, 2016 

Throughout 2016, members of the American-Statesman’s investigative and interactives teams, along with ¡Ahora Sí!, the Statesman’s Spanish-language newspaper, teamed up to measure rates of underrepresentation in Texas and explore their origin and impact.
While issues of Latino representation and voting rates have been well-reported at the statewide and national level, no research existed to measure rates of underrepresentation at the local level — on city councils and county commissioners courts. The Statesman team did that work.

They found that more than 1.3 million Hispanics in Texas live in cities or counties with no Hispanic representation on their city council or commissioners court. In a state where Hispanics make up 38 percent of the population, Latinos represent about 10 percent of mayors and county judges in the state, and most of those officials serve South Texas.
“Silent Majority / Mayoría Silenciosa” presented that data in an interactive package online in both English and Spanish and over four days in the print newspaper. The package went far beyond the data to explore the reasons for underrepresentation and the effects of long-term underrepresentation.

LINK to content online

Submitted by John Bridges.

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