Latino Civic Engagement
In 2018, Colorado voters approved an amendment to the state constitution to change the ways voting districts are created for election of senators and representatives in Colorado state government and election of Colorado members of the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, DC. Voting districts are based on results of the U.S. Census conducted every ten years. In past years, dividing lines between legislative districts have been drawn by the Colorado legislature with occasional review and intervention by the state supreme court. At CLLARO, we’re working to ensure that every community is empowered through leadership development, advocacy, and policy research. Colorado Latinos deserve representation, and we won’t stop working until our voices are powerful and heard in place where decisions are being made. That vision was the reason we worked so hard to ensure that our communities were appropriately represented during the independent redistricting process in 2021. When our voices are divided or misrepresented, political players and special interests can overlook our needs. That is unacceptable, and we’re proud to say that our efforts resulted in meaningful representation for Latinos in every corner of the state. We began our work on redistricting in a way that reflects our value to always be rooted in community: mobilizing local individuals and organizations to testify on the importance of our various Latino communities across the state. We also submitted different sets of maps at the Congressional and Legislative levels that reflect the Latino communities of interest across the state. We’ve supported hours of testimony, submitted dozens of maps and briefs to the Redistricting Commissions, and even argued in front of the Colorado Supreme Court several times. Throughout the process, our message has been the same: Colorado Latinos deserve meaningful representation, and we have the power within our communities to demand it. In the end, we didn’t get everything we wanted. But we can say with confidence that our work resulted in political maps that keep our communities powerful and whole. Now, we must expand on this work to engage deeply with Latinos in every corner of the state, to organize and support and build the power that we deserve.
For the past century and a half, Latinos have been under-represented in public policymaking throughout Colorado state and local government. CLLARO has announced a new strategy for increasing Latinos' voice and influence in Colorado, The Latino Action Council.
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DPS has a decades-long history of failing to provide equal opportunities to all students, especially students of color. Problems such as the uneven distribution of resources and a lack of bilingual and culturally competent teachers have contributed to the failure of addressing the needs of all students. Though the previous superintendent understood these issues and made efforts to address them, she left after being forced out by striking teachers. As a result, the School Board began its search for a new superintendent, which was accompanied by significant criticism over the ways in which the Board went about the process. Despite many critics' efforts to change the Board's mind, this search was narrowed down to three choices.