Opinion: The Role Latinos Play in Congress


Dr. Sylvia Rivera Manzano
This session of Congress has the distinction of a historic level of Latinos: 38 between the House of Representatives and the Senate. They need to find a way to represent all Latinos and not just those who vote Democrat.
That’s the opinion of Sylvia Rivera Manzano, writing at Latinovations.com. Manzano, an assistant political professor of political science at Texas A&M, writes, “In terms of policy representation, it is fair for the Latino electorate to expect co-ethnics in office to champion a specific policy agenda.” The majority of Latinos side with Democrats on core, party-defining issues.
She adds, “There remains a smaller but steadfast Republican and conservative policy-leaning share of the Latino electorate, just as there is a smaller GOP Latino delegation. Because Latino voter preferences are so clear, Latinos in Congress can confidently coalesce  around these issues to amplify their collective impact on legislation.”
Manzano concludes, “Latino Democrats in the 113th are in more high-profile partisan roles than prior Congresses, which suggests the party understands the importance of developing Latino political talent within their ranks given the decisive impact Latino voters had in President Obama’s re-election. Both teams learned that taking Latino voters seriously is not just a novelty of the 2012 Obama win, it is the future of winning.”