Latino USA: Death and an Election in Pasco

Nov 7, 2015
11:11 AM

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This week on Latino USA, producer and award-winning journalist Marlon Bishop visits the town of Pasco, Washington, where last February police officers shot and killed an undocumented farm worker. The incident shook Pasco’s Latino community, which makes up a majority of the town’s population.

Despite their numbers, Latinos are noticeably absent from local government: there is only one Latino on the city council. In the wake of the shooting, however, the Latinos of Pasco began demanding changes, and more Latinos ran for elected office than in the town’s history.

Latino USA looks at one of those campaigns: 19-year-old Bertha Alicia Corea’s bid to represent Pasco’s 1st district.

Bertha’s chances aren’t great. One reason is that about 30 percent of Pasco’s Latino community is believed to be undocumented and cannot vote. But for the Latinos in Pasco who are citizens, voter participation is really low. So even though Latinos are a majority in Pasco, it’s mostly white people who are doing the voting.

On the issue of Latino voter participation, and continuing with its project America By The Numbers, Latino USA asks: “What Is the Latino Vote?