Once the mayor and each council member picked one member, and four others were nominated through the usual committee process, it turned out that there was not a single Latino on the panel.According to the U.S. Census, Sacramento has a population that is 48 percent white; 15.5 percent black; 17 percent Asian and 22 percent Latino. The notion that when everything was said and done no one noticed that there was not one Latino serving on the panel until Latino community leaders brought it to the attention of the City Council underscores a couple of problems facing the Latino community. According to the Sacramento City Council:
It also turned out, however, that no eligible Latino applicants stepped forward, apparently because the word didn't get out or because of confusion about the application process, or a combination of both.With higher numbers in the population comes greater civic responsibility. It must be understood that there must be Latino representation in local politics, on executive boards, among policy makers, etc. That means Latinos must become involved. It's no longer acceptable, as if it ever was, for Latino inclusion to be an afterthought. Those days are over. Also, there must be a bigger community emphasis on children finishing school and pursuing careers, whether vocational or degreed, to broaden the pool of people who can think critically and contribute to the well-being of their communities by being selected for these city committees, state advisory boards or as part of national councils. The growth of the Latino population should be celebrated but not without realizing the real work begins now.