MILWAUKEE — In a unanimous vote, the Common Council voted to sustain Mayor Barrett’s veto on the new aldermanic district map, after many community groups voiced frustrations over the lack of representation for Milwaukee’s growing Latinx population.
“The current city redistricting map does not provide proper representation for the Latino community,” said LULAC’s Jaime Alvarado.
The 2020 U.S. Census reported the city of Milwaukee lost 17,000 residents, but the Latinx population grew by 13,000.
With 15 aldermanic seats available, Voces de la Frontera Fair Maps Commission member Jesus Salas says this vote is monumental for potential representation.
“It’s a tremendous victory for the Latino community - it’s leaders, it’s organizations that were able to impress upon the mayor to veto the first map. And secondly, for now the city council to vote unanimously, that the Latino community deserves consideration,” said Salas.
“We’ve come this far because we stood together, a beautiful cross-section of our diverse Latino community,” said 8th District Ald. JoCasta Zamarripa.
First district alderman Ashanti Hamilton says the initiative is greater than redistricting.
“Part of the process that we are attempting to demonstrate and exemplify is our ability to have an impact on the way that marginalized communities interact with their government,” said Hamilton.
Now, with more time to address the potential combining of wards from districts 11, 13 and 14, community leaders say the hope for what this could mean for future elections is bright.
“This will give the Latino community the opportunity to discuss the math that better reflects our population growth and movement. It will give the Latino community an opportunity to elect candidates of our choice,” said State Representative Sylvia Ortiz-Velez.
With the keeping of the veto, the council now has until Jan. 18 to revise the new map, with the mayor’s confidence that it will not interfere with any future vote.