New Book “Empowered: Latinos Transforming Arizona Politics”

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A new book, titled, “Empowered! Latinos Transforming Arizona Politics,” argues that Arizona’s political landscape is more inclusive and progressive than it has ever been. Horizonte’s Jose Cardenas talked about that transformation with Lisa Magaña, who co-authored the book with Cesar S. Silva.

Magaña describes that the thesis of the book is that there have been various phases of Latino politics. Starting with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, then the Mexican Revolution, then WWII where more Mexican-Americans went to college, then first-time scholars and elected officials that were Mexican-American, then the Chicano movement, then voter registration and the growth of Hispanic organizations. She believes that currently, we are experiencing the last two phases of the Latino movement in the United States.

Magaña states that more than 95% of the Arizona Latino community are born in the U.S. She says that the idea that Latinos in Arizona are all immigrants or living in the country illegally is not the dominating truth. The Latino community in the state is overwhelmingly of Mexican descent, and she shares that in the last presidential election, Trump got some of the Latino votes. In Florida, this pertained more toward the Cuban and Venezuelan communities. However, Arizona showed those votes to pertain to the Mexican community.

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