Like in other states across the country, Latinos in Washington are driving growth in the Evergreen State. They are the second largest racial or ethnic group at 13 percent of the population. Since 2000, the Latino population has grown by 133 percent—more than four times the state’s overall growth rate during the same time (30 percent).
The UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Institute also reports that Latino men participate in the labor force at the highest rate among the major racial, ethnic, and gender groups in Washington (80 percent). Latinas have the second-highest labor force participation rate (64 percent) among women of major racial and ethnic groups.
However, despite the positive gains, there are significant challenges. The conditions of Latinos are best described as paradoxical. Although Latinos have a high labor force participation, 18 percent of Latino households experience poverty. In Washington, half of Latino families experience a housing cost burden—meaning they spend more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing costs. This rate is three percentage points higher than that of Washington households (47 percent). Latinos are most likely to live in an overcrowded home—meaning they live with more than one person per room.
The stories of contradictions, the ones about Latinos not benefitting from the wealth they are creating, the systemic disparities, including lack of access to health care and food insecurity, that were aggravated by the pandemic and continue to pose a threat to Latinos, are ones we, at the Latino News Network (LNN), know all too well.
LNN has been providing greater visibility and voice to Hispanic Latino communities since 2012. Our flagship news outlet, Connecticut Latino News has been recognized for producing coverage like Reaching Latino Voters Is All About The Message. The in-depth report explores spatial over racial voting techniques in drawing Latinos to the voting booths.
Our newsrooms not only fulfill their responsibility of telling Latino stories seldom seen in mainstream media through original reporting but also by amplifying the work of others in doing the same. Partners like the Latino Policy Institute work diligently to ignite transformational change. In “From Rhode Island To All: Latino Policy Institute’s Vision For America“, Marcela Betancur, Executive Director of the Latino Policy Institute, states, “At the heart of LPI’s mission is the unwavering belief that every child, irrespective of their background, should have access to a rich, empowering education.”
Collaborations like the one with the Boston University School of Communications School of Journalism provide the Latino News Network with opportunities to mentor young journalists and provide them with real work opportunities. “What Does It Mean To Be Hispanic Or Latino?” by student reporters Annika Chaves and Esmeralda Moran is an example of dynamic storytelling from fresh perspectives.
LNN applies the principles of solutions journalism in its investigative reporting. It isn’t good enough to illuminate a social problem for us. Our journalists strive to unravel the responses to those issues by gathering evidence, providing insights, and identifying limitations. There is no better example of that approach than “A “Familismo” Approach To Latino College Enrollment” by Apps Mandar Bichu. Her reporting revealed how pivotal responses in helping Latino students get back on track with higher education required cultural nuances.
WA Latino News is committed to best serving Washington Latinos by drawing from the well of experience of our newsrooms nationwide. We invite you to lead us in our efforts to produce news coverage that is fair and accurate.
Share with us the people and stories to which we should provide greater visibility and voice. Let us know who we should reach out to in exploring partnerships. Please introduce us to schools of higher education to identify students to mentor and work with. Identify the social issues that are worth looking into.
We need you. At the Latino News Network, you are more than just the audience; you are our contributors.
Please reach out to us via info@LatinoNewsNetwork.com
Cover Photo by Eric M.V (ROWDY)