Monday, November 15, 2010

And today’s most prominent U.S. Latino leader is…?

By their own reckoning, Latinos living in the United States do not have a national leader. When asked in an open-ended question to name the person they consider "the most important Latino leader in the country today," nearly two-thirds (64%) of Hispanic respondents said they did not know. An additional 10% said "no one."

These findings emerge from a bilingual national survey of 1,375 Latino adults conducted prior to this month's mid-term elections by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.

Sonia Sotomayor, appointed last year to the U.S. Supreme Court, was the most frequently named individual with some 7% of respondents saying she is the most important Latino leader in the country. U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) of Chicago is next at 5%, followed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at 3%, and Jorge Ramos, an anchor on Noticiero Univision, the national evening news program on the Spanish-language television network Univision, at 2%. No one else was named by more than 1% of respondents.

The survey also explored the subject of leadership in the Latino community in another way. Respondents were presented with the names of eight prominent Latinos and asked if they had heard of each. Those who said they had were then asked if they considered that person to be a leader.

Of the eight names presented, Sotomayor received the highest leadership score: 45% of respondents considered her a leader. Ramos is next at 38%, followed by Villaraigosa at 29% and Guitierrez at 23%. No one else on the list had a score above 20%.

The report, "National Latino Leader? The Job is Open," was authored by Paul Taylor, Director, Pew Hispanic Center, and Mark Hugo Lopez, Associate Director, Pew Hispanic Center, and is available at the Pew Hispanic Center's website.


Thomas said...

The Latino that had the biggest influence on my life was Jerry Garcia.

Beach Bum said...

I know many republicans have some idea Marko Rubio will become a national leader and lead Hispanics back to their ranks. Butr after all the hateful reaction and remarks about Hispanics I doubt that will be the case.

I am certain of one thing with their growing numbers they are a politcal sleeping giant and will change the course of the nation once they realize it.

Border Explorer said...

Thomas, you're hilarious.

BB, perhaps their growing numbers and that inherent political power is why the GOP appears to me me as being so afraid of the immigrant population (e.g. recent Arizona law).

Thanks for your comments, guys.

Dava Castillo said...

I have been trying to think about why not having one central leader for Hispanics has not entered my mind. Great civil rights' movements have had leaders whose leadership influences have out lived them and continue to serve even though they are gone. For example, Ernesto Galarza set in motion the labor movement that Ceasar Chavez carried to its fruition. Martin Luther King was the mentor and symbol for many African Americans who continue his work today.

Perhaps we don't know their names because they are working tirelessly within their communities on small scales because those who came before them paved the way for them to be able to continue the fight for equality and civil rights.

When I read about efforts that you and your border organizations perform, I think about the rights and freedoms that make this possible.

I think the most prominent leader is each of us who take up the cause within our abilities to either speak out or take action. Maybe we don't know their names, but we know the many who came before them who are now silent but their eminence and authority still guide us.