(This story originally aired in February of 2020.)
During the 1960’s, Jimmie Lee Jackson tried registering to vote multiple times without success in Marion Alabama. These experiences activated him to take up the cause for the right to vote. His efforts, and finally his murder, led to a march which resulted in Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama during 1965.
We speak with Latino Progress, Director of Civic Engagement and Advocacy, Felipe Rodriguez Flores about voters rights in Washington, amidst the Pasco Washington voters rights lawsuit. He was in the KBCS studios with News Director, Yuko Kodama.
Last week, the Washington State chapter of the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the city of Pasco’s at-large election system for violating the Voting Rights Act. The ACLU alleges the city has been unlawfully diluting the vote of Latinos in elections, preventing any Latino candidates from winning City Council seats.
This lack of minority representation is, unfortunately, not unique to Pasco. In 2014 Yuko Kodama interviewed University of Washington Political Science and Adjunct Law Professor, Matt Barreto, who said Washington State has some of the worst levels of equal representation in local government, and warned that voter rights lawsuits were on the horizon.
Many Americans tend to take pride in our election system. This KBCS Produced five-part-series reflects on the struggles toward making our voting process more fair.
Producer Yuko Kodama interviewed former University of Washington Political Science Professor Luis Ricardo Fraga and University of Washington Political Science and Adjunct Law Professor, Matt Barreto in 2013. You can listen to excerpts of the interviews below.
Visit our Elections page for KBCS’ coverage of issues and candidates in the upcoming election.