skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Monday, March 4, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Democracy Trailblazers ignite enthusiasm among teen voters; CA monster blizzard batters Tahoe, Mammoth, Sierra amid avalanche warnings; MN transportation sector could be next in line for carbon-free standard; IN teachers 'stunned' by lawmakers' bid to bypass collective bargaining.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Nikki Haley says she may not endorse the GOP nominee, President Biden says the U-S will continue air-dropping aid into Gaza and more states look at ditching the electoral college for a national popular vote.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

Exposed During COVID-19, Yakima Latinos Sue County Over Election System

play audio
Play

Tuesday, July 14, 2020   

YAKIMA, Wash. -- A group of Latino Washingtonians are suing Yakima County over its election structure. They say the county's reaction to the pandemic exposes why the system needs to be reformed.

Countywide voting gives the slight-white majority in the area control, with only one Latino ever serving on the commission two decades ago. Latino residents say the system disenfranchises them.

Bengie Aguilar is a plaintiff and former council member of Sunnyside, located in the Yakima valley.

"Can we call it a democracy if we know in advance that none of our preferred candidates will ultimately be elected?" Aguilar said. "Democracy means government of the people, by the people, for the people - all the people."

The Yakima County commission was given six months to work on changing the system or face a lawsuit under the Washington Voting Rights Act. The Board of Yakima County Commissioners did not respond to a request for comment, but has said in the past that they are willing to work with community members to change elections.

Roxana Norouzi is deputy director at OneAmerica, a plaintiff in this case. She said Yakima County commissioners aren't serving Latino residents' needs.

One example is their response to COVID-19, which has surged in the county. Norouzi said farm owners have failed to provide adequate protective gear, socially distanced lodging and hazard pay, but commissioners have not held them accountable.

"We need Latino representation to fix this problem and we need to elect people with lived immigrant experiences to represent our communities and values," Norouzi said.

Critics of the current system want to see the county implement ranked choice voting, or RCV. Aguilar said voters rank candidates, and if their favorite candidate doesn't have enough support to win the seat, their vote counts for their next favorite candidate.

"In other words, with RCV, your voice is heard," Aguilar said. "This makes it possible for us to create new, diverse and equitable leadership in our county."

She argued it would also save the taxpayers money, since primaries would be eliminated and the county would hold only one election.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
A study by Wallethub ranked Kentucky 43rd in the nation for residents' dental health. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

A bill moving through the Kentucky Legislature would make fluoride treatment in drinking water optional for local municipalities. House Bill 141 …


Social Issues

play sound

Most teenagers eagerly anticipate turning 16 to start driving and 21 for other milestones, but the significance of obtaining the right to vote at 18 …

Social Issues

play sound

New York state lawmakers have appointed members to the Community Commission on Reparations Remedies, created through legislation Gov. Kathy Hochul …


A National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy report illustrated how some wealth was built through discriminatory practices including racially restrictive deed covenants. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A new report argued many charitable foundations need to examine the origin of their wealth and repair harms done. The National Committee for …

Environment

play sound

A proposed urban reforestation program in Massachusetts aims to help cities mitigate the effects of climate change. Legislation would create a state …

One in four Wyoming kids lives in single-parent families, according to Wyoming Community Foundation data. Such children are more likely to live in poverty compared with their peers in married-parent families. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A Wyoming nonprofit is helping single mothers climb out of poverty by connecting them with the training and support they need to step into and succeed…

Social Issues

play sound

Ahead of Super Tuesday, a new poll finds a majority of Mainers support replacing the Electoral College system with a national popular vote. More …

Social Issues

play sound

Even though March is barely underway, parents of Wisconsin kids are being encouraged to plan for summer reading activities - especially if their …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021