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Running as Latinos

Published August 14, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Recently, The Salt Lake Tribune published a front-page article "More Latinos running in local elections" (Aug. 4) As a Latino, I feel excited that more under-represented community members are stepping up to serve their communities. I am ecstatic that The Tribune covered the story.

However, I am confused as to why The Tribune felt it necessary to ask the candidates whether they were running "as a Latino." The answer should be easy: Duh. I mean, do Latinos have any options other than running as Latinos?

To the candidates who responded that they were not running as Latinos, but as an "individual" or a "person" instead, I ask, do we have to disavow our heritage in order to run for public office? Why can't we represent the needs of the entire community as Latinos? When you say you're not running as a Latino but as a "person" instead, what does that say about us?

I understand the pressure involved making a decision like this. However, we shouldn't have to shy away from being who we are. I am writing this letter as a Latino, because I do not have any other options. Nor do I desire any.

William Palomo

South Jordan