Power Shift: How Latinos in California Transformed Politics in America


Power Shift charts the rise of Latino political power and its impact, from the breakthrough election of the first Mexican American to the Los Angeles City Council in 1949 to today's leadership of California and its heavyweight role in polarized America. This inspiring story recounts the origins and development of 10 LA-based Latino and Latina leaders who transformed politics and government, forging a progressive political tradition in the process. Challenging disadvantage and discrimination, these key figures integrated the city council as well as school and county boards; established Latino collective political action in the state Legislature and in Congress; restructured the U.S. Census and how California's electoral districts are drawn; and played major roles in reforming the Democratic Party, the U.S. labor movement, and U.S.-Mexico relations. Along the way, they spearheaded critical changes in public health, law enforcement, education, housing, immigration, transportation, environmental policies, and more. Based on hundreds of hours of oral interviews and expert research, Power Shift tells a personal, gripping story that has critical relevance to our political present. As the nation faces ongoing threats to democracy and equality, these leaders continue to inspire and resist.

This book is no longer available from IGS Press. 

David R. Ayón and George L. Pla
Publication date: 
August 8, 2018
Publication type: 
American Politics & Government