'Power Shift: How Latinos in California Transformed Politics in America'

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Ackerman Grand Ballroom
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

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 the national political landscape.

Co-authored by David R. Ayón, Senior Strategist/ Advisor to Latino Decisions and Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Los Angeles, and George L. Pla, President & CEO of Cordoba Corporation, Power Shift chronicles the emergence and remarkable ascent of the Latino political movement in Los Angeles. Power Shift chronicles how this movement went on to have a profound and transformative impact on California as well as the nation. 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.

Power Shift recounts the origins and development of 10 Los Angeles Latino leaders who transformed politics and government, forging a progressive political tradition in the process. Challenging disadvantage and discrimination, these key figures integrated the Los Angeles 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 U.S. labor movement and U.S.-Mexico relations. The book also discusses how this social movement spearheaded critical changes in public health, law enforcement, education, housing, immigration, transportation and environmental policies.

At its heart, Power Shift is a story of the American Dream. While the perspective focuses on Latino politics, it is an American story and echoes the experience of other ethnic groups such as Irish Americans and Italian Americans as they rose to prominence in earlier generations of American politics.