After years of being typecast as only being interested in immigrant rights, education and jobs, Latino voters in Orange County are showing that we have strong opinions on nontraditional issues like the California drought and water policy. As the emerging majority of our state, Latinos increasingly want a say on policies across the board.

Arturo Montes, LULAC Urban Policy Director after reviewing our recent survey on Latinos and water “this study is evidence that Latinos which have been absent from “water governance, want to take a more active role.”

The new online survey by Sextant Research commissioned by the William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI) found that Latino voters in Orange County want prompt new policies from local and state government (89%) to solve the drought like the Huntington Beach Desalination plant (80%) currently before regulatory bodies like the Coastal Commission. They also favor capturing storm water and recycling.

The survey also found that Orange County Latino voters are keenly aware of California’s drought problem and demand their elected officials enact policies to solve it now. They even prioritize climate action on drought (81%) by greater margins than other issues like crime (73%), school funding (74%), air pollution (69%), and jobs (66%). Furthermore, Latino voters are far more interested in policy proposals like desalination over water quotas and buying more imported water by at least five to one.

The survey also found that Orange County Latino voters fear that government inaction will lead to shortages (78%) and water rationing (63%). See to view the WCVI-Sextant survey Powerpoint, Toplines and Crosstabs.

Survey Methodology: Between September 22 and October 7, 2016 Sextant Strategies & Research, in conjunction with the William C. Velazquez Institute (WCVI) conducted 404 interviews via internet with Latino registered voters in Orange County. Potential respondents received an email invitation to participate in the survey. The source of the email addresses was the California Voter File.

Antonio Gonzalez is President of the William C. Velasquez Institute. Nativo Lopez is a Senior Advisor to Hermandad Mexicana.

Opinions expressed in editorials belong to the authors and not Voice of OC.

Voice of OC is interested in hearing different perspectives and voices. If you want to weigh in on this issue or others please contact Voice of OC Involvement Editor Theresa Sears at

Related articles: Rodriguez and Valladares:  Velasquez Institute Poll on Latino Voters & Water Issues Ignores True Community Interests

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