Sara Imjan on Monday, Jan. 3rd
Jerry Brown’s inauguration as California’s new governor is today. There’s been a preponderance of coverage of the enormous deficit he’ll be tackling, probably by enforcing major cuts to state-funded programs.
But a recent report on California’s changing demographics presents reminds us that as the state’s population changes over Brown’s term (and beyond) those cuts will be more difficult to make as he also attempts to make good on promises to the fastest-growing population. As we know, California’s Latino population is expected to comprise half of state residents by 2040. However, the Greenlining Institute report predicts that by 2020, Latinos will be about 41 percent of the state’s population (in contrast to a 29 percent white population, dropping from 37 percent in 2010). Young people in this demographic are already taking Brown to task on issues like financial aid and immigration. The erstwhile issues like farm labor policies that showed Brown’s commitment to the population are just that: decades-old. He’ll now have to prove himself to a burgeoning Latino population anew, on terms that may be hard to reconcile with his promise to slash state investments.