Generations of demographic change in Maricopa County and a wave of newly eligible voters have made Arizona a presidential battleground state
By Jose A. Del Real | The Washington Post
Growing up, Dora Chavez Anaya sometimes felt like the only dark-skinned girl in all of Mesa. As the Mexican American daughter of a copper miner, she recalled, the Anglo children on her block were forbidden by their parents from playing with her. Peers at school sometimes called her the n-word.
She felt powerless. She was powerless.
But from her quaint suburban street in Maricopa County, Ariz., where she has lived all of her 60 years, Chavez has witnessed a dramatic change.
Gone are the desert-defying agricultural fields of the East Salt River Valley, replaced by the boom of housing developments. Gone, too, is her sense of being a lone Latina in a White world. Most of her neighbors today are Mexican Americans like her.
Now, Chavez hopes that the changes will translate to more political power for Arizona Latinos, many of who have felt alienated by the Republican Party’s rhetoric on racial justice and immigration.