Mapping the Hispanic community in Lebanon County

Mapping the Hispanic community in Lebanon County My name is Duncan MacLean. I have lived and practiced geriatric medicine in Pennsylvania nearly all of my adult life, including the last 13 years in Lebanon County. But I grew up in Cuba and Argentina, the son of an expatriate American businessman. And so have networked with our rapidly growing Hispanic community, and have been increasingly accepted as an ally who literally “speaks their language.” Hispanic residents in Lebanon County will insist that they should not be perceived as monolithic or homogeneous. For example, the Mexican community is concerned about immigrant treatment, the Puerto Rican citizens are concerned about re-licensing and job training, Cubans are anti-Communist, and evangelical groups of various national heritages are focused on moral-cultural values. So, to speak about a so-called Hispanic community makes as little sense to them as speaking about a single stereotyped White, Black, or Native American community. Nevertheless, all of these Spanish-speaking groups are close to meeting the criteria that could qualify them for protection under the Voting Rights Act ( ). First, they are large enough to elect their own representatives. Namely, the 2020 census shows that 46% of residents of Lebanon City self-identify as Hispanic. This is an under-count, since in Ward 3, where a local leader tirelessly prodded her neighbors to participate using her own laptop, the percent is 66.9%. Undoubtedly this is closer to the real number in the northern precincts where most Hispanic persons currently reside. Second, although heterogenous in many ways, they do share political cohesion around the need for affordable housing as their number one issue. They also prioritize workforce skills training, healthcare coverage, school quality, and lead exposure. All want a healthy entrepreneurial environment in which to thrive, domestic tranquility, fair wages, and respect for themselves and their cultural heritage – don’t we all! Third, these issues have been neglected by the surrounding white majority and their preferred candidate, as I detailed in my earlier testimony to this Commission at: . Thus, Hispanic citizens, by and large, desire to strengthen their political voice by being “packed” into a more concentrated district, instead of being relatively “cracked” currently into the two separate House districts, resulting in dilution of their vote. And they also recognize school districts as communities of their interest that should not be needlessly divided. They would welcome election of a candidate who shared their language and heritage, but also want to be accepted into the political process rather than be perceived as a political threat by majority neighbors. I am submitting an exhibit to serve an example of a House district map for the county that reflects those objectives. The exhibit is in Excel format, titled: 2021.10.08 MacLean – House district map. I have shown this map to four community leaders – a Mexican, Dominican, Puerto Rican and Cuban – who have expressed satisfaction in principle with the concept of the map. Respectfully submitted, Duncan S. MacLean, M.D. (Retired)