Anxieties of an Ethnic Transition: The Election of the First Latino Mayor in Providence, Rhode Island
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This study shows that both race and perceptions about one’s personal economic situation can play a role in how voters assess the likely future of the city under a racially-other mayor. Using the historic transition of the Providence mayoralty to a Latino mayor as the context, and new survey data collected in September 2010, our research show that Latinos –the ethnic “winners” of the contest, are more likely to express positive expectations about the city under Mayor Taveras. On the other hand, whites have a less positive outlook for the city. Both those who lost economically and those whose fortunes improved during the recession express more pessimistic expectations for the city. Our study also shows that blacks who have been affected by the downturn are more likely to have a less optimistic outlook of the city under Taveras, an indication that intra-minority competition is taking place in Providence among the city’s poor minorities.