Saturday, June 25, 2022

Latinos losing political power in redistricting

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Republican efforts to gain seats vitiates Latino communities’ clout Despite leading U.S. population growth over the last decade, Latinos are losing big time in terms of voting clout now that two thirds of the states have completed their redistricting process. While most political commentators track how many districts are Democratic and how many are Republican, Latino empowerment groups are busy suing both parties in key states for diluting Latino populations to preserve their partisan districts. The same is happening with advocates for other ethnic groups. The worst practitioners of racial gerrymandering are Republicans, but it has also occurred in some states where Democrats dominate the process, such as Illinois. “Line drawers in many states are aggressively limiting the number of districts where minorities have a chance to win, heading in precisely the wrong direction as the nation’s nonwhite population grows,” The Washington Post warned in a recent editorial. Two states represent the best and worst of redistricting for Latinos, says Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund). In California, where the job of drawing new voting districts after the Census falls to an independent commission made up of citizens — not politicians — Latino growth paid off with the creation of five new districts with more than 50% Latino voters. Three of the majority Latino voting districts are now in the Central Valley, an area that has not had a representative from that group despite the fact that Latinos represent […]

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