Latino Group MALDEF Wants a 2nd all-Latino District in California
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The Los Angeles Redistricting Committee’s new constituency lines met with fierce opposition by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF). The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors provisional-redistricted map failed to generate a second “Latino-majority supervisorial district.”MALDEF contends five of the County Supervisors neglected their obligation to create a second all-Latino district as mandated by the federal Voting Rights Act. “They need to respect the Federal Voting Rights Act (in order to) avoid an expensive lawsuit the county is guaranteed to lose,” said Thomas Saenz, President and General Counsel of MALDEF.
In an email, Saenz pointed to the Census Bureau statistics that showed the Hispanic population in Los Angeles County, between 2000 and 2010, grew by almost half a million residents. On the other hand, the county lost approximately 150,000 non-Latino residents. “Latinos now make up almost half the county's population,” he said.
However, MALDEF argues that the majority of the County Supervisors “specifically Supervisors Mike Antonovich, Don Knabe, and Zev Yaroslavsky apparently oppose creating a second Latino supervisorial district. They are more interested in preserving their comfortable, current district lines,” Saenz said.