REDISTRICTING ACTION ALERT: CALL YOUR LOS ANGELES COUNTY SUPERVISORS TO DRAW A SECOND LATINO DISTRICTLet Them Know They Need to Respect the Federal Voting Rights Act and Avoid a Potentially EXPENSIVE Lawsuit the County is Guaranteed to Lose.
LOS ANGELES, CA - On July 13, 2011, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Advisory Commission recommended a map to the five Board members that fails to create a second Latino-majority supervisorial district as required by the federal Voting Rights Act.
Between 2000 and 2010, the Latino population in Los Angeles County grew by nearly half a million residents, while the non-Latino population lost nearly 150,000 people. Latinos now make up almost half the county's population.
Yet, 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.
This is not the first time Los Angeles County has put incumbents' comfort ahead of voting rights. The first Latino member of the Board of Supervisors, Gloria Molina, was elected only twenty years ago after the County lost a Voting Rights Act lawsuit that proved the supervisors had INTENTIONALLY sought to prevent the creation of a Latino district.
Now, the Supervisors are on the verge of again adopting a map that DISRESPECTS the Latino community and its population growth. Moreover, they are on the verge of VIOLATING the Voting Rights Act, by failing to create a new Latino district when they know that one is warranted. The Advisory Commission was presented with several proposed maps creating a second Latino-majority district, but the representatives appointed by Supervisors Antonovich, Knabe, and Yaroslavsky rejected each of those proposals.
On August 9, 2011, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will be taking up the Commission's redistricting proposals, and they need to hear from you! They need to hear:
- It's just, and it's the law. Support the creation of a second Latino district because it better respects Los Angeles County's population and the Federal Voting Rights Act.
- Latino voters have a long memory. The Latino community will interpret self-interested votes to deny a second Latino district as hostile actions against the Latino community. Remind them that the Latino community has a long memory should these Supervisors ever want to run for future offices.
- Don't waste taxpayer money. Los Angeles County lost a costly lawsuit the last time it tried to ignore the Federal Voting Rights Act. Don't waste taxpayer money by triggering another successful lawsuit!
Gloria Molina - 1st District
or call (213) 974-4111
Mark Ridley-Thomas - 2nd District
or call (213) 974-2222
Zev Yaroslavsky - 3rd District
or call (213) 974-3333
Don Knabe - 4th District
or call (213) 974-4444
Michael D. Antonovich - 5th District
or call (213) 974-5555
Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "law firm of the Latino community," MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit: www.maldef.org.