President’s Message

MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) is the leading civil rights voice of the Latino community.

December 2021

President’s Message

The California redistricting commission just released its report on redrawn lines for congressional and legislative districts.  The lines properly reflect the significant growth of California’s Latino population, which accounted for 69 percent of the state’s total population increase from 2010 to 2020.  Latino-majority congressional districts increased from ten to 16; Latino-majority state assembly districts from 17 to 22; and Latino-majority state senate districts from seven to ten.  MALDEF advocacy – drawing and presenting proposed maps, building coalitions, and advocating for compliance with the Voting Rights Act (VRA) played a role in these significant gains.  Unfortunately, the story in other states is not nearly so positive, as we continue to litigate VRA violations in Illinois and Texas, and as we monitor and prepare challenges to redistricting in other states and at local level nationwide.

The historical and continuing fact is that our efforts and our vigilance in support of Latino civic participation – by both current and future voters – is a continual necessity.  At MALDEF, our staff contribute every day to that broader effort to ensure that our nation lives up to its stated ideals by welcoming and respectfully incorporating the perspectives of all Americans in designing – and living – a thriving future for the United States.  Thank you all for your ongoing support!

Thomas A. Saenz

President and General Counsel

Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund