Monday, August 15, 2011

New Political Districts for Northeast LA

The California Redistricting Commission just voted to approve new maps for Congressional, State Senate, Assembly and Board of Equalization districts.

What are the impacts on Northeast Los Angeles? Who will our representatives be? What forces will shape NELA’s political identity in the coming ten years?
See the Arroyo Seco Journal’s reports on redistricting from a NELA perspective:

The final vote on the Congressional maps was Democrats: 5 yes, Republicans: 3 yes and 2 no, Decline to State: 4 yes. The final vote on each of the State maps was Democrats: 5 yes, Republicans: 4 yes and 1 no, Decline to State: 4 yes. The maps are now being delivered to the Secretary of State.
The question now is how many law suits there will be and by whom. The most vocal dissatisfaction is coming from Republicans, and the State Republican Party has filed public records requests for items such as emails from commissioners and the firm hired to draw the maps based on commissioner direction.
The conservative dissatisfaction with the process represents quite a change from previous decades, when the primary litigants have sought greater enfranchisement of Latino voters.
MALDEF (The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund) has been evaluating the mapping, and should be making an announcement as to its response shortly.
The Redistricting Commission itself will continue to meet, partially to respond to any litigation and partially to evaluate the process of the past few months.
A particular item on the commissioners’ agenda for the coming months will be of interest to Northeast Los Angeles voters. Central Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Mountains region are the only two geographic areas singled out for specific study. The commissioners will be discussing the impact of map configurations on and among minority groups in those areas. More broadly, the commissioners will be taking a state-wide look at applications of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 on the multi-racial dynamics of California.

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