Commission Final Senate Map Would Severely Impede Latino Political Progress

Aug 15, 2011, 17:53 ET from NALEO Educational Fund

Commission does not fully embrace opportunity to ensure responsive and accountable democracy

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund issued the following statement today regarding the California Citizens Redistricting Commission's approval of final maps for the state's Congressional, Senate, Assembly and Board of Equalization districts:

"Today the California Citizens Redistricting Commission adopted a State Senate map that would turn the clock back on Latino political progress for the next decade.  The map reduces the number of districts where Latinos can effectively choose their elected representatives.  It also significantly weakens the voice of the Latino community in the San Fernando Valley and Orange County.

"The Commission also missed opportunities in its Assembly and Congressional maps to ensure fair representation for Latinos in the Central Valley.  We believe that our voting rights partners  will be carefully examining the Commission's final maps to determine whether they comply with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA), and whether litigation is warranted.  

"During the last decade, Latinos accounted for 90% of the state's growth, and nearly two of five Californians are Latinos.  California's democracy cannot be responsive and accountable unless Latinos achieve fair representation in the state.  This is the first time a Citizens Redistricting Commission has drawn the lines for California's Congressional and state districts.  The Commission did not fully embrace the unprecedented opportunity to ensure the future political progress of Latinos at all levels of government, and California's democracy may pay the price."

About NALEO Educational Fund

The NALEO Educational Fund is the nation's leading non-partisan, non-profit organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.

Contact: Rosalind Gold (213) 765-9420
Gloria Montano-Greene (202) 546-2536

SOURCE NALEO Educational Fund