The Redrawing Of LA County's Five District Boundaries Is Torn Over Equity Issues
For the first time, an independent commission is in charge of redrawing the L.A. County district lines.
Every 10 years, the five supervisory districts get new boundaries based on the latest Census data. In the past, county supervisors got to make those changes on their own.
But this time around, an independent committee is drafting new boundaries — with public input.
Currently, the county has one majority-Latino seat, which is held by Hilda Solis. That's no longer enough, some experts say.
"Now that Latinos are just about half of the county's population, it should be a no-brainer that at least two districts where Latino voters can elect candidates of their choice could be configured among the five districts,” says Arturo Vargas, CEO of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.
An advocacy group in East L.A., Inner City Struggle, is part of a coalition pushing for community engagement in the redistricting process. Associate director Henry Pérez says the coalition opposes two of the proposed maps.
"It is actually going backwards in terms of equity,” Pérez says. “It's going backwards in terms of representation for historically underrepresented communities like the Latinx community and the African American community."
The county has a history of disenfranchising non-white voters. The first Latino district was won only about 30 years ago — following a lawsuit filed by the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund.