Board Of Supervisors Make Final Vote On Redistricting Boundaries

Nico Payne

Redistricting for the county supervisorial districts has been a topic of discussion for several months. On Tuesday the board of supervisors reached a decision on how districts will be remapped.

“One of the things the voting rights act asks us to address is giving the opportunity for a minority to be elected because crafting districts in certain ways does not guarantee any election outcome, all five of us know that,” said Supervisor Chuck Washington, Riverside County District 3 Supervisor.

Supervisor Washington noted the significant consideration of the Latino vote due to population, and questioned the county’s planning commission on boundaries for minority groups.

“Could we draw boundaries to accommodate African American minority groups or would that violate some of the frameworks of drawing districts for our county,” asked Washington.

“The voting rights act is intended to ensure that we do not utilize a procedure or practice that dilutes a minority’s right to vote to elect a candidate of their choice,” said Ronak Patel, Deputy County Counsel with Riverside County.

Latino representation has been a key topic in the redistricting of maps, local leaders speaking on other equity impacts, and what communities are asking for.

“Within the communities, what we continue hearing is how they want to stay together. We do agree with maps 1.4 as it keeps a lot of our communities together, especially our membership communities that we serve,” said Luz Gallegos, Community Program Director with Todec.

“When looking at the minor detail you can see how the fluctuation of numbers that impacts the black or African American voters is the part where people should hone in on as far as where we get the equity and real measurements of equity,” said Karina Quintanilla, Palm Desert Council Member.

With this decision, the majority of the Coachella Valley will stay together incorporating some mountain communities. The most concerning split with these new territories will be focused in the western end of the county which will not concentrate on a majority or a minority.

The final map adoption is to take place next week on December 14th.

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