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Archived: EDITORIAL: Molina’s Redistricting Plan Shows Potential to Fend Off Lawsuits

Supervisor Gloria Molina has a proposal that could lead to a second Latino/a being elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who will be termed out in 2014, would have his district radically changed as a result of Molina’s plan.

Yaroslavsky’s district now stretches from the Westside to the San Fernando Valley and would instead stretch from the eastern portion of the Valley to encompass parts of downtown LA to East LA.

The new district would become a Latino population opportunity district probably resulting in a Latino being elected to the Board.

This plan would also allow Supervisor Don Knabe to have a reasonable chance of being reelected one more time before being termed out of office.

Molina’s proposal also has the potential of avoiding a costly lawsuit which would undoubtedly be filed by Latino activists if the so-called “status quo map” recommended by the County’s Boundary Review Committee is approved by the Board of Supervisors. Civil rights groups contend that those maps violate the Voting Rights Act because they fail to take into consideration the huge demographic growth of the Latino population since the last Census, as required by law.

Since the Voting Rights Act takes precedence over other factors used to create the maps, it appears Molina’s map could fulfill that requirement, while also keeping all the other supervisors pretty much in their present districts, something that would please those constituents who have already voiced their preference to do just that.

What Molina’s proposal does not prevent, however, is a possible lawsuit by Republicans who will find it harder to be elected under either Molina’s plan, or an even more disruptive plan backed by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, (and originally by Molina), which would also create two Latino opportunity districts in the County.

While the Latino population has continued to grow, the ranks of Republicans have not. Molina’s proposed map has the potential to avoid at least one of the lawsuits the County could be facing.