Los Angeles – The five-member Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has only one Latino member, even though Hispanics make up 48 percent of the county's population.
"The Latino community in the last 10 years has grown considerably throughout the county and in some districts we are the majority," Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, told Efe.
On Tuesday the Board of Supervisors will vote on five competing redistricting proposals.
"White representatives Michael Antonovich, Zev Yaroslavsky and Don Knabe propose maps that favor their reelection, ignoring how much Los Angeles County's population has altered over the last 10 years," Durazo said.
"In some districts we're the majority, so we ought to have more political representation at all levels in Los Angeles County," she said.
According to U.S. Census figures, the population of Los Angeles County numbers approximately 10 million, of whom Hispanics make up 47.7 percent, whites 50 percent and other ethnicities the remainder.
And according to the National Association of Latino Elected Officials, in the last 10 years the Hispanic population in Los Angeles County grew by 10.5 percent, while the white population declined by 2.8 percent.
The board's Latino and black supervisors, Gloria Molina and Mark Ridley-Thomas, respectively, both submitted redistricting proposals that reflect the growth of the Hispanic population.
"Decisions taken by the county's Board of Supervisors affect us Latinos and for that reason we need more Latinos to speak for us on this board," Durazo said.
"Decided at this table, for example, are services, like where the hospitals are, where the clinics are, where the fire stations are that will serve the people in those neighborhoods," she said.
Steven Reyes, an attorney who on behalf of Gloria Molina took part in the commission to review and compare the new electoral maps, told Efe that the electoral districts, redesigned every 10 years according to Census figures, must comply with the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
"They must comply with the U.S. Constitution and the VRA that says voters may not be deprived of the opportunity of electing the candidate of their choice," Reyes said.
"This is intended to level the playing field when actions are taken against a community and to guarantee representation for all," the attorney said.
Rani Woods, the L.A. County Federation of Labor's manager for Redistricting Strategy and Outreach, told Efe that Hispanics should raise their voices about the decision the supervisors will take tomorrow and demand adequate representation.