Wednesday, June 8, 2011
As the redistricting process continues in San Diego, Latinos are calling for more representation in a new district. The Latino Redistricting Committee, along with a coalition from the African-American and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) community, called for the creation of a second Latino-majority City Council District.
Mateo Camarillo, Chairman of the Latino committee, said Wednesday at a news conference in City Heights that the growth of the Latino community in the past ten years showed the need for a new district.
Representatives from the African-American community, such as Barry Pollard from the 4th District, said that underrepresented communities have not been considered in many redistricting proposals being circulated, resulting in the creation of the new coalition.
"The purpose of the redistricting process," Pollard said, "is to have better representation for everyone." Pollard added that "based upon the recent data gathered by the 2010 census, the numbers speak for themselves. The demographics of our city clearly illustrate that Latino residents deserve an additional City Council district."
Alberto Pulido, with the Latino Redistricting Committee, said the different committees decided to "coalesce to see how we could work in harmony and collectively," resulting in support for the Latino district.
The representatives argue that a new, central and concentrated Latino district would strengthen the voice of the African-American and LGBT districts.
Linda Perine, Chair of the LGBT Redistricting Taskforce, also spoke out in support of the new district.
San Diego's Redistricting Commission is due to release a preliminary map before the end of the month.
Last year's census results reported a 32 percent growth in San Diego County's Latino population. Asians have also been vying for representation in the district.