New California Political Maps Troubling for Black Voters

The state’s new political maps show that whites will continue to hold a majority across voting districts over the next 10 years.

Posted: 08/10/2011 07:03 PM EDT
Filed Under redistricting

The next decade could be bleak for Black voters in California, a Sacramento newspaper reports.

 

The article reports that most of California’s elected officials will be appointed from districts dominated by white voters.

 

For the first time, the districts were drawn by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, and not the Legislature. Latinos, who make up about 38% of the state’s population according to the U.S. Census Bureau, will show a strong representation, but not as dominate as whites, the article reports.

 

African-Americans, who make up just six percent of the population, will be the least represented, critics fear.

 

Political analyst Tony Quinn, a former GOP legislative aide, told The Sacramento Bee that it is virtually impossible to draw equal numbers of "majority minority" districts because whites tend to dominate the state's rural counties, coastline and Los Angeles suburbs.

 

Analysts assert the issue is less about discrimination and more about population distribution, and that candidates of any color have equal chance in the districts dominated by their party.

 

Not making the facts any easier to digest, no legislative district in California currently has a majority of African-Americans in its adult citizen population, the article reports. At the legislative level, six Black lawmakers currently hold Assembly seats and two hold Senate seats.

 

Because federal law requires the protection of racial groups in the geographic areas where they dominate, the U.S. Justice Department must still approve any new maps in four California counties. 

 

That review is scheduled for Aug. 15.

(Photo: AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

From Our Partners