LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A political power struggle is building the heart of Los Angeles with Latino activists pushing county supervisors to approve another Latino district. But not everyone is behind the idea.
Hundreds of people took turns speaking to supervisors at a meeting Tuesday. Some residents raised concerns that an existing supervisor could be voted out, causing them to lose proper representation.
Activists pushed the county to create a second Latino majority district, arguing that the numbers demand it.
“When we’re talking about numbers, we’re talking about the census. And the census is saying that the Latino numbers are up and therefore we need the proper amount of representation,” one demonstrator said.
The board of supervisors have three options — the first is to keep the district lines unchanged and the second and third options would tweak the lines slightly.
“Instead of putting all of the Latinos in one district, it puts them in two districts where there is larger numbers of Latinos, so that they have the opportunity to elect one of their own,” said El Monte Mayor Andre Quintero.
But not everyone wanted the change – dozens of people showed up to opposed the proposed redistricting.
“A gentleman talked earlier about how it’s the issues that are important, not the color of one’s skin,” said Malibu’s Mayor Pro Tem Laura Zahn Rosenthal. “The 3rd District needs to stay together. We share emergency preparedness; we share a watershed; and we share transportation issues.”
“I have serious concerns about moving 3.5 million county residents into new districts with supervisors largely unknown to them,” said Assemblywoman Julia Brownlee representing the 41st Assembly District.
Next the board of supervisors will vote on the three options and a vote of 4-1 is required for one to pass. If that does not happen, the vote will go to three county officials.