FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 2, 2020
UCLA LATINO POLICY AND POLITICS INITIATIVE STATEMENT ON THE COMPLETE EXCLUSION OF LATINOS IN TODAY’S SELECTION OF FIRST EIGHT MEMBERS OF CALIFORNIA’S 2020 CITIZENS REDISTRICTING COMMISSION
Today, the first eight members of the 14-member 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission were randomly selected from a list of applicants delivered by the Legislature on June 26. Of the eight members, who will be responsible for selecting the next six members of the commission, no Latinos were selected.
Sonja Diaz, Founding Executive Director of the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative, issued the following statement in response:
“The lack of representation in today’s selection of the first eight members of California’s 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission is a disservice to the 39 percent of Latinos in our state whose contributions led to the state being the world’s fifth-largest economy. Latinos are the only racial/ethnic group to be underrepresented throughout the Commission’s application process.
“The lack of fair representation on this commission violates our most fundamental right of equal political participation at a time when Latinos’ health and wealth is being decimated by failed leadership on COVID-19. The important task of redrawing state and political boundaries determines the ability for communities to elect their candidates of choice, a fundamental right that has been denied to Latinos for far too long.
“Ensuring fair representation on the redistricting commission is a necessary first step in addressing our nation and state’s long history of vote dilution and discriminatory gerrymandering. Thus, it is imperative that the last six members of the commission be selected to reflect California’s plurality population to safeguard the world’s fifth-largest economy.”
About the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative
The UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative addresses the most critical domestic policy challenges facing communities of color in states and localities across the United States by fostering innovative research, leveraging policy-relevant expertise, driving civic engagement and nurturing a leadership pipeline that propels viable policy reforms to expand opportunity for all Americans.