Diaz on Need for Latino Representation in Redistricting Process

Sonja Diaz, executive director of the Latino Policy and Politics Initiative at UCLA Luskin, spoke with Spectrum News’ Inside the Issues about the importance of Latino representation on the California Citizens Redistricting Commission. The 14-member commission is tasked with redrawing district lines for state and federal offices based on 2020 Census data. Diaz said that California’s distinctive geographic contours mean that Latinos in rural or urban communities may have different political priorities. “Making sure that you have voices that know the needs of Fresno or the Imperial Valley is really important when you’re drawing political lines around what interests communities and who they want to elect to represent them,” she said. Diaz also commented on the state’s arduous process for selecting citizens to sit on the commission, which is “not centered to meet the cultural and linguistic needs of diverse Californians.” She concluded, “Sometimes when people want to make government better, they make it harder for communities of color.”

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