Every 10 years, the U.S. Census sets in motion a constitutionally
mandated process of re-aligning voting districts to reflect population
changes in federal, state, and local jurisdictions. California carried
out its redistricting through a Citizens Commission for the first time
(Galambos Malloy), but in most states, tried and true political
in-fighting, followed by extensive legal challenges, is now underway
In California, where people of color are the new majority, African American communities were able to preserve their political position; Latino communities saw an increase of 10 districts with Latino majorities; and a new district with majority Asians was created. With redistricting for local jurisdictions starting up under the new California Voting Rights Act (which has more teeth than the federal legislation), organized communities of color stand to gain even greater electoral representation (Cedillo).
In places like Mississippi, African Americans and Latinos have made common cause to turn back the kind of legislative assault on immigrants seen in Arizona and Alabama (Eaton). In Ohio, a revitalized labor-community coalition won a referendum overturning the state government’s attacks on public employees (La Botz).
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