Monday, March 5, 2012

More Latino Representation in Compton?

One of my recent posts on

Last week the city of Compton agreed to put a measure on the ballot, which would institute voting by district in city council races. Currently, Compton's city council members are elected based on at-large city-wide voting.

The decision came in reaction to criticisms that Latinos are massively underrepresented in city government. Critics of the current system filed a lawsuit under the California Voting Rights Act, contending that Latinos must have a larger voice in local government. Specifically, proponents of the lawsuit argue that the current at-large elections dilute Latino voting power, and that if elections occur on a district basis, there will be at least one majority-Latino district.

Latinos now account for almost two-thirds of the city's nearly 100,000 residents. However, only a percentage of those residents are eligible to vote, because of age and other factors. Latinos make up much less than two-thirds of the members of the city government.

Proponents of the lawsuit and the city agreed to settle the suit by placing a measure of the ballot that would create by-district voting. If the measure fails in June it will be back on the November ballot.

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