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Redistricting

Redistricting is the key to the political empowerment of the Latino community. Ironically it is the one part of the electoral process to which Latinos have the least access. Donor support of Latino redistricting efforts is wholly inadequate. There are very few Latinos on state redistricting advisory boards and commissions. There are not enough Latino officials on decision-making bodies with sufficient influence to protect the interests of the Latino community during the redistricting process. There are very few local Latino leaders with experience or expertise in redistricting. Very few local Latino leaders have access to the data or the technology needed for redistricting purposes. There is insufficient legal assistance to local Latino groups. Donors do not adequately fund the few Latino organizations that are directly involved in assisting local groups and leaders in the redistricting of local, state, and federal jurisdictions. While redistricting, the reconfiguration of local, county, state and federal district boundaries, is required every ten years following the census to reflect changes in population and ensure the equitable distribution of political power, all too often the process merely becomes a decennial incumbent-protection exercise with little regard for the voting rights of minorities.

In the years leading up to or following the 2000 census, not a single foundation funded USHLI’s redistricting training and technical assistance efforts, yet USHLI was able to train over 400 local leaders and public officials on redistricting in 14 states who submitted 100 redistricting proposals at all levels of government.