Stirring the Pot

The Los Angeles City Council will make its final decision on March 16th, in regards to finalizing redrawn district boundaries in the city. With less than a week left for the ordinance to be voted on, council members Jan Perry and Bernard Parks have stirred up the pot with accussations that the Redisticting Committee has violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Under this amendment, the government gaurentees equal protection of the law to all members of society. Perry and Parks believe that the commision is not holding truth to this amendment but they are relying on race to draw new districts.

The commission has defended its actions, stating that it is merely following guidelines highlighted in the Voting Rights Act. Race, as a factor, is supported by this act only if, “(1) there is a sufficiently large and geographically compact minority population; (2) and the minority population is politically cohesive; and (3) white voters vote sufficiently as a bloc so as to usually be able to defeat the minority group’s preferred candidate.”  

Perry and Parks claim that the commission has not taken under consideration whether or not minorities are indeed “politically cohesive,” nor if white voters would reject a minority candidate. With allegations being backed by supporters of Perry and Parks, the Redistricting Commission has a lot on its plate before the March 16th vote.

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