Political districts ‘unfair,’ minority communities tell Nevada Legislature


Map compares old, new political district lines in Southern Nevada

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Today, lawmakers in Carson City continued their discussion on proposed redistricting maps for political districts.

The Assembly Committee on Redistricting and Elections took a look at the latest maps that are on the table.

No one had anything to say in support of the maps.

But a lot of people — especially those representing minority communities — say that changing the Congressional District 1 (CD1) lines around East Las Vegas is not fair representation.

Emily Persaud-Zamora with the progressive group Silver State Voices was one of many raising concerns.

“The Latin-x community in CD 1, with over 300,000 residents, and the proposed map is blatantly disregarding their priorities and needs,” Persaud-Zamora said.

In an attempt to equally distribute the growing populations among congressional districts, lawmakers are discussing changing the district lines. And many are not happy about it.

Compare the existing districts (lighter shades) with the proposed districts (darker shades) by using the slider on the maps below. Districts on the old maps are labeled in bright red; the proposed districts are labeled using small white boxes.

Several Progressive groups and people from the public weighed in.

Public comment revealed opposition over the proposed maps, with many saying the new maps split up minority groups.

College of Southern Nevada History Professor Sondra Cosgrove said there is a lot of opposition.

“The Republicans are worried about partisan gerrymandering,” Cosgrove said.

“But mostly what we were hearing about was racial gerrymandering, the Latino community on the east side of Las Vegas feels they are being treated unfairly,” she said.

Cosgrove said if these maps get voted in, she sees Republicans putting up a legal fight.

She said representatives from minority groups were voicing concerns about splitting up their community.

“So, they took that concentration and moved those bodies into other districts by moving the lines. So now you can say every district has a minority-majority population,” Cosgrove said.

This can create issues for several communities for a decade, Cosgrove says.

“What the Latinos are saying is that if you do that you are pitting groups against each other,” she said.

This all continues tomorrow.

Today, the redistricting committee voted to send SB1 to the Assembly floor. Lawmakers then voted for a second reading to take place tomorrow at 9 a.m., where we could see a vote on the maps.

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