Compton's Measure B Passes, has Potential to Boost Latino Representation

A brief history of the shifting demographics in Compton from KCET's Departures: Richland Farms

Voters in the city of Compton supported a ballot initiative -- Measure B -- that could change representation of Latinos on the city council. The initiative passed with nearly 65 percent voting in favor.

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At-large elections currently decide the four council seats and mayor's post in Compton. However, in 2010 three Hispanic voters alleged that the California Voting Rights Act was being violated by the current system, arguing voting power of Latino residents is being diminished.

From the Los Angeles Times:

An argument in favor of the measure by lawsuit plaintiffs Enelida Alvarez, Felicitas Gonzalez and Flora Ruiz said that "voters should be allowed to choose leadership from their own neighborhoods" and that by-district voting would allow more people to run for office by cutting down the funds needed to campaign.

The city settled the suit in February after more than a year of fighting. Compton agreed that a measure would be added on the ballot to amend the charter to include by-district voting.

Latinos now make up two-thirds of Compton's 96,000 residents. Council members and the majority of city's leaders are African-American.

About the Author

I am a journalist and researcher, and have written numerous research and investigative pieces. My work has been published with several notable organizations, including Annenberg Digital News, CAMERA, KCET, the Middle East Forum, P...
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