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The California Redistricting Commission Undermines Hawaiian Gardens’ Political Representation

The commission has proposed to place heavily Latino Hawaiian Gardens with North Orange County Coastal cities. like Huntington Beach.

 

December 11, 2021

By: Myra Maravilla, Hawaiian Gardens Councilmember

 

On December 8, 2021, the California Redistricting Commission drew a draft map of the Orange County congressional districts. They included the City of Hawaiian Gardens with the Coastal Orange County district, which includes White and affluent cities like Huntington Beach that do not share our demographics nor interests.

As of yesterday, the City of Hawaiian Gardens has been moved to a new congressional district, grouped with Orange County communities like Fountain Valley, Westminster, and Garden Grove under the name of SAVANAANA. According to the racial makeup of this draft congressional district, it is made up of only 23% Latino. Staying in the SAVANAANA congressional district would dilute the level of representation that Hawaiian Gardens will have in Congress. Access to bilingual resources and topics that matter most to our community like affordable healthcare, immigration reform, and more may become nonexistent.

Although the commission has slightly improved in removing us from the Coastal Orange County district, we are not satisfied with being grouped with the congressional district of SAVANAANA. Instead, being grouped with the LBNORTH congressional district would best serve the people and businesses of Hawaiian Gardens, which includes the friendly communities we frequent. LBNORTH includes a part of Long Beach, Lakewood, Bellflower, Downey, Bell Gardens, Bell, and Huntington Park, and is made up of 51.2% Latino, which is more aligned with our Hawaiian Gardens racial makeup, which is over 78% Latino.

Like the new congressional draft maps, the new assembly district we have been grouped with, Assembly District 67, does not share our racial makeup. Hawaiian Gardens is included with Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton, and others, composed of 30.2% Latino. We belong with Assembly District 62, which is made up of 68.2% Latino and is the district that currently represents our community.

I urge the Hawaiian Gardens community to reach out to the California Redistricting Commission via social media @wedrawthelines to provide feedback about how redistricting may affect your level of political representation. Residents can review the draft maps and other meeting information and find different ways to provide feedback at https://www.wedrawthelinesca.org/. The commission will approve final maps by December 27, 2021.

 

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