As Virginia’s legislative-redistricting process careens along an uncharted path toward its ultimate conclusion, one advocacy group has proposed a road map to provide the opportunity for more Latino residents to find their way into office.
The Virginia Latino Leaders Council recently detailed its own redistricting plan for the House of Delegates, a proposal including eight districts the organization says would provide a far greater chance for Latino success at the ballot box.
Those “Latino Opportunity Districts” are those where the white population is less than 50 percent and Latinos comprise the majority of the minority population there.
The proposal “offers Latinos eight districts that provide a competitive edge in future elections,” said Walter Tejada, a former Arlington County Board member who serves as president of the Virginia Latino Leaders Council.
An additional 29 districts in the proposed plan were constructed so whites are less than a majority and Latinos represent a plurality (though not a majority) of the remaining population.
Tejada said the current composition of the General Assembly – there are three Latinos in the House of Delegates and none in the state Senate – means the ethnic group is “grossly underrepresented” in the corridors of power.
“Considering the demographics [of Virginia], there should be closer to 10 delegates and four senators of Latino descent,” Tejada said.
For full details, see the Website at www.virginialatinoleaderscouncil.org.