AAPI group warns against California's plan to redistrict San Gabriel Valley, splitting of Asian vote

The Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE) is calling upon AAPI communities to join them in protest of California’s redistricting draft maps.

Press release: On Tuesday, CAUSE released a statement in which they expressed their concerns over the California Citizens Redistricting Commission’s draft maps of the San Gabriel Valley (SGV).

  • The commission, consisting of independent voters, was enacted following the passage of the Voters FIRST Act in 2008, which transferred the responsibility of redistricting from legislation to citizens.

  • CAUSE’s statement claims that the current redistricting plans will inhibit the AAPI community’s ability to elect a representative and “reverse four decades of progress by community coalitions and partnerships.”

  • The redistricting proposal will split West San Gabriel Valley and East San Gabriel Valley, both of which have spread-out Asian American residential areas.

  • The release cited issues such as the recent increase in hate crimes, loss of business revenues due to COVID-19 (and being unfairly blamed for its cause) as well as other forms of past and present discrimination as reasons necessitating the prevention of separating these communities.

  • Currently, one AAPI Democrat and one AAPI Republican serve as congressional representatives of the West and East sides of San Gabriel Valley.

  • “Losing the ability to elect an AAPI representative in WSGV and/or ESGV would effectively suppress the collective power of the largest and most diverse AAPI community in the country,” the release states.

  • CAUSE suggests the cities of Monterey Park, Alhambra, Rosemead, San Gabriel, San Marino, Temple City and Arcadia on the West should be in the same congressional district because of their AAPI majority. On the Eastside, the communities of Hacienda Heights, Walnut, Rowland Heights and Diamond Bar would also be grouped together, with a population of 33% AAPIs.

The deadline to finalize redistricting maps is this December. More than 130 individuals and organizations have joined CAUSE in signing the statement as of Nov. 17.

Featured Image from O.C. Lee

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