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Long Beach : Redistricting Plan Favoring Latinos Gets Final Approval

Despite objections from the local Asian community, the Long Beach City Council on Tuesday gave final approval to a redistricting plan that dramatically changes the boundaries of several council districts in the southwestern part of the city.

The reapportionment for the first time creates a predominantly Latino district, carving it out of parts of the old 1st and 6th districts and naming it the 1st District. The plan also transfers the port and southernmost portions of downtown from the 1st District to the 2nd District.

Asian representatives complained that while Latinos gained political power and blacks were able to maintain their power base, it was at the expense of Asian neighborhoods. The city’s sizable Cambodian community is now spread among several districts, diluting Asian voting power.

Council members who supported the plan said it was impossible to satisfy all of Long Beach’s minority groups without creating another council seat.

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The redistricting measure passed 5 to 3. Councilmen Evan Anderson Braude, Ray Grabinski and Tom Clark voted against it. Councilman Doug Drummond was absent.


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