Seattle Times op-ed: Redistricting decision hurts Latino voters

Seattle Times op-ed: Redistricting decision hurts Latino voters

Gloria Mendoza – president/CEO of GMC Training Institute and mayor of Grandview, Yakima County, from 2018-23 – was published in the Seattle Times on Mar. 25 with a response to a critical redistricting decision in Washington:

Every 10 years, Washington undergoes redistricting to equalize population shifts in legislative districts. Many Eastern Washington Hispanics were thrilled at the results in the latest round — there was a new Yakima Valley district where Latinos formed 73% of the population and a majority of the eligible voters. But Democrats said it did not do enough, and in 2022, they sued.

Many Eastern Washington Hispanics see the lawsuit as outrageous.

The new map issued by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Lasnik on March 15 will disenfranchise many in my community.  It will also affect 13 legislative districts, 10 or 11 which are outside the Yakima Valley.  But the ones of most importance to me are where I live in Eastern Washington.

Lasnik is Democrat-appointed and is based in Seattle. He presumed to judge the state redistricting commission’s new maps based on how well they do in electing a so-called “Latino preferred candidate.”

And what is a “Latino preferred candidate” to Judge Lasnik?  That candidate would be a Democrat.

I am doubtful that an Anglo Seattleite is the best-qualified judge of what Eastern Washington Hispanics prefer. In the parlance of Seattle, how can such an arbiter understand the “lived experience” of those of us in the Yakima Valley?

Lasnik invited liberal Eastern Washington Hispanics into his courtroom to testify that they want to vote for a Democrat. But his curiosity about doing right for the Eastern Washington Hispanic community apparently ended there.

Judge Lasnik, here is what you should know: Eastern Washington Hispanics are hard-working. We are extremely family-oriented. Many of us have deep faith. We are very committed to our state and country.

We are also not the monolithic liberal voting bloc that those with a Seattle-centered worldview would like to imagine. We are Republicans. We are Independents. We are Democrats.

Read the full article in the Seattle Times here.

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