What is Redistricting and why should I get involved? That was the reoccurring question leading up to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Hispanic Affairs (GACHA) March 17, 2011 meeting to discuss the process along with guest speakers: Representative Joseph Miro, Arturo Vargas, President of the National Association of Latino Elected/Appointed Officials (NALEO), John Flaherty (Delaware Coalition for Open Government) and City Councilman Sam Prado. Redistricting is in fact it is the most important step after ensuring the census is complete. Once the census count was released in Delaware on March 1, 2010, the Delaware General Assembly began the process of determining the district boundaries that will create the house and senate districts – this will determine the pool of qualified persons who can be elected to represent you for the next 10 YEARS!
The districts must follow four criteria: Be formed of contiguous territory; Be nearly equal in population; Be bounded by major roads, streams or other natural boundaries; and Not be created so as to unduly favor any person or political party. Other commonalities can be taken into consideration like culture and language. Delaware’s population did not increase to gain additional seat in Congress but the population growth shifted to Kent (28%) and Sussex (25%) County which will most likely create lost seats in the northern part of the state. Based on the 73,221 Hispanics in Delaware today, especially the high density clusters in New Castle and Sussex County, it is imperative that the community understand and get involved in the redistricting process as it will impact their representation in the state for the next 10 years!
“The guest speakers updated on the redistricting process occurring on a national level, and the challenges on the local level. Bottom line - the Hispanic population growth demonstrated in the Census2010 data must be reflected in the redistricting process in Delaware and throughout the country. Historically, large minority groups are fragmented which diminishes their voting power,” said Wanda Lopez, Executive Director GACHA.
Representante Joe Miro:
"El censo del año pasado trajo como consecuencia que los distritos políticos de Delaware cambien para las próximas elecciones. ¿Qué significan estos cambios para la población? Significa que los límites de cada distrito sufrirán un cambio y que los residentes tengan que votar en un distrito nuevo en las proximas elecciones. El proceso de ajustar los distritos se debe a un gran aumento en la poblacion