WY Panel to Provide New Electoral District Maps to Legislative Assembly / Public News Service
Advocates for Wyoming’s Latino communities welcomed the last voter redistricting maps advanced last week.
The 62-31 plan, which is expected to be presented to lawmakers in the next session, would add three new state legislative districts, two for the House and one for the Senate.
Antonio Serrano, president and co-founder of Juntos Group, said more and more Latinos are building homes, businesses and raising families in Southern Cheyenne, and they want a say in how whose things work.
“As everyone does,” Serrano explained. “And when they were proposing the I-80 compromise, which luckily didn’t pass, which risked disempowering this community to have a say in how we live in this community.”
Serrano and others were concerned that the proposed I-80 compromise map would actually allow politicians to choose their voters, rather than let community residents choose their representatives, by segregating communities of color in southern Cheyenne. in different districts. Federal law prohibits states from discriminating in redistricting on the basis of race or ethnicity. The once a decade recutting process is triggered by new census data and aims to ensure districts keep up with population changes.
New electoral maps can have profound implications for how federal and state funds are distributed for education, health, veterans and other programs. Serrano argued that children on the south side of Cheyenne should have access to the same opportunities as other neighborhoods, and stressed that this is why it is essential to be able to elect people who understand the difficulties families face.
“Our high school here on this side of town has a low graduation rate,” Serrano pointed out. “It’s not because the kids aren’t doing as well. It’s because they don’t have access to the same resources, the same help that the more affluent schools on the north side have.”
After months of negotiations, last week the Joint Committee on Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions said no new maps would be considered. Maps 62-31 should impact the elections of all Wyoming lawmakers. At the local level, through school board elections, the cards can impact how public schools operate.
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