Committee urges fixes to proposal
Neil Nisperos, Staff Writer
Created: 08/09/2011 09:32:13 PM PDT

An alternate redistricting map for a large portion of western San Bernardino County, proposed by the local Democratic Central Committee, envisions lines that supporters say would help maintain minority voter clout and retain significant influence on federal funds for the area.

The regional redistricting map, proposed by the San Bernardino County Democratic Central Committee, suggests changes to the final map proposal put forward by the Citizens Redistricting Commission last month. Changes could still take place before a final decision Monday by the commission.

The map provides alternate voter district lines for the 31st, 35th, and 8th districts proposed by the Commission. The areas include the local west and east valleys,
and mountain areas of the county.

Ron Wall, the chairman of the local Democratic Central Committee, said the commission’s proposed maps, announced in July, dilute political clout for Latinos and blacks, and bring together communities that don’t share similar demographic identities.

Wall said Latino and black voter clout would diminish in the commission’s proposed 31st Congressional District, which moves Rancho Cucamonga and southern Upland from the district of Rep. David Dreier, R-San Dimas, into territory represented by Rep. Joe Baca, D-San Bernardino. The plan would also move Redlands, Loma Linda and Grand Terrace into this new district.

“Besides the ethnic mix, there’s not a real community between Upland, Rancho Cucamonga and Redlands,” Wall said. “They have no shared identity.”

Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, would have the option of running against Baca in this proposed district. Spokesman Jim Specht said Monday that Lewis is still undecided on whether to do so, considering potential lawsuits against the commission’s plan from both sides of the political aisle.

“He believes the process has undermined the community of interest for East Valley cities like Highland and Yucaipa,” Specht said. “There are indications that one or more lawsuits may be filed in other parts of the state. The congressman believes this will leave things in limbo for some time.”

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