Three Compton residents file a civil rights suit against the City of Compton
Election system discriminates
COMPTON, Calif.—Three Compton residents filed a civil rights suit against the city, saying the at-large election system discriminates against Latinos even though they make up the majority of residents in the community.
Felicitas Gonzalez, Karmen Grimaldi and Flora Ruiz brought their case Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging the city's election system violates the state's Voting Rights Act of 2001.
That law expanded on the federal voting rights act by granting standing to groups that are too geographically dispersed to elect their candidate of choice from a single-member district.
Also named in the lawsuit was City Clerk Alita Goodwin. The suit asks for a court order ending at-large elections in the city and replacing them with district-based votes.
City Attorney Craig J. Cornwell could not be immediately reached for comment as City Hall is closed today.
According to the complaint, more than 63,400 of Compton's 93,955 residents, or 67.6 percent, are Latino. But from 1999 to the present, no Latino has been elected to the City Council and no member of the ethnic group has ever won the office of city clerk, the suit states.
The suit states that elections within the city are "characterized by racially polarized voting'' that works against the interests of Latinos.
"Such polarized voting is legally significant in Compton's City Council elections because it dilutes the opportunity of Latino voters to elect candidates of their choice,'' according to the suit.
Although multiple Latinos ran for election in Compton in 2001, 2005 and 2009, none were elected, the complaint states.
Civil rights activists and other community leaders called for hate crime charges on Monday against gang members suspected in attacks on an African American Compton family and threats against other Black residents.
The attacks sparked a rally at Compton City Hall after two men—reportedly from a Latino gang—were arrested for harassing and threatening a family to move out of the neighborhood because of their skin color.
After years of non-action and adverse action from differing political groups, persuasions and governmental entities, the issue of immigration almost immediately gained more serious national attention following the re-election of President Barack Obama.
While most people think primarily of Hispanics and Asians when the topic of immigration comes up, there are number of people of African descent that fall into the immigrant population as well.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Reported hate crimes in Los Angeles County increased by 15 percent in 2011 from the previous year, but the total is the second lowest in 22 years, according to the county Commission on Human Relations’ annual report released today.
The commission defines a hate crime as one where hatred or prejudice toward a victim’s race or ethnicity, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation was a substantial factor in the crime.
Adele Andrade-Stadler was involved in politics as a volunteer well before she even thought about voting. She volunteered alongside her mother during the Hubert Humphrey campaign in the 1968 election against Republican candidate Richard Nixon. Since then, politics on the state, local, and national levels has been in her blood and in her life.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Reported hate crimes in Los Angeles County fell by 28 percent in 2010 to the lowest level in 21 years, according to the county Commission on Human Relations’ annual report released.
The commission defines a hate crime as one where hatred or prejudice toward a victim’s race or ethnicity, religion, disability, gender, or sexual orientation was a substantial factor in the crime.
According to the 2010 Hate Crime Report, there were 427 reported hate crimes countywide last year, a decline of 166 from the previous year.