Thursday, June 16, 2011

Milwaukee County Redistricting Committee Cuts 6.9% Of Hispanic Population From 4th Supervisor District

File Photo: HNG

Tentative redistricting plan for 2012 approved in April cuts the Hispanic population by 6.9% from 58.6% in the 4th County Supervisor District and decreases the Hispanic voting age population by 8% from 51%.

By H. Nelson Goodson
June 16, 2011

Milwaukee - In April, the Milwaukee County Redistricting Committee (MCRC a Special Committee) Chaired by County Supervisor Michael Mayo Sr. tentatively approved a 2012 Plan to cut 6.9% of the Hispanic population from District 4. The plan reduced the Hispanic Voting Age Population (HVAP) in District 4 from 51% to 43%, which cuts the HVAP by 8%, according to the Milwaukee County Board plan statistics.
Most of the Hispanic population that was cut from District 4 was added to District 12, which in 2010 had 70.4% of Latinos and currently has an HVAP of 66%. With the new population addition to District 12 for 2012, it will have 70.1%, which lost 3% population of Hispanics.
The current 4th District Supervisor is Marina Dimitrijevic and the 12th District Surpervisor is Peggy A. Romo West, an Hispanic. During the April MCRC meeting Supervisor West addressed the committee members and said, that the County electors in the 12th District elected the first Hispanc in 2004 in the County's 365-year history. West told the committee that information was provided to the community and she was satisfied with the new proposed plan. However, West didn't realized that she actually voted to approve the plan, which would prevent District 4 from becoming a 70% Hispanic District by adding 11.4% of Latinos, according to audio recorded during the MCRC meeting. Supervisor Dimitrijevic was also at the meeting, but did not comment about the proposed changes to her District.
With the current Hispanic population in County District 4, the Latino community only needs a projected 11.4% increase of Hispanics to make it a 70% Hispanic District to compensate the population growth. It would create a second Latino District for the community with the ability to gain political empowerment by electing an Hispanic representative (Supervisor) at the Milwaukee County level. If the MCRC tentative proposed plan to cut the 4th District by 6.9% is approved for 2012. Latinos would need to increase the population by 18.3% to get at least 70% of the Latino population, which in fact would be a major setback for Hispanics in Milwaukee County. 
Latinos involved with the last two decades, including the 2000 redistricting plan, which gained 38% of the Hispanic population in the District saw a growth of 20% of the Latino population in the District. The HVAP in Distric 4 increased from 31% to 51% within 10 years, since 2000.
The current population in Milwaukee County District 4 contains 58.6% Hispanic population and a 30.5% White population with the proposed changes for 2012, it will be 51.7% Hispanic and 37.9% White, and other ethnic groups, according to the 2012 Proposed Supervisory District Totals by Race.
The MCRC accomplished the plan by taking Wards 132, 290, 291, and part of 292 with large Latino populations from District 4 and moved them to the 12th. Ward 132 is 70% Hispanic, Ward 290 is 58% Hispanic, Ward 29 is 73% Hispanic and Ward 292 is 67.3 % Hispanic.
The MCRC to compensate for the removal of large proportions of the Latino population Wards, they moved other Wards into the 4th. Ward  59 from District 3 (Downtown area or Eastern portion), which is 86.3% White and 3.4% Hispanic. The MCRC also moved Wards 144 and 200 from District 16 to 4.  Ward 144 is just south of the current District 4. Ward 144 is 45% White and 45% Hispanic. Ward 200 is 63% White and 21.8% Hispanic.
The MCRC overall did move 4,743 of the Hispanic population out of District 4 and 5,248 were moved into the 4th District, which created a decline in Hispanic population and an increase in White population.
The total populations for both County Districts in 2010 are 4th District, 53,087 and the 12th District is 47,889. Total populations for tentative plan in 2012 are, 4th District, 53,982 and the 12th District is 53,930.
Milwaukee County had an increase of 43,000 in Hispanic population and a state wide increase of 143,000, an 74% growth in the last 10 years, according to the U.S. Census.
Members of the Milwaukee County Redistricting Committee are Milwaukee County Supervisors, Michael Mayo Sr. (Chairperson), Gerry P. Broderick, Peggy A. Romo West, Mark A. Borkowski, Johnny L. Thomas, John F. Weishan Jr. and Willie Johnson Jr.

Update: The following Milwaukee County Supervisor Peggy West email to Harold Mester, the Public Information Manager for Milwaukee County was released several days before the 2012 election concerning her explanation about the two majority Hispanic Districts.

2 Majority Latino Districts Controversy 2012 Email From Milwaukee County Supervisor Peggy West Resurfaces

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