State Rep. Sylvia Ortiz-Velez
Press Release

Ortiz-Velez Commends Redistricting Committee for Creating Two Majority-Hispanic Supervisory Districts


By - Sep 28th, 2021 01:11 pm

MILWAUKEE – In a statement released today, County Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez expressed her support for the Supervisory District map recommended to the Board of Supervisors by the County’s Independent Redistricting Committee (IRC). The map creates a second Hispanic-majority district on Milwaukee’s south side, reflecting an increase in the Hispanic population.

“The Independent Redistricting Committee has appropriately recommended a map that adheres to Section II of the Voting Rights Act, ensuring that the voice of Milwaukee’s Hispanic community will be heard,” said Supervisor Ortiz-Velez. “I commend the IRC for honoring the Constitutional principle of ‘one person, one vote’. Creating a second majority Hispanic district will allow Hispanic voters in Milwaukee to choose the candidate of their choice, and I urge folks to contact their current County Supervisor and express your support for Map E.”

Section II of the 1965 Voting Rights Act prohibits the dilution of a minority group’s voting power, a gerrymandering tactic that breaks up a concentrated minority population area and combines segments of it with surrounding areas, creating majority white districts.

Under the current Supervisory District map, drawn in 2011, District 12 is the only Hispanic-majority County Supervisory district. Data from the 2020 Census revealed that the Hispanic population officially grew by 21.4% in Milwaukee County since 2010, with most of that growth centered around neighborhoods on Milwaukee’s South Side, warranting two Hispanic districts.

Of the two districts, one is about 70% Hispanic and the second is about 67% Hispanic, reflecting a legal precedent established in a case known as “Baldus v. Members of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board,” which established a 70% majority-minority threshold to enable minority voters to elect their candidate of choice.  The IRC considered but did not recommend a map with three majority-Hispanic districts. Under that scenario, one district would have been 70% Hispanic and the other two slightly more than 50% Hispanic.

Milwaukee County Supervisory Districts each have a roughly equal population of about 52,000 residents. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the County’s white population declined by more than 58,000 from 2010 to 2020.

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. While it is believed to be reliable, Urban Milwaukee does not guarantee its accuracy or completeness.

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