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