Why Don’t Chinese-Americans Vote Republican?

By: Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/ 

The Democratic Party has always been the party of immigrants. Even as everything else about the party has changed, as it has turned from a party of Southern whites to the exact opposite, immigrants continue to vote Democratic. In the 1850s the immigrants were Irish-Americans. Today they are Mexican-Americans.

Of course, not all immigrants support the Democratic Party. Many immigrants, such as Cuban-Americans and Vietnamese-Americans, vote strongly Republican. There is a very simple explanation for why this is so, an explanation that requires merely one word:

Communism.

Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger provides a story that resonates with many Republican-voting immigrants:

When I was a boy, the Soviets occupied part of Austria.

I saw their tanks in the streets. I saw Communism with my own eyes. I remember the fear we had when we had to cross into the Soviet sector…I remember how scared I was that the soldiers would pull my father or my uncle out of the car and I would never see them again. My family and so many others lived in fear of the Soviet boot…

I finally arrived here in 1968…The presidential campaign was in full swing. I remember watching the Nixon-Humphrey presidential race on TV…I heard Humphrey saying things that sounded like socialism, which I had just left.

But then I heard Nixon speak. He was talking about free enterprise, getting the government off your back, lowering the taxes and strengthening the military.

Listening to Nixon speak sounded more like a breath of fresh air.

I said to my friend, I said, “What party is he?”

My friend said, “He’s a Republican.”

I said, “Then I am a Republican.”

This is a common experience with immigrants from communist countries. Many Republican-voting immigrants are refugees of communism. In the Democratic Party’s economic program they hear echoes of the communist countries which they fled. They therefore turn to the Republican Party.

Which brings us to the biggest Communist country of them all: the People’s Republic of China.

There are a lot of Chinese-Americans in the United States. Many of them constitute immigrants who suffered tremendously under communism, through the Great Leap Forward and then the Cultural Revolution.

Yet Chinese-Americans are also a highly, highly Democratic constituency. One exit poll put 73% of Chinese-Americans as voting Democratic. Why does the Schwarzenegger experience not resonate with Chinese immigrants?

One reason might be that most Chinese immigrants are not communist refugees. Many anti-communist immigrants were persecuted as a specific class or individually by communist governments. They then fled to the United States. On the other hand, a lot of Chinese immigrants came to the United States as students, workers, or via family connections. Many of them represent people who benefited from the system in China. This is especially true for those who came as students or workers.

There is also the fact that China’s Communist Party is by far the most successful of all the communist parties out there. This dilutes the potential opposition against it. For instance, the Chinese community would probably not support an American embargo on China aimed at toppling the communist government there. This is quite different from the Cuban emigrant community.

 

 

Regulating For-Profit Colleges: A Much-Needed Reform

By: Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/ 

Recently the Department of Education unveiled new regulations for colleges. These regulations are aimed at for-profit colleges such as Kaplan University and the University of Phoenix, although they apply to all forms of higher education in general.

The rules stop federal funding for programs whose graduating students consistently default on their student debt. Specifically, this happens only if ”fewer than 35 percent of its graduates are repaying principal on their student loans three years out, and, for the typical graduate, loan payments exceed 30 percent of discretionary income as well as 12 percent of total earnings.”

Those are some pretty lenient conditions. If 65% of students default upon their debt, and said debt is more than 30% of their free income – well, that’s a lot of debt for what appears to be a very, very poor program. Certainly a program in which 65% of its graduates are failing ought to be called a failure. It probably doesn’t deserve federal funding.

The outraged reaction of for-profit colleges to these regulations also tells a pretty revealing story. For-profit colleges spent a load of money hiring lobbyists to fight the regulations and were able to successfully soften them up (for instance programs only start losing money by 2015). They also got much support amongst the Republican Party, and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives actually passed an amendment to stop the regulations.

It is quite baffling, and very sad, that Republicans did this. Indeed, Republican opposition to these type of common-sense reforms in education seems to be part of a puzzling pattern. Republicans also opposed reforms to student loans, a bill which increased aid to college students and put pressure on private, subprime-type, student loan companies. Under Republican control, the House of Representatives has targeted the Pell Grant as one of its top targets for spending cuts. The Pell Grant gives (far too little) money to low-income college students. Surely something else – perhaps the $450 million F-35 back-up jet engine which Defense Secretary Robert Gates calls an “unnecessary and extravagant expense” -better deserves these spending cuts.

All in all, curtailing the activities of for-profit colleges is a very good endeavor. For-profit colleges are akin to a form of legalized scamming. They take in often poor, often desperate Americans, promise them jobs and hope, but end up just giving them tens of thousands of dollars in tuition debt (which the federal government then picks up).

There is a much better option for poor Americans looking for a college education: community colleges, which are far less expensive but actually are legitimate institutions. Unfortunately, community colleges are quite bureaucratic, and their fees are rising. More funding could fix this problem. Yet here again one finds Republicans advocating cuts to community college funding; their opposition to President Barack Obama’s student loan reform reduced community college funding from the original $10 billion to a mere $2 billion. Why do they do this?

Nevertheless, this reform does represent a step in progress. It definitely will curb some of the excesses that cause so much student loan debt. It won’t solve everything, but it’s much better than nothing.

 

 

Packing Asians

This is the third part in a series of posts examining how to create super-packed districts of one race. The other posts in this series pack blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and whites.

(Note: I strongly encourage you to click the image links on this post when reading; they're essential to understanding what I'm saying.)

Packing Asians

The previous post created two extremely Hispanic districts: a 93.2% Hispanic district in the heart of Miami, and a 96.5% Hispanic district in South Texas.

It is nowhere near possible to do anything similar regarding Asians. Asians compose only 4.8% of America’s population, while Hispanics are 16.3%.

The vast majority of Asians live in communities that are majority non-Asian. There do exist areas with high Asian populations; New York City is one example, as is Middlesex County in New Jersey.

Hawaii is the state with the highest percentage of Asians. However, Hawaii only holds enough population for two congressional districts, and the state’s population is too integrated to effectively pack Asians.

The real action is in California. Millions of Asians live in Southern California, especially the San Gabriel Valley.

But the density of Asians is greatest in the San Francisco Bay Area. Indeed, one’s strategy for packing Asians is somewhat similar to one’s strategy for packing blacks. There is only one place in America you look at when trying to create the blackest district possible, and that place is Chicago. The same holds true for Asians. One unquestionably must go to the Bay Area to create the most Asian district possible; there is no alternative.

Here is the district.

This is a 64.6% Asian district. It reaches throughout the San Francisco Bay Area to take in the most Asian areas, disregarding all manner of compactness and communities of interest.

The trick to this district is the way it utilizes the water in the middle of the bay. This effectively enables the district to unite the Asian parts of San Francisco with the Asian parts of the South Bay. These areas are very far apart, but by crossing water one can put them together without taking in any non-Asians.

Obviously, it’s hard to get a clear look at the district from the above image alone. Below are some detailed views.

Here is San Francisco.

The left part is Chinatown. The right part is an Asian region of Oakland.

Here is South San Francisco.

Here is Fremont.

The outer reaches of Fremont are the most Asian; the inner parts of much less so.

Finally, here is San Jose.

Politically speaking, this district is quite liberal, located as it is in the Bay Area. It gave President Barack Obama around 73% of the vote in 2008, and Governor Jerry Brown 66 to 67% of the vote in 2010.

The northern parts – in San Francisco – are most Democratic, voting around 80% for Mr. Obama. Then as the district moves south, it gets steadily less so; the San Jose parts vote around 60 to 75% for Mr. Obama. There might have been five or so precincts in total that actually voted for Senator John McCain.

Packing Whites

The previous post, about packing Hispanics, actually stated that the next post would be about packing whites. As you may have noticed, this post was not about that subject. There are so many extremely white areas in the United States that creating the whitest district possible is a very time-consuming endeavor. Nevertheless, the next post will – hopefully – create the whitest district of them all.

 --Inoljt

 

The Curious Story of How Daniel Boman Switched Parties

By: Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

Alabama is a state in which the Democratic Party is on its death-bed. Ever since the Civil Rights Movement, the state has been in a slow drift Republican. First it stopped voting Democratic on the presidential level. Then it started electing Republicans for senator, then congressman, then state office, and finally local office.

The Democratic Party fought hard in this losing battle. As late as 2008 it had miraculously won three out of seven seats in the congressional delegation, and still held majorities in the state legislature. To be fair, many of these local Democrats were so conservative that they would be better described as “Republicans.”

The end came in 2010. Republicans won all but one seat in congress. They flipped the state legislature for the first time since Reconstruction, something which should have happened a long time ago. Democrats today hold no elected state office in Alabama.

There was a lot of party-switching after the 2010 elections. Many extremely conservative Democrats finally admitted that they were in fact Republicans.

In this state of affairs, something quite remarkable happened: a Republican politician, State Representative Daniel Boman, switched to the Democratic Party.

This has no effect on Alabama politics. Republicans still hold a supermajority in the chamber.

It also doesn’t appear that Mr. Boman switched for political reasons. His district is very white and very strongly Republican. He will probably lose his re-election campaign.

It thus seems that an extraordinarily rare event has occurred in American politics: a politician acting on behalf of his conscience, without any possible political gain. The Gadsden Times quotes Republican House speaker Mike Hubbard commending Mr. Boman for “formally affirming what he has likely felt in his heart for some time now.”

That is quite something. Mr. Boman seems to be a very good man, if not the wisest politician out there. This poster wishes him the best of luck in whatever his future holds.

 

There's more...

The Black Split With the Republican Party, From Ebony’s Perspective

The previous post analyzed the magazine Ebony during the Civil Rights era. The post utilized the magazine’s archive, which can be found here.

The archive also provides a fascinating picture into the gradual alienation of the black community from the Republican Party. In the early 1960s Republicans were still very competitive with the black vote. Indeed, the April 1962 issue of Ebony has a story titled “What Republicans Must Do to Regain the Negro Vote” in which Ebony interviews a prominent Republican. The interviewee? Richard Nixon!

Mr. Nixon is still visibly reliving his defeat to President John F. Kennedy, when Mr. Kennedy’s phone call in support of the jailed Martin Luther King Jr. swung the black vote Democratic. Mr. Nixon blames himself for losing the black vote; “It was my fault for not selling myself in such a close election.” He also argues strongly against the views of Senator Barry Goldwater, who wishes not to pursue the black vote, stating:

If Goldwater wins the fight, our party will eventually become the first major all-white political party. And that isn’t good. That would be a violation of GOP principles.

What irony!

By 1964, the Republican Party and the black community have visibly moved apart. A March 1964 article is titled “How Republican Leaders View the Negro.” In it, only three of eight prominent Republicans are willing to respond to a questionnaire by Ebony. Mr. Nixon is not amongst them. In February 1967, Ebony writes, “At no time since the Republican Party ended slavery has it been so flagrantly anti-Negro.”

When Mr. Nixon is elected president, Ebony’s mood has hardened even further. It writes, in January 1969, “Outside of the familiar breed of white segregationists and supremacists, few men in American public life have incurred the wrath of blacks as Nixon.” The magazine accuses Mr. Nixon of abandoning blacks during the 1960 presidential election. Interestingly, the magazine is a lot more upset about the 1960 election in 1969 than it actually was during 1960.

By then the rupture with the Republican Party is complete. Ebony’s 1969 article about Richard Nixon could, with different details and names, be written about any Republican politician in 2011. In less than a decade the Republican Party has gone from a legitimate contender of the black vote to the party of white people, in the eyes of the black community. It is a shocking and sad development.

--Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/ 

 

Ebony Magazine During the Civil Rights Era

By: Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

In 2008 Ebony magazine made available much of its archive, dating all the way back to 1959. The archive can be read here, and it offers a fascinating perspective on America during the past. Most magazines write from the normal perspective of the white community. Ebony, however, writes from the quite different lens of black America. This perspective is quite interesting from the viewpoint of the modern reader.

All in all, most of the Civil Rights era passes quite unremarkably. It is quite hum-drum, as if nobody realizes what an enormous change is happening. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter From Birmingham Jail is interspersed with articles such as “Should a Machine Select Your Mate?”

Some events are mentioned. The March on Washington gets front-page coverage on the November 1963 issue. On the other hand, the momentous passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act go entirely unwritten about.

It is really after the Civil Rights era that things seem to change. The tone, for instance, undergoes a subtle but clear shift. Before the Civil Rights era, Ebony’s tone was perhaps best described as aspirational and optimistic. It was aspirational in the sense that the magazine seemed to be aspiring to be white. The female models, for instance, looked like exact replicas of white ’60s models, with straight hair and skin so light many could have passed for white (to be fair, both trends are still occurring today). The tone was also optimistic and hopeful. There might be much discrimination against “Negroes,” as the magazine put it, but things would definitely get better.

After Civil Rights, however, this optimism and aspiration disappears – even as things do get very much better. The tone of Ebony shifts, to something that is more familiar to those acquainted with racial politics. It takes on a harder, more cynical edge. Ebony becomes less hopeful and optimistic, more demanding and proud. One example of this pride occurs in June 1966, when Ebony debuts a women wearing natural, non-straightened black hair. The title is “The Natural Look.”

The conversation becomes a lot more familiar in other ways. Before and during the Civil Rights era Ebony uses the word “Negro” in place of where the word “black” would be used today. Then one issue, in the summer of 1968, Ebony simply drops “Negro” and starts using “black.” In September 1966, another familiar term appears: “Black Power”. The next year, in October 1967, Ebony addresses the decaying inner city. A year later, Ebony starts using the term “ghetto.”

Fundamentally, by the late 1960s the voice of black America has essentially become the same as it is today. Ebony’s voice in 1960 is almost unrecognizable compared to its voice in 2011, but its tone in 1970 is pretty much the same as its tone today. The irony is that while in 1950s blacks occupied a far worse position in American society, their voice was a lot lighter and more optimistic. By 1970 the status of African-Americans had improved tremendously. Yet one could be forgiven for thinking, in comparing Ebony’s tone in 1958 to its tone in 1968, that blacks were worse off in 1968 than they were in 1958. 

 

A Proposal to Redistrict California: San Diego

This is the last part of a proposal outlining one possible way to redistrict California.

This post will concentrate on the San Diego region, part of Southern California.

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San Diego

The population of San Diego is enough to support a bit more than four congressional districts.

CA-50 (Powder Blue):

Population – 57.1% white, 1.8% black, 27.5% Hispanic, 10.2% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 3.1% other

The communities north of the city San Diego proper are placed in CA-50. Both the beachside cities and inland areas are relatively wealthy, the inland a bit less so. Perhaps the greatest weakness with this district is that it doesn’t include Oceanside, which has enormous commonality with the coastal cities in the district.

CA-51 (Saddle Brown):

Population – 16.5% white, 8.5% black, 57.4% Hispanic, 14.6% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 2.7% other

Over-18 Population – 19.8% white, 52.9% Hispanic

CA-51 is the VRA district in San Diego, drawn to be Hispanic controlled. The city Chula Vista anchors the district, which is located on the Mexican border – next to the much larger Mexican city Tijuana.

CA-52 (Olive Drab):

Population – 64.6% white, 4.3% black, 19.8% Hispanic, 6.9% Asian, 0.8% Native American, 3.7% other

This district looks big, covering much more space than the other three districts combined. Don’t be fooled, however – most of that area is empty mountains and desert. The inland suburbs of San Diego are where the people actually live .

CA-52 (Gainsboro/White):

Population – 53.8% white, 4.8% black, 22.8% Hispanic, 14.5% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 3.6% other

This is basically San Diego city itself.

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Final Thoughts

As with Orange County, San Diego is easy to redistrict. The only flaw in this map is that Oceanside isn’t in CD-50, which it should be.

In general, the San Diego area has a strong division between coastal communities and more inland communities. Here there are two coastal-based districts (CA-51 and 53), one inland-based district (CA-52), and one coastal/inland hybrid (CA-50). It would be interesting to see a map with two purely inland congressional districts, although perhaps the population just isn’t there to do that.

And that’s all of California, folks.

--Inoljt

 

A Proposal to Redistrict California: the Inland Empire

This is part of a proposal outlining one possible way to redistrict California.

This post will concentrate on the Inland Empire.

The Inland Empire is a complex region and fairly difficult to redistrict. In one way it can considered described as the “exurbs” of Los Angeles. Yet the Inland Empire is also it’s own independent region, with populous cities that have exurbs of their own. The main cities are, respectively San Bernardino and Riverside.

San Bernardino and Riverside

CA-26 (Gray):

Population – 30.1% white, 5.7% black, 52.6% Hispanic, 9.3% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 2.1% other

Over-18 Population – 34.2% White, 47.7% Hispanic

Majority-Minority District; New Majority-Hispanic

This district, taking in part of Los Angeles County, is composed of suburbs that flow seamlessly from the Los Angeles area into the Inland Empire. Some of these, such as Pomona, are quite poor; others, such as Upland, are fairly well-off. The district also happens to be Hispanic-majority (somewhat unintentionally), although the white population is still high enough for whites to compose a majority of the actual electorate.

CA-42 (Lawn Green):

Population – 26.3% white, 9.4% black, 55.5% Hispanic, 6.2% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 2.3% other

Over-18 Population – 31.0% White, 49.8% Hispanic

Majority-Minority District; New Majority-Hispanic

Unlike the previous district, this district is intentionally as Hispanic as reasonably possible. It centers around the city of Riverside and Moreno Valley. In general, a 2:1 ratio of Hispanics to whites or blacks is necessary for Hispanic control. This district barely meets the cut, although with better data it can be drawn to be more Hispanic.

CA-43 (Magenta):

Population – 16.9% white, 10.6% black, 63.9% Hispanic, 6.4% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 1.8% other

Over-18 Population – 20.4% White, 59.4% Hispanic

Majority-Minority District; Majority-Hispanic

Strongly Hispanic, this district is basically the city of San Bernardino, with a few suburbs to its west.

CA-44 (Medium Violet Red):

Population – 46.4% white, 5.1% black, 37.8% Hispanic, 7.6% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 2.6% other

Over-18 Population – 51.2% white, 33.2% Hispanic

Majority-Minority District; New Majority-Minority

CA-44 picks up the inner suburban communities around Riverside and parts of San Bernardino. Its odd shape is due to CA-42, which avoids the whiter areas of Riverside to become as Hispanic as possible. Those areas have to go somewhere, however; they end up forming the basis of this congressional district.

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Other Inland Empire Districts

There are three other districts in the Inland Empire, which take up the most “exurban” parts of the region.

CA-41 (Light Steel Blue):

Population – 35.5% white, 12.1% black, 45.9% Hispanic, 3.3% Asian, 0.5% Native American, 2.7% other

Over-18 Population – 41.1% white, 40.8% Hispanic

Majority-Minority District; New Majority-Minority

Palmdale and the northern exurbs of San Bernardino belong to this congressional district. The communities do not have much in common, however. The reason why they are forced together is because of decisions made far-away in Central Valley and the Central Coast. The district is also, surprisingly, plurality-Hispanic – a surprise to at least this blogger, who thought it was majority-white all the way until said blogger started writing these words.

CA-45 (Turquoise):

Population – 35.5% white, 3.0% black, 57.0% Hispanic, 2.5% Asian, 0.7% Native American, 1.3% other

Over-18 Population – 42.3% white, 50.0% Hispanic

Majority-Minority District; New Hispanic-Majority

CA-45 takes in the most exurban reaches of Riverside County, separated by the San Jacinto Mountains from the rest of the county’s population. It also takes in Imperial Valley, whose connections to the Salton Sea and agriculture link it most closely with Coachella and Palm Desert in Riverside County, rather than San Diego County. Credit to the Imperial Valley idea goes to the users of swingstateproject.

Interestingly, and entirely accidentally, the addition of Imperial County creates a strong Hispanic majority in CA-45. While probably not enough to form a Hispanic majority in the electorate, Hispanics definitely will have a strong voice in this district.

CA-49 (Indian Red):

Population – 53.4% white, 4.3% black, 31.7% Hispanic, 6.5% Asian, 0.8% Native American, 3.3% other

There are two communities joined together by CA-49, the only white-majority district in the Inland Empire. These are the southernmost exurbs of Riverside and the northernmost suburbs of the San Diego area. While these are not communities of interest, in terms of economics, demographics, growth rates, and political beliefs they have a lot in common.

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Final Thoughts

The ugliest district here, by far, is the sickle-shaped CA-44. This is yet another example of VRA districts conflicting with compactness; CA-44′s odd shape is mostly due to the creation of a strongly Hispanic-district which it surrounds. In addition, CA-41 would drop Palmdale and add more San Bernardino exurbs in a perfect world.

Another surprise is the extent of minority – especially Hispanic – growth in this region. In the 2000 gerrymander all but one of these districts were majority-white. In this proposal four districts are majority-Hispanic, one is plurality-Hispanic, one is plurality-white, and only one is majority-white. It’s quite a change.

The next post will take a look at San Diego County, part of the overall Southern California area:

--Inoljt

 

A Proposal to Redistrict California: Orange County

This is part of a proposal outlining one possible way to redistrict California.

This post will concentrate on Orange County.

Orange County

The population of Orange County is enough to support a bit more than four congressional districts.

CA-40 (Firebrick):

Population – 30.1% white, 2.1% black, 35.5% Hispanic, 29.9% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 2.3% other

Over-18 Population – 33.9% White, 31.0% Hispanic, 31.0% Asian

Majority-Minority District

This district takes in the Orange County suburbs closest to Los Angeles. These suburbs can be characterized as quite diverse, moderately conservative, and well-off but not quite rich.

CA-46 (Tomato, located along the shore):

Population – 63.7% white, 1.1% black, 17.1% Hispanic, 14.7% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 3.3% other

This district unites the coastal communities of Orange County. Demographically and politically, the district fits well with the stereotype of Orange County as a place full of wealthy white conservative suburban warriors.

CA-47 (Thistle):

Population – 19.2% white, 1.3% black, 65.8% Hispanic, 12.2% Asian, 1.3% Native American, 1.3% other

Over-18 Population – 23.2% White, 60.1% Hispanic

Majority-Minority District; Majority-Hispanic

If CA-46 fits the Orange County stereotype to a glove, then CA-47 runs counter to it in almost every way. Anchored by Anaheim and Santa Ana, the district is (drawn to be) strongly Hispanic, poorer than the rest of Orange County (although certainly richer than downtown Los Angeles), and not very conservative.

CA-48 (Sandy Brown, located in the center-right of the map):

Population – 56.8% white, 1.5% black, 21.0% Hispanic, 17.2% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 3.3% other

CA-48 takes in the inland suburbs of Orange County. Most of the people actually live in the northeastern part; west of Irvine the population density is much less.

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Orange County is quite simple to draw; there are no conflicts between the VRA and communities of interest that one encounters elsewhere. The next post will take a look at the Inland Empire, part of the overall Southern California area.

--Inoljt

 

A Proposal to Redistrict California: Los Angeles

This is part of a proposal outlining one possible way to redistrict California.

This post will concentrate on Los Angeles.

There are several parts to Los Angeles: the San Fernando Valley, the San Gabriel Valley, downtown Los Angeles, and the Long Beach area.

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Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley

The San Fernando Valley has enough population for two congressional districts, while the Hollywood area provides an additional district.

CA-27 (Spring Green):

Population – 45.0% white, 4.6% black, 34.3% Hispanic, 12.9% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 3.1% other

Majority-Minority District

This district takes in the western half of the San Fernando Valley. It stretches an awkward arm eastwards, mainly to take in some very white areas. This boosts the Hispanic percentage of the next congressional district:

CA-28 (Plum):

Population – 22.9% white, 3.0% black, 64.4% Hispanic, 7.9% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 1.7% other

Over-18 Population – 26.5% white, 59.8% Hispanic

Majority-Minority District; Majority-Hispanic

In one of the more shameful episodes of the 2000 gerrymander, the San Fernando Valley split the Hispanic population in two in order to re-elect the two white congressmen representing the region. This district bumps the Hispanic population to 64%, taking in the eastern portion of the San Fernando Valley. Redistricting with more detailed data could further strengthen the Hispanic percentage.

CA-30 (Light Coral):

Population – 73.7% white, 3.0% black, 9.2% Hispanic, 10.2% Asian, 0.1% Native American, 3.8% other

CA-30 is the Hollywood district, taking in such landmarks as Santa Monica, University City, and Beverly Hills. Demographically, the district is extremely white and mostly wealthy (one of the whitest and wealthiest districts, in fact, in all Southern California). The Hispanic population doesn’t break double-digits, which is quite shocking when one looks at the rest of the districts in this post. Despite the association of Los Angeles with Hollywood, the district is actually quite unrepresentative in terms of the people who live there.

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San Gabriel Valley

The San Gabriel Valley is home to three districts and parts of several others.

CA-29 (Dark Sea Green/Grayish, located at the top left corner of the map):

Population – 42.0% white, 4.8% black, 35.1% Hispanic, 15.1% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 2.9% other

Majority-Minority District

This district is essentially composed of relatively wealthy suburbs – Glendale and Pasadena – in the less built-up areas of Los Angeles. If Los Angeles can be compared to a giant toilet, than CA-29 would be the somewhat dirty but still relatively clean toilet seat.

CA-32 (Orange Red):

Population – 17.6% white, 2.0% black, 28.4% Hispanic, 50.0% Asian, 0.1% Native American, 1.9% other

Over-18 Population – 25.9% Hispanic, 51.3% Asian

Majority-Minority District; New Majority-Asian

CA-32 is a district drawn to be the only Asian-majority district in Los Angeles. It does this by connecting the communities around Monterey Park to those around Diamond Valley, both of which have little in common with each other. The connecting region between the two areas is geographically large but actually has very little population.

CA-38 (Medium Aquamarine, located at the center right of the map):

Population – 19.0% white, 2.3% black, 63.0% Hispanic, 14.1% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 1.4% other

Over-18 Population – 22.1% white, 58.2% Hispanic

Majority-Minority District; Majority-Hispanic

The eastern suburbs of the San Gabriel Valley, which tend to be more Hispanic, are grouped together in this district. This is an easy district to draw, as the communities of interest are both obvious and create a VRA district in a very compact manner.

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Downtown Los Angeles

Downtown Los Angeles covers five congressional districts, four of which will be discussed here (the other will be discussed  in the Long Beach section). Another district is located along the west shore.

CA-31 (Khaki):

Population – 1.6% white, 9.5% black, 87.9% Hispanic, 0.5% Asian, 0.1% Native American, 1.5% other

Majority-Minority District; Majority-Hispanic

This district composes part of South-Central Los Angeles, which used to be primarily black but now has become mostly Hispanic. It is incredibly Hispanic, enough so as to make one uncomfortable; it is quite conceivable that somebody will accuse this of packing Hispanics. A discussion about this problem will be discussed further at the end of this post.

CA-33 (Royal Blue):

Population – 7.3% white, 6.7% black, 67.8% Hispanic, 16.8% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 1.3% other

Majority-Minority District; New Majority-Hispanic

Downtown Los Angeles is a good description of CA-33. Its one weakness is that it splits East Los Angeles with the previous district. This happens only because it was impossible to draw the district within the required population deviation without splitting the city, given the application’s gigantic 20,000 person population blocks. With more detailed data, East Los Angeles would certainly stay within one district.

CA-34 (Lime Green):

Population – 16.5% white, 2.3% black, 68.4% Hispanic, 11.4% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 1.2% other

Majority-Minority District; Majority-Hispanic

CA-34 takes in poor, primarily Hispanic communities in downtown Los Angeles. Seeing a pattern here?

CA-35 (Dark Orchid/Purple):

Population – 5.2% white, 40.9% black, 45.6% Hispanic, 5.9% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 2.2% other

Over-18 Population – 43.2% black, 41.4% Hispanic

Majority-Minority District

Don’t be fooled by the Hispanic plurality; this district is drawn to elect a black representative. It takes advantage of low Hispanic turn-out and high black turn-out to ensure that even a Hispanic-plurality district will probably elect a black representative.

Right now there are in fact three black congresswomen representing this area, an relic of the time when South-Central Los Angeles was far less Hispanic and far more black. Given that the black population has absolutely plummeted in the past twenty years, this situation is not sustainable. A black-plurality over-18 district would probably elect a black congressman for the next ten years, even as the black population continues to fall.

CA-36 (Orange):

Population – 47.6% white, 5.2% black, 26.8% Hispanic, 16.4% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 3.8% other

Majority-Minority District

The wealthier western coastline of Los Angeles is home to CA-36. This district divides the Rancho Palos Verdes area in two; it’s impossible to get within the correct population deviation without doing so. This would not happen with more detailed data. More concerning is the fact that it takes in several poor downtown cities that have little in common with the wealthy coastline communities; this happens because those areas are too Hispanic to be incorporated into the previous district and thus have no place to go but here.

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Long Beach

There are two congressional districts located in Long Beach.

CA-39 (Moccasin):

Population – 13.1% white, 14.5% black, 57.7% Hispanic, 12.5% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 2.0% other

Over-18 Population – 15.9% white, 15.2% black, 52.9% Hispanic

Majority-Minority District; Majority-Hispanic

This district covers several more poor, primarily Hispanic communities north of Long Beach.

CA-37 (Dodger Blue):

Population – 46.1% white, 6.5% black, 31.4% Hispanic, 12.6% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 3.1% other

Majority-Minority District

While this district looks compact, it does relatively poorly in communities of interest. Long Beach is a primarily Hispanic, industrial, and relatively poor community. On the other hand, Rancho Palos Verdes and Huntington Beach are primarily white, suburban, and wealthy communities. The trouble is that Long Beach is a large city, but doesn’t have enough population to support its own district. Unfortunately, given the design of this map, there is nowhere else for Long Beach to find more population than Rancho Palos Verdes and Huntington Beach.

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Final Thoughts

There were three decisions which formed the basis of the Los Angeles area – the decision to make a majority-Asian district, the decision to make a black-controlled district, and the decision that no district would cross-over the mountains from the Los Angeles metropolis into the Antelope Valley.

These three rational decisions, however, are ultimately responsible for the weaknesses that do occur in the map. The reason Long Beach has to be combined with unlike communities is due to this, for instance.

More troubling is the way in which CA-31 packs Hispanics. CA-31 is located in one of the most Hispanic parts of the entire country, and any district in this area will have a very high Hispanic percentage. Still, the 88% number is quite high. The problem is that there is nowhere for the district to go. The areas to its north, south and east are just as Hispanic, so moving there won’t fix the problem. West of CA-31 is the black-controlled CA-35. However, taking in some less Hispanic territory there would end up destroying the only district designed to elect a black representative in all of California. The only other options would be to run thing, long strips from downtown Los Angeles to the Asian areas of the San Gabriel Valley (destroying a district designed to elect an Asian representative), or alternatively the white areas of Glendale and Pasadena (horrendous in terms of compactness and communities of interest). Once again one runs into the constant trade-offs present with redistricting.

The next post will take a look at Orange County, part of the overall Southern California area.

--Inoljt 

 

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