The cities of Imperial Beach, National City, Chula Vista and areas east of Otay Mesa is the new Latino-Majorioty congressional district of southern San Diego County approved late Monday by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission. 

The newly approved maps were unanimously approved by the commission, where 51 percent of voting-age Latinos reside in the county’s 52nd Congressional District. Latinos account for 40 percent of California’s population, which makes the majority of 16 districts statewide. 

The final congressional map for San Diego also includes a central and east county district along with North and South coastal districts which are slated to take effect with the June 2022 primaries and continue for the next decade. 

According to the commission, California must redraw the demographic boundaries of it’s electoral districts every decade accompanied with census data released by the federal government.  The board of 14 commissioners drew four Board of Equalization districts, 52 congressional districts, 40 senatorial districts, and 80 Assembly districts. 

All maps were drawn blind to partisanship to comply with the Federal Voting Rights Act and to ensure that no minority group’s vote was drowned out. 

“We have reached the finish line for the people’s redistricting process in California. When voters approved the Voters FIRST Act, it created a monumental shift in this decennial process,”Commission Chair Alicia Fernandez said in a statement. “As Californians, my colleagues on this Commission and I answered the call to serve for this great state we honor and love. We conclude our map drawing responsibilities with pride in our final product. We started this process leaving politics out of the equation in hopes of achieving fairer and more equitable maps.”

With significant delays in the release of census data, the commission underwent pressure to meet the Dec.27 deadline. A number of sessions were held to hear public comment, which will continue through the deadline to submit the maps for approval of the Secretary of State and Senate. Candidates for the June primary election have to file nomination papers by mid-March.

The census data revealed that the state would lose a U.S House seat, resulting in a House delegation drop of 53 to 52 for the first time in its 170 year history due to population growth. Despite this, California remains to be the most populous with nearly 39.5 million people despite it’s delayed growth. 

The new map may help determine whether Democrats will retain the house following next year’s midterm elections. 

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