Immigrant Communities Would Be Deprived Of Political Representation
LOS ANGELES (June 1, 2015) — Last week, the United States Supreme Court announced that it will hear the case of Evenwel v. Abbott, a lawsuit brought by conservative activist Edward Blum that seeks to undermine the fundamental principle of “one person, one vote” by drawing voting districts based only on the number of citizens eligible to vote. This would roll back long standing legal precedent that bases redistricting lines on census population data that counts all residents living in the United States.
In response, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles (Advancing Justice – LA) issues the following statement:
Advancing Justice – LA is deeply concerned that the Evenwel v. Abbott case is yet another attempt by conservatives to disenfranchise immigrant communities and communities of color. Edward Blum, who spearheaded efforts to significantly weaken the 1965 Voting Rights Act, now seeks to dismantle the fundamental principle of “one person, one vote” by excluding potentially millions of U.S. residents from being counted in the redistricting process. This would lead to significant numbers of Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, Latinos, and other immigrant communities being deprived of political representation.
Stewart Kwoh, President and Executive Director of Advancing Justice – LA, commented, “As a democracy, our nation cannot afford to create a system of political segregation where millions of residents are told literally and figuratively that they do not count. It is imperative that elected officials represent the interests of all residents in their communities. Advancing Justice – LA is committed to working with all those who believe in equal protection under the law to ensure that the tenet of “one person, one vote” is upheld for all Americans.”
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles is the nation’s largest Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) legal and civil rights organization and serves more than 15,000 individuals and organizations every year. Founded in 1983 as the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Advancing Justice – LA’s mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society. Through direct legal services, impact litigation, policy analysis and advocacy, leadership development and capacity building, Advancing Justice – LA seeks to serve the most vulnerable members of the AANHPI community while also building a strong AANHPI voice for civil rights and social justice.