By Suzanne Potter
This story was originally published by Public News Service
LAS VEGAS — Good-government groups are criticizing the new district voting maps approved by the Clark County Commission on Tuesday, predicting they could increase divisiveness.
The commission, faced with competing interests and a massive surge in population over the past ten years, chose an edited version of Option 3.
Mathilda Guerrero, democracy manager at the non-profit Silver State Voices, described the choice as the “least bad” option but said it still fails in terms of equity.
“There should have been more meaningful community input in order to prevent pitting Black and Latino communities against each other, separating Rancho High School from a prominent Latino community, and separating at least one AAPI community in the southwest,” Guerrero asserted.
The Clark County School District is redoing its maps as well. The board has had seven public meetings so far, and is set to hear public comment and take its first vote on trustee district boundaries tomorrow night.
Meanwhile, the governor is set to call a special session in the next few weeks on redistricting to draw maps for Nevada’s 42 State Assembly districts, 21 State Senate districts, and four Congressional districts.
Amy Koo, outreach manager for the Asian Community Development Council in Las Vegas and Reno, said the key is to avoid diluting the vote of any one community of concern, either by packing them all into one district or spreading them too thin.
“Equal representation is a big part of it,” Koo explained. “Making sure that the community isn’t split apart, so it’s harder for us to advocate for the things that we want.”
According to the preliminary census numbers released in August, Nevada’s population shot up by 15% from 2010 to 2020, the fifth-largest percentage population increase in the nation.