Orange County Board of Supervisors Testimony: Communities of Interest

The following transcripts of public testimony provided to the Board and redistricting staff are organized by community-based organization.

August 3, 2021 (Mission Viejo)Geographic FocusGuidance
Daniel Ichinose (OCCET) CountyComply with the federal Voting Rights Act, respect communities of interest.
Cynthia Valencia (ACLU) CountyComply with the federal Voting Rights
August 4, 2021 (Fountain Valley)Geographic FocusGuidance
Hina Ahmad (South Asian Network)Buena Park, Fullerton, and AnaheimKeep the South Asian community in Buena Park, Fullerton, and west Anaheim whole.
Sarai Arpero (Santa Ana Resident)Santa AnaKeep Santa Ana whole.
Kayla Asato (Orange County Environmental Justice)Santa AnaDraw the communities in the Madison Park neighborhood, the Santa Ana neighborhoods between Cedar and Evergreen, the 760 and 762.04 census tracts in Orange, and a majority of Anaheim in the 864 and 865 census tracts together.
Ana Charco (Latino Health Access)Santa AnaKeep low-income and immigrant communities in Santa Ana whole.
Taavi Kaskla (United Domestic Workers)Anaheim, Santa Ana, Garden Grove, and WestminsterKeep the Latinx community in Anaheim and Santa Ana whole. Keep the Vietnamese community in Garden Grove and Westminster whole.
Charlene Kazner (Pacific Islander Health Partnership)West Garden GroveDraw Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities in west Garden Grove with Asian American communities in Garden Grove, Westminster, and Fountain Valley.
Adela Montanez (Santa Ana Resident)Santa AnaKeep Latinx, youth, mixed status families, and communities without health insurance in Santa Ana whole.
Caroline Nguyen (California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative)West Garden Grove and WestminsterKeep Vietnamese nail salon workers in west Garden Grove and Westminster whole.
Laura Pantoja (Santa Ana Resident)Santa AnaKeep low-income and immigrant communities in Santa Ana whole.
Araceli Robles (Santa Ana Resident)Santa AnaKeep Santa Ana whole.
Vincent Tran (VietRISE)Little SaigonKeep the Vietnamese community in Garden Grove, Westminster, and Fountain Valley whole.
Maria Victoria (Santa Ana Resident)Santa AnaKeep Latinx, working-class, low-income, and mixed status families in Santa Ana whole.
August 5, 2021 (Orange)Geographic FocusGuidance
Kayla Asato (Orange County Environmental Justice)Santa AnaDraw the communities in the Madison Park neighborhood, the Santa Ana neighborhoods between Cedar and Evergreen, the 760 and 762.04 census tracts in Orange, and a majority of Anaheim in the 864 and 865 census tracts together.
Christina Nguyen (Orange County Asian Pacific Islander Community Alliance)IrvineKeep Irvine whole, together with Costa Mesa, and separate from Yorba Linda and the Anaheim Hills.
Dulce Saavedra (Resilience Orange County)Santa AnaKeep Santa Ana whole.
August 11, 2021 (Fullerton)Geographic FocusGuidance
Karen Alvarado (Orange County Congregation Community Organization)Fullerton and AnaheimKeep low-income Latinx communities in south Fullerton and west Anaheim whole.
Kayla Asato (Orange County Environmental Justice)Fullerton and AnaheimDraw Fullerton (south of Chapman Ave) with west Anaheim (west of 55 Freeway).
Susan Cheng (AHRI for Justice)Fullerton and Buena ParkKeep low-income, API, Latinx, immigrant, and LGBTQ+ communities in Fullerton and Buena Park whole.
August 12, 2021 (Costa Mesa)Geographic FocusGuidance
Kelani Silk (Costa Mesa resident)Costa MesaDraw Marshallese communities in Costa Mesa with Irvine.
Written TestimonyGeographic FocusGuidance
Rashad Al-Dabbagh (Arab American Civic Council)Little ArabiaKeep Little Arabia whole.
Otniel Pavia (Orange County Voter Information Project)OrangeDraw the Cypress Street Barrio in Orange with Santa Ana and west Garden Grove.
Testimony: Daniel Ichinose

August 3 (Mission Viejo) Testimony
Daniel Ichinose
Research Director, Orange County Civic Engagement Table (OCCET)

Good evening honorable members of the Board and redistricting staff, my name is Daniel Ichinose, last name spelled I-C-H-I-N-O-S-E. I am Research Director at the Orange County Civic Engagement Table or OCCET, a nonpartisan Asian American Pacific

lslander-Latinx-Labor-Environmental Justice alliance based in Garden Grove that is dedicated to engaging county residents year-round to build power and an Orange County that serves everyone equitably and with justice.

Orange County is changing. During the 1990 Census, our county’s population was only 36% people of color. Immigration over the last 30 years has transformed the county; 2019 American Community Survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau now show people of color make up more than 60% of Orange County residents. Despite facing real challenges in their day-to-day lives, including a lack of access to healthcare, affordable housing, and other critical resources, our communities are often ignored by policy makers.

We know that how legislative districts are drawn shapes the amount of attention our communities receive from legislators at all levels of government. In January of this year,

OCCET helped establish the People’s Redistricting Alliance, a coalition of over 15

community-based organizations and residents whose goal is to get low-income communities of color and working families involved in both statewide and local redistricting processes.

Our alliance is organizing both community-based organizations and residents to participate in redistricting by: (1) educating them about redistricting, (2) creating a space through which they identify communities of interest (COi) important to them, (3) mobilizing both to participate in CCRC, Orange County Board of Supervisors, and other public hearings, and (4) working closely with them to create congressional, state, and local legislative redistricting proposals that center those most in need.

As you begin the process of redrawing supervisorial districts, we ask that you take a few important things into account. First, consider communities of interest that include the most vulnerable in our county. Low-income communities, those that lack access to affordable housing or health insurance, are most reliant on county services and have the most to lose if ignored by policy makers. Second, comply with the federal Voting Rights Act. We believe a federal Voting Rights Act requirement exists in Orange County in and around Santa Ana and will

be working with communities to help identify the best way to draw it. Finally, recognize that race can and should be used as one of many factors in the drawing of lines. Race is an allowable consideration in redistricting both to ensure Voting Rights Act compliance and if it is used in concert with other communities of interest in drawing lines.

Thank you for your time and for organizing this and other opportunities for our communities to have a real say in how these lines are drawn. We appreciate all your hard work to make this a fair and transparent process.

Testimony: Cynthia Valencia

Comments at 8/4 OC redistricting community workshop

Good evening, my name is Cynthia Valencia and I am a Senior Policy Advocate and Organizer at the ACLU of Southern California and also a member of the People’s Redistricting Alliance. I am a current resident and grew up in Orange County. I am here today to uplift communities, specifically in current district 1, that are being disenfranchised and their vote is being diluted because of the current district configuration. For this redistricting cycle, it will not be sufficient for the Board or County staff to just slightly redraw the lines from the 2011 process. As a reminder, in 2011 there was an ultimately successful attempt to draw supervisorial lines that ensured full Republican control of the Board of Supervisors, with every then-Supervisor meeting with the OC Republican chairman. Additionally, GOP leaders made multiple statements to local news outlets about their success in maintaining Republican control for all the Board of Supervisors seats. Similar behavior would be violating the Fair Maps Act passed in 2018. And this year, the board and County staff need to make the changes necessary to right the wrongs from 2011. The Act also ranks keeping communities of interest as one of the

top principles the Board must consider in drawing lines, and excludes relationships with political parties, incumbents, or political candidates as factors that the Board may consider when assessing communities of interest.

As the testimony you’ve heard today confirms, there are communities of interest in Orange County that are made up of large concentrations of Latinx voters. These communities share interests and concerns in common, tend to support the same candidates and policies, and have been negatively impacted by the current configuration of the districts because they have been unable to elect candidates of choice, since the drawing of the district maps in 2011. The Voting Rights Act mandates the creation of minority-majority districts in precisely in these situations.

We want to reiterate, that the Board must not attempt to meet its Voting

Rights Act obligations by placing most Latinx voters into just one majority-Latinx district. Like cracking, the Supreme Court and state law also prohibit packing: placing as many Latinx voters into just one district so they have less political power than their size merits. The only

reason for this board would avoid drawing Latinx majority districts this cycle would be to protect incumbency and/or political party interests. This not only violates the Voting Rights Act but now also violates various provisions of the Fair Maps Act. Latinx voters should, like all other voters, be equally and fairly represented in the new supervisorial district map. We at the ACLU and People’s Redistricting Alliance are more than happy to work with County staff and the Board of Supervisors to ensure they will not violate the Voting Rights Act or the Fair Maps Act. Thank you.