Eliminating San Quentin Prison’s inmate population from Marin County’s Census totals created new district lines politically beneficial to the Latino community, KPIX reports.
The lines were drawn in response to a new law that requires incarcerated people at San Quentin to be counted as residents of where they last lived. That dropped the San Rafael area population by several thousand.
“And that really made District 4 under-represented,” Marin Assistant County Administrator Dan Eilerman said. “So, that’s where we really focused, and District 4 includes the (predominately Latino) Canal area,” he told KPIX.
There was a lot of shifting people around after these new boundaries were drawn; their primary focus was on “communities of interest.” The Canal District registered on all points. District 4 now includes three heavily populated Latino communities: along Lincoln Avenue, part of Bret Harte, and Cal Park.
The figures consider who shares things like language, economic indicators, and multi-family housing, said Eilerman.
A frontrunner for these changes was Omar Carrera, CEO of the Canal Alliance.
“So that’s the major accomplishment,” said Carrera, “that now this community is going to be able to speak with a louder voice to their elected official.”
Carrera spoke about how these new boundaries will be advocated by one supervisor, instead of three.
The supervisor for District 4, Dennis Rodoni, believes he will have a stronger voice when speaking to the Board of Supervisors about Latino concerns.
“It means we have a solid block of residents to represent in District 4,” stated Rodoni. “And now, because of that, I’m representing the majority of the Hispanics and Latinx community in Marin.”
This is the result activists have been pushing for, with Latinos being more of a presence now and not simply voices upon deaf ears.
“Nobody’s going to thrive in Marin County unless the Latino community is also thriving,” Carrera said. “And I think that is the message that we want to send across all levels, including the political one.”
The new regional parameters were affirmed by the Board of Supervisors on December 14.