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Complaint Is Filed Over Supervisors' Boundaries

January 04, 2002

Minority activists filed a complaint Thursday with the federal government charging that the county's supervisorial districts discriminate against minorities.

County officials barely altered the five districts' lines when they redrew them last summer to balance their populations. They insist that they complied with civil rights laws.

In a letter to the Department of Justice, Alan Clayton, a demographer for the Los Angeles County Employees Assn., lays out a proposal for new districts, including one that would cover the entire San Gabriel Valley, which is currently divided among three supervisors.

Clayton is asking the Justice Department to sue the county for violating the federal Voting Rights Act, as the agency successfully did in the 1980s. That action resulted in the drawing of a new Latino-majority district, which is represented by Supervisor Gloria Molina.

"If this case fails, it's basically the status quo for the next 12 years," Clayton said. "If it succeeds, it'll change the way the county does business."

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