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The wrong reform

June 23, 2008

Re "For remapping, state is among 'Dirty Dozen,' " Column, June 19

We take strong exception to columnist George Skelton's claim that civil rights groups oppose the "California Voters First Initiative" because we prefer to deal with "our political buddies in the Legislature" during redistricting.

Skelton should be reminded that in 2001, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund sued these so-called buddies as a result of their failure to adequately consider the voting rights of minority communities.

Redistricting reform is needed. But it must be effective reform that ensures that California's diversity is represented. Under the initiative, government employees randomly select the commission, with no guarantee of accountability to the public. For these reasons, civil rights organizations strongly denounce the measure. This redistricting initiative is a cure worse than the disease, and we oppose it.

Nancy Ramirez

Los Angeles

The writer is Western regional counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

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