Fresno · Politics

Redistricting as war? Huerta compares Fresno Co. line drawing to Russian invasion of Ukraine

Is a bout of political line-drawing akin to war?

That’s how United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta sought to cast the process undertaken by Fresno County to redraw its supervisorial lines last winter during a Wednesday legislative committee hearing.

Per GV Wire:

Civil rights activist Dolores Huerta likened the process of selecting voting maps in Fresno County to the war in Ukraine.

“We see what is happening in Ukraine, where people are being murdered, because Russia wants to take over their country and wants to represent them. What we have here is something very similar, of course, on a different scale,” Huerta testified over the phone at an Assembly election committee hearing Wednesday.

Huerta made the comments in support of Assembly Bill 2030, proposed by Asm. Joaquin Arambula (D–Fresno), which seeks to mandate Fresno County change its redistricting process, beginning in 2031, to be led by an independent redistricting commission.

As it stands, no California county has such a mandate from Sacramento. A number of large metropolitan counties, including Los Angeles, have voluntarily opted for independent commissions to redraw political boundaries.

In December, Fresno County Supervisors voted 4-1 to approve a tweaked version of the county’s legislative boundaries tendered by Alex Tavlian, Sun editor and consultant. Supervisor Sal Quintero cast the lone dissenting vote.

Tavlian’s map was the lone option submitted by the public to win recommendation by Fresno County’s bipartisan redistricting advisory commission.

Two additional maps from County consultant National Demographics Corporation were also recommended for consideration by Supervisors.

Huerta’s foundation, along with a number of Valley-based advocacy groups, drew their own maps that radically reshaped the county’s boundaries and had each of the five districts take in a portion of urban Fresno.

Following Huerta’s testimony, the Assembly Elections Committee voted 5-1 to advance the bill and refer it to the Assembly Local Government Committee.

Asm. Kelly Seyarto (R–Murietta) cast the lone dissenting vote against Arambula’s bill.


Editor’s Note: A previous version of the story states the Tavlian-drawn map as the sole submission recommended by Fresno County’s advisory redistricting commission.

Les Hubbard is a contributing reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun.