LatinoJustice Supports Creation of New Fl. Congressional District

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 27, 2011

CONTACT: John Garcia, Director of Communications, 917-673-9095 jgarcia@latinojustice.org


LatinoJustice PRLDEF unveiled plans to create a congressional district in Central Florida with a population that included a significant number of Latinos.

Florida was granted two additional congressional seats after the 2010 US Census population count. Working with community leaders throughout Central Florida, LatinoJustice PRLDEF has submitted the partial state plan to the Florida State Redistricting Committee. The community had requested help in creating a new district in Central Florida that encompasses the growing numbers of Latinos and better represents their population.

“For many years the Latino community has been growing. They need districts that better reflect their numbers,” said Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel, LatinoJustice PRLDEF. “The two Congressional districts the state gained as a result of its growth are directly related to the increased numbers of Hispanics,” Cartagena said. “The demographic indicators are clear: the engine of the state’s growth is its Hispanic community and the locus of that significant growth is central Florida.”

The new congressional district is based in Central Florida and includes populations in three Central Florida counties: Orange, Osceola and Polk.

CLICK HERE TO SEE A MAP OF THE NEW DISTRICT

During the past 10 years Hispanics drove most of Florida's population growth. Hispanics accounted for 57% of the state’s population increase since 2000. There now are 4.2 million people in Florida identifying themselves as Hispanic.

Florida’s population growth was strongest in counties located in Central Florida.The Central Florida Region consists of 7 counties, including Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, and Volusia.

In each of those counties, the Hispanic population grew exponentially. Orange County’s Latino numbers went from 168,361 in 2000 to 308,244 in 2010. In Osceola, Hispanics more than doubled in ten years. The Hispanic populations in Seminole, Polk, Lake, Brevard and Volusia also grew by 50 percent or more.

No other region in the state had that kind of exponential growth of Latinos.

Central Florida has only two Latino state legislative officials out of 160 House and Senate seats.

“This community wants and needs better representation,” said Emilio Perez, President of the Central Florida Redistricting Committee, a local group. “Every time the politicians do redistricting, we split the Latino community into several different pieces and that makes it difficult for us to get proper representation. That has got to stop.”

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