ACLU pushes for Latino legislative district in WA

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SEATTLE (AP) -- The American Civil Liberties Union is encouraging the commission in charge of redrawing the state's legislative districts to create a mostly Latino district in eastern Washington.

ACLU lawyers and advocates sent a letter Monday to the Washington State Redistricting Commission arguing that while the numbers of Latinos in Yakima County continue to grow, they do not have political representation in the state Legislature.

They say that conditions in Yakima County meet the thresholds established in the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 for creating a majority-minority district.

After growing in population and gaining a congressional seat, Washington state's districts have to be redrawn.

Redistricting commission spokeswoman Cathy Cochrane says commissioners will take a look at all the proposals from the public. A second group in Seattle is pushing for a congressional minority district in King County.

The commission is scheduled to unveil the first drafts of the new districts by September, and then submit those for public feedback.