The Verduzco map was the basis on which the final map was drawn, but as Supervisor Dennis Townsend said, by the time the final map was approved, the board had amended it with suggestions for community and ideas from other cards that didn’t cut it. The Council press release also indicated that the Council had modified the original map of Verduzco to place the mountain communities mainly in two districts (Districts 4 and 5), consolidating the central economic zones of the city of Visalia into a single district (District 3), and ensure three districts with an H-CVAP majority above 55% to strengthen the electoral influence of the Latino majority community in the county.
“We’re putting names on them, but by the time we’re done with them it’s just going to be a community entry card,” Townsend said. “From everything we have received, we will turn it into one.
The final map creates three districts of Hispanic Voting Age Population (H-CVAP) – District 1 of Larry Micari (57.4%), District 2 of Pete Vander Poel (55.2%) and District 4 of ‘Eddie Valero (61.5%) – to comply with the Federal Voting Rights Act.
Tulare is kept whole in District 2, as was a hot topic of conversation during the Dolores Huerta Foundation discussion. The Equity Coalition map, divided the predominantly white and wealthier northeastern part of Tulare into District 3 with West Visalia and the poorer and more diverse southwest of Tulare was to remain in District 2, with its unincorporated neighbors Pixley, Tipton, Allensworth and Earlimart. The proposed split was to give the poorest and most rural communities the right to vote to elect a prime candidate, who have historically been outvoted by their wealthier counterparts northeast of Tulare.
Lawyer John Sarsfield, whose partner Melo had previously threatened to take legal action if the Equity Coalition card was not selected, said the final board selection was “good enough” .
“The standard for a trial [with] what they drew barely passes, but it does, ”said Sarsfield. “We had hoped that Equity [Coalition] card would be chosen, but the final version of what they came up with is acceptable.