Latino Power Shakes Up L.A.

Hispanics push to end a century of white male rule

In its 115-year history, the powerful Los Angeles County board of supervisors has never had an elected member who was not a white male. This fact has long rankled members of the Hispanic community, who constitute one- third of the county's 9 million residents -- the largest concentration of Latinos in any U.S. urban area. Now a coalition of Hispanic groups, together with the Justice Department and the American Civil Liberties Union, is challenging the white board members' monopoly in federal court. Their lawsuit charges that the five-man board intentionally gerrymandered election districts to keep Latinos out of office. Hispanic activists...

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