LOS ANGELES, JUNE 27 -- The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted 3 to 2 today for new district boundaries designed to increase Hispanic representation on the board, but the political nature of the vote and the odd shape of one new district left judicial approval of the plan in doubt.
The board's three-member conservative majority agreed to add many predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods to the district represented by Supervisor Ed Edelman, one of the board's two liberals. Edelman said the "octopus-shaped" district was "not fair to the public, and the court will see that it's unfair."
U.S. District Judge David Kenyon, acting on a suit filed by civil rights organizations and the Justice Department, ruled June 4 that the supervisors deliberately split up the county's Hispanic voters so none would be threatened by a Hispanic challenger.
The county, the nation's most populous with 8.7 million residents, is at least one-third Hispanic, but no candidate with a Spanish surname has served on the board in this century.
Kenyon has said he might draw his own district lines in consultation with the plaintiffs. One Hispanic candidate qualified for a runoff in a vacant supervisor district in the primary June 5, but Kenyon could void that election.