At no point throughout the redistricting process in Santa Barbara County has the racial or ethnic breakdown of the committee been seriously considered important. The commission is supposed to be reasonably representative of the demography of county residents, yet it is not. While commissioners appeared concerned with racial representation early on, they have made themselves clear that partisanship is more important.
Only one of the 10 current members, or 10 percent, of the commissioners is Hispanic, yet over 45 percent of county residents identify as Hispanic or Latino. This is a blatant misrepresentation of county residents, not to mention another example of minority groups lacking adequate representation in our government.
I am disappointed to see a commission that fails to reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of our county, and I would hope to see the Commission make some attempt to rectify this by choosing another Hispanic commissioner to replace Jannet Rios.