IDAHO — Local groups are working to ensure Idaho’s Hispanic and Latino communities have a voice in the state's redistricting process.
Poder of Idaho and Contamos Idaho partnered together to host a virtual presentation about the redistricting process, hoping to educate and inspire participation among the Latino population.
"Hopefully, get people to be engaged,” said Karina Guadarrmaa with Poder of Idaho. “To advocate for your communities at these hearings.”
Contamos Idaho was established as a result of the 2020 census counting process. The group focus on educating the Latino communities about the census and providing bilingual resources.
The group found some barriers while outreaching to the Latinx community.
“Distrust, lack of information around what this is, why it's required,” said Antonio Hernandez, who provides staff support for Contamos Idaho. “Now with redistricting, with running into the same barriers, wanting to provide that information to lessen that burden.”
Every 10 years, based on census data and population changes, Idaho's legislative and congressional district maps are redrawn. That process is now underway and the Idaho Commission on Reapportionment is hosting open hearings so the public can share input and voice concerns.
“As our communities have been growing, I’m looking at District 12, the district that I’m in, and Breaking Chains Academy is in the district over even though it’s in Nampa and even though I feel they do an incredible service to the community that I live in, we are in a totally different district. Understanding that, making it real for me and others, I think, is really a huge goal for us with the workshops that we are doing,” Hernandez said.
The groups encourage participation from all communities in hopes of avoiding a contentious redistricting process.
“Whether the census or redistricting that there are benefits and then there are adverse impacts to communities of interest. Being left out has an adverse impact, plus not being included in benefits that could have come to a certain community of interest are not going to happen,” said Maria Gonzalez, a chairperson with Contamos Idaho.
Poder of Idaho will host Spanish information about the redistricting process on Thursday, October 7 at 7 p.m. A workshop hosted by Contamos Idaho on how to submit testimony will take place on Saturday, October 9 at 10 a.m.
The state redistricting commission will have remote testimony available on October 12 at 7 p.m. to register for the meeting, click here.