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(New American Media) — California’s new process for redrawing political maps has taken a turn for the chaotic, with the Los Angeles area emerging as a key battleground as communities of color and others struggle to define the boundaries of political power for the next 10 years.

In a series of fast-moving developments over the past week:

• The new Citizens Redistricting Commission did an about-face and decided to skip the release of its second set of proposed maps, which had been due on July 14, thus throwing the public-comment process into disarray.

• The African-American Redistricting Collaborative (AARC), an advocacy group fighting to protect black representation in the redrawing of California’s political map, held a press conference to protest what it sees as the “evisceration of traditional African-American communities,” notably in the Los Angeles area.

• The voting rights lawyer for the commission told the 14-member panel that they were required under the U.S. Voting Rights Act to create new Latino-majority districts, after the commission’s first-draft maps were called “a worst-case scenario” for Latinos.

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