Pasadena judge says redistricting is discriminatory against Hispanics

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When Pasadena was founded in the 1920's, it was an oil town and most residents were white. (KTRK)

When Pasadena was founded in the 1920's, it was an oil town. Most residents were white.

In fact, it was even the home of Texas' KKK chapter.

But over the years, the city has evolved. Pasadena has become a major Hispanic hub.

"We can't expect things to stay the same," explained resident Iran Rolon. "Change happens every day."

But Pasadena remains racially divided. And that makes a big difference, especially when it comes to city government.

The city of Pasadena has always had eight district seats.
But, back in 2014, voters narrowly approved a plan to change that to six district seats and two at-large seats.

On Friday, a federal judge ruled the new system discriminated against Hispanics by diluting their vote.

He struck down the system and demanded federal supervision of local elections until 2023.

Pasadena city officials are already planning to appeal.

"The single member districts that do exist are designed to give Hispanics the opportunity to be elected and they have," said Robert Heath, the attorney who is representing the city.

"I think they want to keep the power in one side," said Oscar del Toro, who's running for city council. "Power means money and money means influence."

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