A coalition of minority groups Wednesday released their version of a legislative map as they look to boost the opportunities for minority representation in the state legislature.
The map, which was created by the New Jersey Legislative Redistricting Coalition, would maintain the number of existing "majority minority: districts and double the number of so-called coalition districts, where minorities make up a majority of voters but no one group holds a majority, would double from 7 to 14.
“We believe that our map reflects the 2010 U.S. Census and speaks to the realities in all communities across the State of New Jersey,” said Jerry Harris, Co-Chairman of the Coalition and Chairman of the New Jersey Black Issues Convention. “The Coalition is hopeful that the State Apportionment Commission will consider our map and accept the fact that African Americans, Asians and Hispanics now represent more than 40% of our State’s population. Our map increases the opportunities for New Jersey’s legislature to better reflect its broad and diverse population.”
Among the changes advocated by the group would be a combined district that includes Perth Amboy, New Brunswick, Edison, Metuchen and Woodbridge, which would pit state Sens. Barbara Buono and Joe Vitale in a primary. The coalition map would combine Vineland and Atlantic City into a new 2nd District. The combination of these two cities would create a district where Latinos, blacks and Asians would make up 53 percent of the district population allowing for more opportunity for minority representatives.