Orange County commissioner offers plan to increase Hispanic representation

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - An Orange County commissioner wants a special election to help increase Hispanic representation.
 
Channel 9's Lori Brown has learned that Commissioner Fred Brummer wants to add two more seats to the County Commission.
 
The attorney for the advocacy group LatinoJustice, who is suing Orange County after commissioners reduced the number of Hispanics in District 3, said it is too early to know if Brummer's effort could resolve the lawsuit.
 
The attorney said he welcomes any effort to give Hispanics a better voice on the commission.
 
Hispanics make up one-third of Orange County's population.
 
Representatives in the Hispanic community said that is why they are frustrated when they look at the County Commission.

"Why should we continue to pay taxes and have no representation?" said Trini Quiroz with the Black, Latino and Puerto Rican Alliance for Justice.
 
Quiroz fought and failed to get better representation for the Hispanic community following the 2010 census.
 
She said that is why she's surprised to hear about Brummer's position now.
 
"That would have made him look like a hero, but it's a little too late, so to speak," said Quiroz.
 
"I made a mistake on that one," Brummer said. "I think this overcomes that."
 
Representatives from LatinoJustice said they believe smaller districts are more likely to reflect the voting strength of minorities.
 
Each commissioner represented about 100,000 people in 1986, now each represents about 200,000. Adding two more seats would reduce that number to 150,000.
 
Brummer's ballot initiative also has other hot button issues like abolishing the tax collector's office, which he said would save taxpayers around $1 million a year.
 
Voters would also decide on term limits for offices like the sheriff and clerk of the court, and they would decide on all of it in a single "yes" or "no" vote.
 
Channel 9 political analyst Rick Foglesong said he believes each issue should be decided separately.
"You would skew the outcome if you had something unpopular combined with something popular," said Foglesong.
 
If commissioners decide to put this issue on the ballot, the mail-in election would be held May 27, with two new commissioners appointed to their districts by the end of the year.
 
The appointed commissioners would then serve until elections in 2016.