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With City Council Redistricting Looming, Activists Unveil "Unity Map"

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Activists are trying to protect the city's minority groups as the City Council district lines are about to be redrawn.

Minority advocate groups unveiled their so-called Unity Map Tuesday.

Their proposal is designed to protect the voting rights of African-Americans, Asian Americans and Latinos, while complying with the federal Voting Rights Act.

Advocate groups say the map presents the best compromise.

"The guarantee is to give an opportunity to elect, not to guarantee that we're going to elect Hispanics or whites or blacks or Asians," said Juan Cartagena, the president of Latino Justice. "So the trick has always been creating opportunities."

"We are keeping communities whole," said Jerry Vattamala of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. "Regardless what your race is, this will protect your community."

"Understanding that other communities share in the same struggles that we have, in terms of electing their leaders freely and fairly, it's important that we all come together," said Dr. Zulema Blair of the Center for Law and Social Justice.

The Unity Map reflects the latest census data.

The city's Districting Commission will release a draft of the new council borders on Wednesday.

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