Palm Beach County creates Hispanic majority district
Big changes are coming for District 3 in Palm Beach County now that county commissioners have approved a new boundary map.
The district, which used to include only part of Greenacres, will now include the entire city of Greenacres, Palm Springs, Lake Clare Shores and parts of Lake Worth Beach.
The majority of District 3 is now made up of Hispanic residents, making it the Hispanic majority district.
"If you look at the state Legislature, they are redrawing districts to protect political parties and their own seats. While here in Palm Beach County, we had a county commission, who kind of put their self-interests aside and party politics aside, and really did what’s right for the Hispanic community," said attorney Adriana Gonzalez, partner at Gonzalez and Cartwright in Lake Worth Beach.
Gonzalez was born in Colombia and raised in Palm Beach County. It was always her dream to become a business owner.
"I feel very blessed to have been able to open up a law firm here in Lake Worth about 11 years ago as a named partner in a law firm. It's not very easy for women, and it's certainly not easy for women of color," she said.
Nearly 100,000 more Hispanics live in Palm Beach County than 10 years ago, and the county is home to more than 10,000 Hispanic-owned businesses.
"We're close to 60 percent Hispanics at this point," said Greenacres Mayor Joel Flores referring to the growth in his city.
He said the hope is that now with the majority of residents in District 3 being Hispanic, and with Commissioner Dave Kerner's term limit up in 2024, a Hispanic candidate will step up.
"When you go through the selection process in determining and making decisions, it's always great to have diversity on a body," Flores said. "You look at things from different angles depending on the different communities that you represent."
Plenty must happen before then.
When asked if he would consider running for the seat, Flores said he hasn't decided. He said he's just grateful that Hispanics are closer to county representation.
Currently, there is a Hispanic candidate who has announced plans to run for District 6 when Commissioner Melissa McKinlay's term limit is up in 2022.
Scripps Only Content 2021