Gwinnett races could make history in the county - CBS46 News

Gwinnett races could make history in the county

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The Gwinnett County Board of Education has always been made up of all white members, but things could soon change in the district whose student population is much more diverse than its board members.

There are two school board seats up for grabs and four African American are among those running in the primary in May.

"It's good that we're seeing more diverse candidates step forward," says Jerry Gonzalez.

Gonzalez is the executive director of GALEO, the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials.

"We go door to door, we go to festivals, we call people on the phone to engage them in the ways that make sense for them promoting engagement in our democracy," he said.

With more than 180,000 students, Gwinnett County Public Schools is the largest district in the state. More than 60% of the students are black and Hispanic. 

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners has also never had a non-white member, and there are also minorities running in the primary for open seats on that board.

One chance on the horizon in the county is Gwinnett County is now under a federal mandate to provide election materials and assistance in English and Spanish.

Gonzalez is happy about that but says it hasn't been east to get things to change in Gwinnett.

"I do hope Gwinnett County would eventually reflect its broader community, that Gwinnett County will reflect the diversity that it does have," he said.

 GALEO and the NAACP of Georgia filed a lawsuit claiming redistricting for voting for school board and commissioners in Gwinnett County dilutes minority voters' impact. That lawsuit is continuing.

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