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  CALL TO ACTION - REDISTRICTING REFORM
See also "Redistricting"

REDISTRICTING REFORM: LAST CHANCE TO ACT!

August 16, 2005

With last week's court decision reinstating Proposition 77 on the special election ballot, attention is focused on the question of whether the legislature and Governor will reach an agreement to put an alternative redistricting measure before the voters on November 8. According to the Secretary of State, August 18 is the last day for state lawmakers to put a measure on the ballot. PLEASE ACT TODAY to tell the Governor and the leadership of the legislature that you want a solid redistricting measure.

ACTION NEEDED (Contact information is listed below):

1. Contact Governor Schwarzenegger:

  • Thank him for his leadership in seeking to remove redistricting from the hands of the legislature and give the task to an independent redistricting commission.
  • Express your appreciation for his previous statement that new district lines do not need to be drawn immediately.
  • Urge him to negotiate with legislative leaders from both parties to craft a LEGISLATIVE proposal that meets the League's standards listed below.

2. Contact the Assembly and State Senate leadership:

  • Urge them to exercise their leadership role and actively promote passage of a redistricting reform measure that meets the standards listed below. As a proposed constitutional amendment, such a measure will need bipartisan support for a two-thirds vote.

BACKGROUND:

The League believes that reform of the redistricting process should include:

  • an independent commission to draw the lines for congressional, state senate, state assembly, and Board of Equalization districts. This panel should reflect our state's diversity of population and political thought.
  • an open process with information readily available to the public, opportunities for public comment at all stages, and restrictions on "closed-door" operations by the commission
  • fair criteria for drawing district lines. Districts should have equal population, be drawn to protect the voting strength of minority communities, and respect communities of interest and boundaries of cities and counties. Preferential treatment of any one party or protection of incumbents should not be allowed.

Furthermore, the League feels that redistricting should be done only once a decade. Drawing new lines immediately on passage of a reform measure in the middle of this decade would require the use of census data that are no longer accurate enough to meet constitutional standards. In addition, if a redistricting measure enacted in November 2005 were to require immediate redistricting, there could be chaos for the June 2006 primary.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, including the status of SCA 3 (Lowenthal), a bill that could be the vehicle for a compromise measure, and the League's stand on other redistricting bills, go to "Redistricting."

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Phone: (916) 445-2841, Fax: (916) 445-4633

Senate President pro Tem Don Perata Phone: (916) 651-4009, Fax: (916) 327-1997

Senate Minority Leader Dick Ackerman Phone: (916) 651-4033, Fax: (916) 445-9754

Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez Phone: (916) 319-2046, Fax: (916) 319-2146

Assembly Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy Phone: (916) 319-2032, Fax: (916) 319-2132

KEEP US INFORMED: Send an e-mail to advocacy@lwvc.org to let us know what action you have taken and any responses you receive.

 

 

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