Praise for the Redistricting Commission Process
Seven months of hard work by the Citizens Redistricting Commission culminate in the release of the maps. Get the latest information on redistricting implementation on our education fund site, CAvotes.org. Read our press release celebrating this momentous step in redistricting reform.
When the Citizens Redistricting Commission published its first draft maps we praised the work of the commissioners and the public.
“Californians have engaged enthusiastically in the process of redrawing the lines,” said LWVC President Janis R. Hirohama. “Unlike redistricting in the past, this process has been open and transparent—a true citizen-driven process."Read all our statements.
How Does Redistricting Work In California?
- The composition of the 14-person Citizens Redistricting Commission is required to be politically balanced-- 5 Democrats, 5 Republicans, 4 from neither of those parties.
- Commissioners are chosen for their impartiality and skills, and to reflect our state’s demographic and geographic diversity.
- The commission is required to follow a list of prioritized mapping criteria that ensures that our Constitution, federal and state laws (especially the Voting Rights Act) are followed.
- California’s community, cityi, and county boundariesare protected.
- Incumbents’ residences may not be considered. District boundaries may not favor political parties or politicians.
- Redistricting must be an open and public process. The commission holds hearings to receive public input.
How Is The Commission Formed?
- California registered voters are invited to participate.
- A panel of state auditors (1Democrat, 1Republican, 1 other) screens applicants for conflicts of interest and narrows the pool to 60 people (20 Ds, 20 Rs, 20 others) based on their skills, ability to be impartial, and diversity.
- The four legislative leaders can strike up to 24 people from the pool (8Ds, 8Rs, 8 others).
- Final selection of 14 commissioners:
- 8 commissioners are randomly picked from the remaining pool (3 Ds, 3 Rs, 2 others)
- 6 Commissioners (2 Ds, 2 Rs, 2others) are chosen by the first 8 commissioners in a manner that ensures an independent, qualified and diverse commission.
The final selection of commissioners will be made by the end of December 2010.
What Are The Mapping Criteria?
In ranked order, the criteria are:
- Districts shall comply with the U.S. Constitution, including equal population requirements.
- Districts shall comply with the federal Voting Rights Act.
- Districts shall be geographically contiguous.
- The geographic integrity of any city, county, or city and county, neighborhood, or community of interest shall be respected. Communities of interest shall not be defined as having a relationship with incumbents, candidates, or parties.
- To the extent practicable, after the above criteria have been satisfied, districts shall be compact.
- To the extent practicable, after the above criteria have been satisfied, districts shall be nested.
Incumbents’ residences may not be considered; districts may not be drawn to favor politicians or parties.
What Is The Scope of the Citizens Redistricting Commission?
The commission will draw California congressional, state Senate, Assembly and Board of Equalization seats in the next redistricting, 2011, and after each decennial census.
Learn more on the commission’s Web site about the commission and the selection process.
League Members at San Francisco Meeting on Redistricting Implementation, February 2009
- Citizens Redistricting Commission’s Web site, We Draw The Lines.
- The LWVC Education Fund is part of the Redistricting California Alliance which offers excellent Resources.
- Redistricting Reform in California; a report from the Center for Governmental Studies (28 pgs)
- We also have information about our 2008 campaign which successfully passed redistricting reform.