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Monday, June 20, 2011

Marriage Equality or Marriage of Unequals?

The Independent Republics of Davis and Santa Monica, known for their liberal activism and insular political cultures, now have one more thing in common: they are getting married, and have their doubts. 

In Santa Monica’s case, they see themselves getting forced into a partnership with West Hollywood and Beverly Hills – two other power-players that will want to have a say in who their representatives are.  For Davis, a community that has run the tables electorally in the region, they could find themselves wedded to Sacramento with its own political heavy-hitters.  Of course, using the delta and PCH as a pathway the commission could choose to draw both Davis and Santa Monica into their own district...  We would love to see that!

And, for the record, while American Canyon has been cozy with Vallejo in the past, it wants the commissioners to know that was a quick fling, and shouldn’t be permanently drawn into the legislative and congressional lines.

While these regional domination themes are one theme of the last week, the second is a clear rush to congress by everyone with a political heartbeat.  We remember when it was taboo to run against a sitting member of congress – but now Sen. Alan Lowenthal has just announced against two!    It has gotten so bad that we have, for today, created a new Congressional section of the Redistricting Report.

And the best Bumper Sticker Slogan of redistricting has come out of the Bay Area where Senator Mark Leno just wants the Commissioners to “Keep San Francisco Odd.” 

State

Pavley, Waxman ‘disappointed’ by proposed redistricting
Santa Monica Daily Press
She's represented Santa Monica at the state level for a little over a decade, but if the proposed State Senate districts released last week by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission become permanent, Fran Pavley will no longer be able to fight for the residents of the city by the sea.

Davis and Sacramento cuddled in one district? No way, some say
Sacramento Bee
Davis and Sacramento are two cities targeted for marriage in newly drawn Assembly and Senate districts under draft maps released this month by the state's redistricting commission.

Redistricting panel to gauge public reaction to new election boundaries
North County Times
"Did we get it right?"

That's what the members of California's Citizens Redistricting Commission want to know about proposed new election boundaries for members of Congress, the state Legislature and the Board of Equalization.

A fair job at redistricting, but we have a beef
Woodland Daily Democrat
There is a lot of tweaking that needs to be done, but overall the Citizens Redistricting Commission has done an excellent job so far of redrawing the state's legislative and congressional districts, demonstrating that voters were right when they decided to take the process out of the hands of self-interested elected officials.

East Bay braces for big legislative shifts
San Jose Mercury News
Some East Bay voters hail the draft maps for their new legislative districts as rational alternatives to the old partisan ones, but others bemoan losing representatives with long-standing ties to their communities.

Redistricting’s complicated odd-even phenomenon
San Jose Mercury News
"Keep San Francisco Odd," as some of the city's residents are demanding, shouldn't be a tall order, what with national headlines about campaigns to ban infant circumcision and block the sale of goldfish.

New boundaries could challenge, propel local legislators
San Diego Union Tribune
When the ink dries on proposed political boundaries, local state legislators could experience seismic shifts across San Diego County.

New lines will shift political opportunities
Marin Independent Journal
CALIFORNIA'S Citizens Redistricting Commission is doing exactly what voters expected when they took the task of drawing legislative boundaries out of the hands of politicians. Its first draft of lines for California's congressional, state senate and assembly districts is a breath of fresh air in a process that's long been polluted by petty politics.

Split Latino vote focus of redistricting hearing
Orange County Register
Drawing new legislative districts for the entire state may be complex, but for most of the crowd that came to Cal State Fullerton to talk about the issue Saturday, the issue was a simple one: Keep Anaheim and Santa Ana together.

Latino advocates seek changes to redistricting
Contra Costa Times
Members of a Latino advocacy organization plan tonight to ask the California Citizens Redistricting Commission to revise its proposed congressional, legislative and Board of Equalization district maps to better reflect the state's growing Latino population.

Tracy looks at new political neighbors
Tracy Press
The California Citizens Redistricting Commission recently released its first draft of new congressional, Assembly and state Senate districts — maps that, if made final, would give Tracy new political neighbors and set up incumbent politicians for some tough choices about where to run.

American Canyon officials vow to fight redistricting move out of Napa County
Contra Costa Times
City officials are marshaling forces to converge en masse on San Francisco on Monday, June 27, to voice their opposition to the state's new redistricting plans.

Changes afoot as new political boundaries are drawn
San Jose Mercury News
San Leandro and Richmond could become allies with Oakland, while Piedmont and Alameda would wake up in new political wards under a proposal to redraw district boundaries unveiled June 10.

Expert Doesn’t Expect Many Changes To Political Landscape
Pinole Patch
For decades, drawing California’s political boundaries had been the privilege of politicians who guarded partisan advantage with oddly shaped but supremely safe districts. Those days are over. In an experiment in direct democracy, ordinary citizens chosen by lottery have been given the task of making new districts for the state Legislature and Congress.

Making the Founding Fathers proud
Ventura County Star
On this Father's Day, you might think our nation's Founding Fathers would have pulled paper sacks over their famous faces, tricorn hats and powdered wigs out of shame for our state.

A ‘humble man’ from Santa Paula in the center of state’s redistricting storm
Ventura County Star
Reformers in California had been trying since 1926 to empower an independent commission, rather than the Legislature, to draw political district lines. So it was an historic day on June 10 when the first such commission held a news conference to unveil the state's first proposed maps drawn without the stench of a smoke-filled room or the taint of partisan deal-making.

Remapping panel takes praise, heat at San Bernardino hearing
San Bernardino Press-Enterprise
A 14-member citizens panel redrawing California's congressional and state Assembly and Senate district boundaries encountered a barrage of praise and criticism Sunday at a public hearing in San Bernardino.

Residents sound off on proposed political districts plan
Whittier Daily News
San Gabriel Valley and Whittier area residents voiced concerns Friday over a newly released proposal to redraw political district maps throughout California.

Letting the 59th pass into history
San Bernardino Sun
If you needed an illustration of the practice of gerrymandering in California, perhaps the best example would be a map of the current 59th Assembly District. From its far west in Montrose in Los Angeles County, it snakes dozens of miles east through the foothills to La Verne before it twists north into Highland, the Apple Valley, and into the pines of the mountain resorts of Lake Arrowhead in San Bernardino County.

Some worries about proposed city splits
San Bernardino Press Enterprise
Freshly unveiled maps proposing new political lines for California would splinter some key Inland cities between districts, prompting local leaders to question whether the lines would strain longstanding community ties or dilute their representation in Washington.

Lieber begins state Senate campaign
Mountain View Voice
Mountain View's Sally Lieber, former mayor and state Assembly member, has launched her 2012 state Senate campaign within a newly proposed district that will take her precinct walks north up the Peninsula rather than south toward San Jose.

Osborn, Bloom Both Want Brownley’s Seat
Santa Monica Dispatch
Torie Osborn’s campaign for the California Assembly seat now held by Julia Brownley got off to a very fast start at her kick-off fundraiser Sunday at the home of Tim and Cynthia Sexton in the Pacific Palisades.

Editorial: Good and bad of redistricting
Chico Enterprise-Record
Our view: While we support the redistricting commission efforts, there are some weird things about the maps in our neighborhood.

Panel swaps one injustice for another
Los Angeles Daily News
Creating a citizens' commission to take the politicians out of the redistricting process seemed like a good idea when voters approved it in 2008. The preliminary results of the commission's work revealed last week indicate we've swapped one form of gerrymandering for another.

Citizens are better at cutting up the pie
Contra Costa Times
The draft of the new legislative and congressional districts for California demonstrates that citizens, whatever their political affiliation, will do a far better job than politicians when it comes to drawing district lines.

Congressional

Democrats see opportunity in congressional redistricting
MyDesert.com
The proposed redrawing of the desert's congressional district is widely considered a plan that creates politically friendly territory for Republican Rep. Mary Bono Mack.

California Congressional redistricting: Current reps face a lot of tumult
90.3 Southern California Public Radio
The Citizens Redistricting Commission has begun a series of public hearings around the state so voters can pan or praise the new maps for Assembly, Senate and Congressional seats. And when it all shakes out, members of Congress from California are likely to find themselves in districts much different from the ones they’ve known for years.

California legislators line up for a shot at Congress
Sacramento Bee
They're lining up.  Sen. Alan Lowenthal and Assemblyman Isadore Hall are the latest state legislators joining the list of those planning to run for Congress in 2012.

Richardson, Sanchez, Lowenthal Could Have Three-Way Race

Belmont Shores-Naples Patch
Two Democratic representatives may run a three-way race against a state Senator for a proposed new Congressional seat.

Laura Richardson To Face Primary, No Matter Where She Runs
Long Beach Post
Friday was the unofficial start of the Long Beach-area 2012 Congressional election season with two late-afternoon announcements - one from Senator Alan Lowenthal and another from Assemblymember Isadore Hall III both vying for two separate districts under a proposal to split the district currently held by Congresswoman Laura Richardson. 

State Sen. Alan Lowenthal says he’ll run for Congress
Long Beach Press-Telegram
State Sen. Alan Lowenthal plans to run for U.S. Congress next year in the proposed district that would include all of Long Beach, Lakewood and nearby cities.

Assemblyman Hall interested in proposed new congressional district in Compton
LA Times
State Assemblyman Isadore Hall (D-Compton) announced Friday that he intends to run for a new congressional district outlined in the first draft of new district maps released by the California Citizens Redistricting Committee.

Bera Stays in Congressional Race
Elk Grove Citizen
Dr. Ami Bera, an Elk Grove resident who lost the Congressional District 3 race last November to Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Gold River), said June 17 he is seeking a rematch against Lungren in November 2012.

Riverside County’s Tavaglione to run for proposed seat
San Bernardino Press-Enterprise
Five-term Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione said Thursday he would run for Congress in a newly proposed district that overlaps much of his current territory.

Local

Redistricting will test San Francisco’s political alliances
San Francisco Examiner
Today: allies. Tomorrow: rivals.  That’s the dynamic the California Citizens Redistricting Commission may create in San Francisco, by reducing the number of state Senate seats from two to one.

Where is LB Bixby Knolls
Long Beach Press-Telegram
The political showdown over a proposed City Council redistricting plan - specifically, whether to move part of Bixby Knolls from the 8th District to the 7th District - has raised many questions.

Prominent critic rips county redistricting
North County Times
"Anti-democratic" and "pure racial gerrymandering."

That's how prominent critic Mike Aguirre recently described San Diego County's redistricting process so far this year.

From the Twitterverse

@dgrahamcaso: .@EricBauman on CA redistricting at DPSFV: "Asm. districts aren't bad, Cong. districts are alright, Senate districts are unconstitutional"

@paulmitche11
: Brilliant! Fellow bloggy redistricting expert Tony Quinn contacted his family in England to see if I was in the Economist there, and I was!

@billallison
: California redistricting: new system “shaking up the ant farm, but it’s still an ant farm” http://t.co/GPQ4wye via @theeconomist

@ThatBaldwinGuy: Prop 25 already giving Democrats what the Unions wanted all along. Pretty Soon, the Citizens Redistricting Committee will too!

@politicalchicks: In case you missed it, MALDEF ran a clinic on 'how to dominate a redistricting hearing' today in the OC. #caredistricting

@cacities: CA Citizens Redistricting Commission votes to move release of second draft of district maps to July 12. #wedrawthelines

@InlandGov: SB County GOP chair Robert Rego tells #redistricting commission that draft lines reinforce ethnic/income divisions in San Berdoo.

@InlandGov: Guy says Rancho and Chino Hills don't belong in Chino/Ontario/Pomona congressional district. Other similar comments earlier. #redistricting