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Friday, June 24, 2011

I Love You… Now Change.

After a years-long love affair with redistricting reform, groups such as Common Cause, California Forward, the Rose Institute, and the Chamber, are headed to the altar with their beloved commission, but now want to just get a couple things off their chest.

The hearings have been great, and community involvement stellar, the commission is looking sharp and fit…  the love is not lost.  But, maybe, we could talk about changing just one thing.  Well, actually, changing a lot of things.

The groups that years ago spearheaded reform, either funding it or providing the good-government messaging, have submitted to the Commission a letter outlining their prenuptial concerns.  In the letter, which can be found on the Redistricting Partners website, they list 10 congressional districts, 14 senate districts, and 24 Assembly seats that should be tweaked or completely redrawn in order to comply with the Voting Rights Act.

If you’re a legislator or congressman north of Merced, don’t you worry your pretty head.  They’re not talking about you.  But if those first draft maps caused you to take out a second mortgage on your house to load up your Congressional Campaign Committee, or you ran a 5k around the Capitol Building yelling “I’m in! I’m in!” then you better pay close attention to the next couple weeks.  

Having the commission pushed by all these groups to change 48 seats in Central Valley and Southern California is basically like asking them to start from scratch.  The wedding rehearsal is scheduled for the 12th of July…  Could Bravo maybe start filming now?

State

Election 2012: On the trail of the incumbents
Capitol Weekly
Never has a California election cycle pitted more incumbent politicians against each other than in the 2012 districts drafted by an independent commission. But after all the bloodletting, the musical chairs, the unprecedented confrontation and the new faces, will the final partisan makeup reflect a sea-change in California politics?

“It will definitely reflect the anti-incumbency mood,” said Paul Mitchell, a redistricting consultant and Democratic strategist, “rather than a competitive, long-term kind of sea change for California.”

Redistricting maps' release delayed

Modesto Bee
A citizens committee charged with redrawing the state's Congressional and legislative district lines has heard more response than it bargained for.  The California Citizens Redistricting Commission extended the deadline for comment on draft maps produced earlier this month. Residents now have through Tuesday to offer their thoughts

First draft of redistricting bodes well for Asian-Americans
Asian Journal
The California Citizens Redistricting Commission (CRC) released their first draft of new Assembly, Senate, and Congressional district lines last week and from the reaction of political analysts, it may bode well for the Asian-American community of California.

Between the Lines: The Politics of Redistricting: Our Community Is Fighting On Two Fronts
Eurweb.com
The California Redistricting Commission, the first civilian appointed redistricting effort in the state’s history, has released the first map after of the 2010 census reapportionment.

Redistricting Concerns Heard by Commission
Black Voice News
Every ten years, the census determines how many people are in the United States and where they live. Then everyone is thrown into districts for congressional and state houses once it is known where the growth or loss is. New lines will have to be drawn to put the same number of people into each district.

The Soulvine: About the News
Los Angeles Wave
Alice Huffman, president of the California State NAACP — which is an active organization in the ad hoc African-American Redistricting Collaborative, addressed the California Redistricting Commission at the hearing it held in Culver City last week to receive public feedback on the preliminary legislative district boundaries it released earlier this month.

LGBT’s largely absent in CA Redistricting debate
The Bay Area Reporter
California's LGBT community has largely been absent, so far, in the debate over how to draw the state's legislative and congressional districts.

Indian Americans in Fremont Say Redistricting Saps Power
US Indian News
The city of Fremont and the Indian American community there are strongly urging the California Citizens Redistricting Commission to reconsider its initial decision to split the city into two congressional districts under state redistricting.

Group Opposed First Attempt At Redistricting
Los Angeles Wave
Members of a Latino advocacy organization are asking 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.

No Integrity
Sacramento News and Review
“Geographic integrity.” It’s one of the cornerstones of redrawing political districts.

Redistricting lines would split Redlands
The San Bernardino Sun
Local officials are voicing concern over a plan to divide the city between two congressional districts.

Speak up for American Canyon
American Canyon Eagle
If there is one issue with which residents of American Canyon should be concerned it is redistricting.  If approved in current form, the state and federal legislative districts for American Canyon will be different from the rest of Napa County.

San Leandro’s Political Shift in First Redistricting Drafts
San Leandro Patch
Is San Leandro more like its neighbors to the south, or like those to the north? It's a question to ponder on multiple fronts — cultural, economic, political, geographical. But the city may have little choice in the matter of whom it joins as a voting bloc, if redistricting maps proposed this month by a citizens' commission are adopted. 

Public hearing on redistricting maps to be held Friday
Lodinews.com
It appears that California’s redistricting commissioners will get a earful on Friday night about proposed legislative boundaries that would link Lodi with Solano County in the state Assembly and state Senate.

Redistricting forum draws plenty of opinions in Oxnard
Ventura County Star
Saying that Oxnard and Simi Valley are “like oil and water,” a Ventura-based community organizing group presented alternative political district maps to a statewide commission on Wednesday that would politically sever Simi Valley from the rest of Ventura County in all legislative and congressional districts.

Residents Raise Voices on Redistricting
Mountain News
They were of one voice at the two redistricting meetings: Keep our mountain whole.

Standing Room Only or Standing There Lonely
Voice of OC
Redistricting is a big deal, even at the county level. It plays a pivotal role in who ends up serving on the Board of Supervisors. It also helps determine, among other things, how state and federal dollars flow into communities.

Redistricting Commission Gears Up for Second Round
Culver City Patch
Culver City resident and California Citizens Redistricting Commissioner Andre Parvenu is on a statewide mission to get public comment on the draft maps that were released June 10. A second draft should be released mid-July.

Malibu Leaders Hope for Changes to Proposed Legislative District Maps
Malibu Patch
Proposed new legislative districts for California have Malibu officials and activists excited or disappointed about the possibility of Malibu being represented by Republican legislators at the state and federal government level. But nothing is official.

Editorial: Redistricting process is messy, but it can sill restore public trust
San Jose Mercury News
The maps for new state and congressional districts released by the Citizens Redistricting Commission have obvious flaws. That's no surprise for a first draft in a brand-new system. But here's what's different from the backroom redistricting that took place before voters called for this public, nonpartisan approach: This time, voters concerned about how the maps will affect their influence in Sacramento and Washington have an opportunity to object. And the commissioners seem to be listening.

From the Twitterverse

@mayorcabaldon: redistricting math: f(community of interest claim)=2*(xenophobia+elitism) (power ambition)^3. i.e., "we're nothing like THOSE PEOPLE"

@ALKFIV: Two things are certain. First, Prop 11 was NEVER about "more competitive races," it was about a Demcrat 2/3rd's...

@sovernnation: Brown riffs on politics & life in brief speech, now taking Q&A at builders conf. Says redistricting will mean more competition

@craigcheslog: RT @udrawthelines: Redistricting Commissioner suggests maps will come out on July 12, but "it may be July 14 b/c a lot of work is involved"

Congress

Portantino: “Excited” About Redistricting Plan
La Canada Flintridge Patch
State Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge, plans to run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, but may have to do so in a proposed new congressional district that doesn't include his hometown.

Will redistricting help Dems defeat Herger?
Sacramento News and Review
For the past 24 years, Republican Congressman Wally Herger has represented a swath of Northern California that includes depressed mountain and farm-worker communities, fertile ranchlands and rice fields and liberal-leaning Chico.

DCCC official: Dems can win back House despite redistricting
The Hill
Democrats have a solid chance of winning back the House despite the redistricting process, the chairwoman of recruitment for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said Thursday.

DCCC Boasts 43 New Recruits
Roll Call
Pennsylvania Rep. Allyson Schwartz, chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's recruitment and candidate services, said Thursday the committee signed up 43 recruits in May and is expecting to have another 10 to 15 by the end of next month.

Jewish Seat Threatened By Growing Latino Bloc
The Jewish Daily Forward
The formation in June of a Jewish-Latino congressional caucus heralded hopes for a new era of cooperation between the two minority groups. The alliance was inspired in part by the recognition of the greater political influence that Hispanic Americans are bound to wield as their population rises.

At Simi Valley’s Wood Ranch, nobody planned for this
Ventura County Star
When it comes to drawing a new congressional district, the phrase "close enough for government work" does not apply.

Local

Citrus College Redistricting Balances Population, City Boundary Interests
Glendora Patch
Citrus College fielded community input on the redistricting of the five trustee area boundaries during a public forum Tuesday on the Citrus campus.

Opinion: Let the Remapping Begin
Voice of San Diego
Every ten years, in response to population changes, as documented in the decennial census, the City of San Diego redraws all of its City Council districts.

County draws new lines, meager crowd
Half Moon Bay Review
A mere sprinkling of Coastsiders showed up Thursday for a public workshop on the coast designed to hash out new district boundaries for supervisors.

Supervisors Worried About Redistricting
MyMotherLode.com
There is some displeasure brewing about the proposed redistricting maps put together for Assembly, Senate and Congressional districts.