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Monday, June 27, 2011

 

Number Me This

If you’ve been following redistricting you’ve probably heard about the Odd/Even issue with State Senate districts.  Like quantum physics or Justin Beiber, you may not understand it, but you know it’s there.  It has become the big stress for freshman senators who would like to know if and when they are running for re-election, and has spawned the all-purpose slogan “Keep San Francisco Odd.”

The numbering methodology, based on Prop 11, is to start at the top, and head south, giving out numbers, odd and even, to each successive district. It doesn’t allow for considering the fate of incumbents or any other gaming of the system.

Enter Brian Lawson, a too-smart for his own good Community College Professor and redistricting junkie, who has given the commission an alternate numbering methodology that could jive with the law and CA Supreme Court precedents.  His plan is clear: after the districts are drawn, number in a way to keep voters as they are, as much as possible.  If the voters currently live in an even numbered district, keep them even.  If they live in an odd numbered district, keep them odd.  This would minimize disruptions for voters.  Simple, huh?

Well, as seen here, this “simple” could be a problem for current State Senator Lois Wolk (District 5) who would be put in an even-numbered seat and unable to run for re-election until 2014.  It is a big victory for first-term Senator Tom Berryhill who would get to run in 2012, resign from his District 14 at just the right time, and end up serving 10 years in the State Senate.  And according to the Lawson method, San Francisco should be kept odd, with the western half of San Francisco getting two Senators for two years, and about 25% of Orange County gets no senator at all for that same period of time.

In total the plan calls for 4.2 million Californians to forgo their right to a Senator for two years, and a corresponding 4.2 million people to get two… and more than 8.4 million to be totally confused.

If you’ve had it with numbers and just want to see the new districts, check out the LA Based Congressional districts the commission “Visualized” on friday.  You can view them either the Redistricting Partners website or the Rose Institute’s interactive map.  The list of winners and losers in that region could be turned upside down in the coming weeks.

Other fun distractions today include watching redistricting guru David Wasserman on CSPAN or giving suggestions for a redistricting based cartoon to twitter.com/@cartooness.  I’m thinking of a salamander addressing the commission...

State

Redistricting: Giving Credit Where Credit Is Not Due
Paul Mitchell for FlashReport
A recent story in California Progress Report lit up Berkeley Tea Party activist David Salaverry for his right-wing stranglehold on the commission process.  The article suggests that his last minute dogging of the commission and attacks on the “alphabet groups” like NAACP, NALEO and MALDEF, had reshaped the redistricting maps and given advantage to conservatives.  For those of us who have been following the state redistricting process since its inception, this is laughably wrong.

The darker side of redistricting
Los Angeles Daily News
Odd or Even?" That's the question California's 40 state senators are asking these days as the Citizens Redistricting Commission gets closer to assigning numbers to its newly drafted districts.

Redistricting May Split Fremont’s Indian Vote
New America Media
Members of the Indian American community in Fremont are upset by plans to split the city into two Congressional districts, India West reports.

American Canyon issue on redistricting panel’s radar
Napa Valley Register
Representatives from American Canyon will flock to San Francisco on Monday night to protest being cut from Napa’s legislative districts, an issue that promises to be one of many regional complaints vying for the redistricting commission’s ear.

Walnut Creek lobbies to not lose state senator
San Jose Mercury News
City officials, not content to sit by and see how state Senate redistricting will affect their community, have made it clear that regarding state representation, they want things to be even -- which for this city means "odd."

Don’t split Upland, leaders say
Contra Costa Times
Upland leaders have told the county Board of Supervisors that they don't want their city cut in half when the county draws new supervisorial districts.

ANC protests LA are redistricting proposal
The Armenian Reporter
The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region's (ANCA-WR) Elections Committee's 2011 Redistricting Task Force expressed grave concern today regarding the first draft of legislative district boundaries proposed by the Community Redistricting Commission (CRC).

Coachella Valley Democrats push for district change
Mydesert.com
Coachella Valley Democrats were sorely disappointed when the draft redistricting maps failed to connect the Coachella Valley with Imperial County.

Imperial Valley residents: Don’t put us with San Diego County
Imperial Valley Press
Maritza Hurtado-Barron has worked with tons of families, possibly into the thousands, dealing with immigration issues, and she knows her clients.

Lompoc’s voice heard in Fresno
Lompoc Record
After being too far down on the list to speak to the state redistricting commission in Oxnard on Wednesday night, Lompoc City Councilwoman Ashley Costa turned around and drove to Fresno Thursday to give her comments at the group’s next meeting.

Diamond Bar opposes redistricting commission’s proposed changes
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
City officials recently issued a letter to the California Citizens Redistricting Commission's opposing its proposed congressional district boundaries, specifically as it concerns the new San Gabriel Valley-Diamond Bar district.

Redistricting maps’ release delayed
The Modesto Bee
A citizens committee charged with redrawing the state's Congressional and legislative district lines has heard more response than it bargained for.

Editorial: Commission must go back to the district drawing board
Fresno Bee
It might have helped if the California Citizens Redistricting Commission had held a public hearing in Fresno before releasing preliminary district maps that sliced up the region in ways that don't make sense.

Ill-informed comments rile mayor
Ventura County Star
As mayor of Simi Valley, I am personally offended and deeply concerned by the negative comments leveled at our community on the public record at the California Citizens Redistricting Commission hearing Wednesday, and subsequently reported in The Star.

Mixing San Joaquin Valley, coast in state districts a grave mistake
The Modesto Bee
In 2005, the Modesto-based Great Valley Center asked the San Joaquin Valley congressional delegation to direct the Congressional Research Service to conduct a formal study of the economic and social indicators of the region.

Our View: State Redistricting: democracy is messy
The Pasadena Star-News
Now that citizens and pundits have had some time to review the proposed redrawing of California political boundaries, one thing is clear - it's a good thing these are first drafts.

From the Twitterverse

@cartooness: I have to do a cartoon on redistricting. HELP!

@mayorcabaldon: in legislative redistricting, the empire always screams "community of interest" while its colonies mostly...yawn.

Congress

2012 Redistricting Update
C-SPAN
David Wasserman talked about what states can expect as far as gains and losses in 2012 redistricting, and what it means for the balance of power in Congress. He also responded to telephone calls and electronic communications.

Redistricting fallout stirs debate among politicos
Daily Press
Proposed redistricting maps should frighten California’s Republicans, according to national GOP pollster Frank Luntz, who argues they’re in danger of losing even more footing in their Democrat-controlled state.

Redistricting: Santa Monica Could Lose Waxman, Pavley
Santa Monica Mirror
On June 10, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission released their proposal for drawing new district maps for congress, the state senate and assembly, and the State Board of Equalization. If finalized on August 15, the proposal could dramatically change who represents Santa Monica and what cities would join Santa Monica in the new districts.

McKeon Announces Intent To Run For Another Term
KHTS AM 1220
Congressman Buck McKeon has announced his intention to run for reelection in 2012:

"With the release of the first draft maps by the California Redistricting Commission, I am announcing my intention to seek re-election to Congress from the community where my wife Patricia and I raised our family and have called home for over 40 years.

Local

Supervisors will hold hearing on redistricting
Sacramento Bee
El Dorado County supervisors will hold their initial public hearing Monday on reorganizing supervisorial districts based on population figures from the 2010 census.

Rival maps submitted by public
Los Angeles Daily News
Members of the public have submitted 19 proposals for redrawing Los Angeles County supervisor districts, setting up potential conflicts between a range of geographic, ethnic and political interests.

Judge rejects redistricting lawsuit
San Diego Union Tribune
A judge on Friday tossed out a lawsuit filed by county Republican Party Chairman Tony Krvaric alleging the San Diego Redistricting Commission was illegally constituted and has no authority to carry out its duties.

New county boundaries unlikely to shake up supervisors
San Diego Union Tribune
Proposals to redraw the county’s political boundaries — a process that has long been fraught with power plays and legal challenges — would require supervisors to represent unfamiliar areas.

Editorial: Solano residents should set boundaries for county supervisors
The Vacaville Reporter
Good for the Solano County Taxpayers Association, which voted unanimously last week to lead an effort to put citizens in charge of drawing boundaries for Solano County supervisorial districts.