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Friday, July 1, 2011


Alphabet Soup

The redistricting process is the nerdy cousin of the Civil Rights movement.  Where lines are drawn has been the lever to political power for minorities and changed the country’s history, but the line drawing process doesn’t excite the senses like a march or stirring speech.  It requires a special breed to engage in a math meets maps activity, when most normal people are happy if they can successfully re-fold a map and balance a checkbook.

Because of it’s obscurity, the nation’s leaders in redistricting don’t get statues - you’re never going to find the Steven Ochoa State Park or Kathy Feng Middle School – but what you do find are Acronyms and Initialisms.   CRC, COI, MALDEF, NALEO, NAACP, VICA, VRA, VAP, CVAP, CVRA, RPV... there’s even an alphabet group that is against all this alphabet stuff: CCAG.

Now the Alphabet Groups are ganging up.  MALDEF, CAPAFR, and NAACP recently came out with a set of maps focused on better meeting the voting rights act, some of which now carry their joint-branding… a MALDEFCAPAFRNAACPVRA proposal you could say.  Those maps are seen at the Redistricting Partners website with all the partisanship, incumbents, and drama that you would expect.  As the Rose Institute tweeted: "A new twist: new ethnic alliance plan puts Berman and Schiff in the same CD: "

And we can add this community the newest player in California redistricting, and a leader among national LGBT groups: Equality California.  EQCA presented maps this week  and the LGBT community showed up in strength at the San Francisco hearing.  As a result of this work the commission on Wednesday affirmed their intent to use the EQCA maps and data to define a Community of Interest that should not be divided in the redraw.  See the press release here.

This is a historic victory for civil rights, an expansion of the communities that should be viewed in state and local redistricting, and an opportunity for you to talk at dinner parties about the amazing EQCA LGBT COI ranking!


California redistricting produces new House hopefuls
A draft congressional map the state’s bipartisan redistricting panel released earlier this month has ushered forth a parade of up-and-coming lawmakers eager to launch campaigns — in some cases taking on prominent longtime incumbents.

“It’s a lot of elbows and not a lot of deference to members of Congress,” said Paul Mitchell, a Democratic redistricting consultant. “The gloves are off. It’s no longer taboo for these legislators to take on incumbents. That’s the biggest culture change in this new turmoil.”  He added: “It’s going to create a lot of conflict.”

Calif. redistricting could imperil GOP House seats
The Seattle Times
Democrats hoping to regain the majority in the House in 2012 might get a strong head start in California, where voters have handed the authority for drawing political boundaries to an independent citizens' commission.

Between the Lines: The Five Stages of Grief
Roll Call Politics
Every decade, some House districts perish — while the boundaries of other districts are overhauled, dismantled and moved. The result? Many Members experience grief through denial, anger, bargaining and depression. Most Members accept their fate eventually — but some do not.

LGBT groups demand changes to SF Assembly district maps
The Bay Area Reporter
A coalition of LGBT groups is demanding changes to the proposed boundaries for San Francisco's two Assembly districts, warning the lines as currently drawn will dilute the community's voice in Sacramento.

County Redistricting Committee Ignores Plans from Latinos
Voice of OC
The committee drawing new boundaries for the Orange County Board of Supervisor's districts Thursday decided not to consider any plans submitted by Latino groups.

Redistricting worries San Francisco's gay leaders
The Examiner
San Francisco’s gay leaders have come out against a proposal that could make it much tougher to elect members of the LGBT community into the state Legislature.

In Upstate California, Redistricting Alters Maps, But Not Latino Clout
California Progress Report
Chico's Bob Mulholland, who serves on the Democratic National Committee, questions how much effect redistricting can have in an area where most voters are "white heterosexuals who vote Republican." Mulholland argues that in conservative areas, the party "has increasingly come to be seen as a party of women, gays and minorities."

American Canyon, Santa Rosa redistricting complaints lead to new map options
Efforts by this city's officials, residents and other supporters to get the state's political voting redistricting commission to keep the city with the rest of Napa County may bear fruit.


@HeadingtonMedia: RT @offthepresses: Off the Presses featuring CGS's Bob Stern & VICA's Stuart Waldman today. Live at 11 a.m. on #LATalkRadio. #offthepresses #redistricting #otp

@SFNews360: Redistricting worries San Francisco's gay leaders: San Francisco’s gay leaders have come out ... http://bit.ly/mFuIWV (expand) #SanFrancisco News

@MmikesellAFJ: RT @eqca: RT @udrawthelines: Commiss. Ancheta says LGBT community shld be a COI & not split. Historic step in CA Redistricting. @eqca #redistrictingCA

@newamericamedia: RT @tylercreighton: Interested in #redistricting? Participate in the Redistricting Olympics and submit your own maps to http://t.co/9rZg3EY

@dottylemieux: @ScottAlonso Yes, lobbying pays off. This is Wine Industry plan. Redistricting Partners says they will cross GG Bridge in next round.


Reading between county redistricting lines
Sign On San Diego
San Diego County is poised to adopt new political boundaries as part of a once-a-decade process rife with political intrigue and second-guessing — no matter where the supervisorial districts ultimately lie.

County redistricting like squeezing a water balloon, Elections Officer tells SoHum
The Redwood Times
SoHum residents learned about the tricky process of reconfiguring the county’s five supervisorial districts to bring them close to equal population at a workshop in Redway last Thursday night, June 23

New County Redistricting Rules Still Offer Incumbent Protection

Voice of OC

Nobody's mentioned it publicly, but one criteria for redrawing Orange County Board of Supervisors district boundaries allows the board to protect incumbents Janet Nguyen and Shawn Nelson.

County Redistricting Could Split Altadena
Altadena Patch
A plan for how to redraw the County Board of Supervisor electoral districts could be approved by a county redistricting committee as soon as next Wednesday, according to county staff familiar with the process.

Redistricting committee narrows choices
Woodland Daily Democrat
Yolo County's Redistricting Advisory Committee narrowed its recommendations for supervisor districts down to three on Wednesday night, including a controversial pair that could place Winters and Davis in the same district.