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Thursday, July 7, 2011

 

Things can only get better?

What do Connecticut, Oklahoma and Fresno all have in common?  If you’re anywhere near National Congressional Redistricting Guru Dave Wasserman you’ve just heard him blurt out “THEY HAVE FIVE CONGRESSMEN!” and he would be correct.  Nerdy, but correct.  The draft plans sliced and diced the county in order to meet the voting rights act requirements that are designed to empower many of the voters in that county.  (I’m sure they feel really empowered!)

But as we get closer to a second draft, this craziness is supposed to be coming to a close, right?  Well, don’t be so sure.

The Commission late last night released the latest visualizations, all of which are being redrawn and posted to the Redistricting Partners website, and they have officially gone off the deep end.  Look, for starters, at the new San Francisco Congressional seat we have posted in the Northern CA Congressional section.  This lovely gem takes in the eastern side of the city, goes out the Bay Bridge to Oakland, then hops over to Marin.  Yes, Marin.  This district is only contiguous if you rented a Kayak on Treasure Island and paddled to the North Bay. 

Today’s hearing should be a doozy as commissioners weigh the voting rights act, community of interest testimony, and possible costs and benefits to kayak rental companies.  The hearing started at 10am.

State

CA Minority Groups Offer "Unity" Redistricting Map
New America Media
Alarmed at the way the new California Citizens Redistricting Commission (CCRC) has done its work so far and worried that the resulting electoral maps could have dire consequences for communities of color over the next 10 years, civil rights groups have taken matters into their own hands. (note: these plans can be found on the Redistricting Partners website)

Irvine Mayor Announces Congressional Run
Voice Of OC
Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang Wednesday announced a bid to become the second Korean-American to hold a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Kang, a Democrat, will likely be running against Republican incumbent John Campbell in the 2012 election. The California Citizens Redistricting Commission is still drawing the boundaries of the new district that will include at least parts of Irvine.

Redrawing Milpitas political boundaries
MercuryNews.com
Milpitas, for years considered on the political fringes of state Assembly and Senate districts represented by Alameda County leaders, may now be merged with other Santa Clara County municipalities under new statewide redistricting plans.

Black Vote Disenfranchised in Pre-Draft Maps
BlackVoiceNews.com
As millions of Americans put out their flags and fired up the grill to celebrate freedom and democracy over the 4th of July weekend, Commissioner Connie Galambos Malloy of the California Redistricting Commission fired a salvo at African American voters in Los Angeles as she penciled them out of their traditional community districts and hard fought political power.

Redistricting could split city of Santa Cruz in two
Mercury News
SANTA CRUZ - It's not quite the Berlin Wall, but an error involving minority voting rights could result in the city of Santa Cruz being split into two Congressional districts, a proposal that has local officials scrambling to stop it.

From the Twitterverse

@RoseInstitute Rose map now has MALDEF-CAPAFR-AARC "Unity" CDs live & interactive: http://bit.ly/lUtXsE #wedrawthelines Thx to @udrawthelines 4 the files!

@MattRexroad The game is on at the redistricting commission. They just went to 2% deviation on a simple majority vote. They make up rules on the fly.

Local

COMMENTARY: The redistricting mapping begins, and LGBT support is needed Saturday
San Diego Gay and Lesbian News
To recap: Every 10 years the City of San Diego redraws the City Council district lines to adjust for increases in the population. This year is especially complex because we are adding a ninth City Council district. District 3 is at the center of revolutionary change that, if we do it right, will result in greater representation on the City Council for people of color and other communities of interest. These new districts will enhance our ability to continue electing members of the LGBT community.

Supervisors pick their voters-Southwest Chico residents protest redistricting plan
Newsreview.com
In 2008, voters in California approved Proposition 11, which took control of state Legislature redistricting out of the hands of lawmakers, who were using it every 10 years to carve out safe districts for themselves. The measure instead gave that power to an independent California Citizens Redistricting Commission.

Crowfoot to lead redistricting task force
Pasadena Weekly
Bill Crowfoot — who was elected to the City Council 18 years ago as a result of redistricting — will lead a special task force charged with determining whether the council’s current political boundaries should be changed.

Supervisors, public narrow down redistricting options
Bakersfield.com
The most controversial map proposed for redrawing Kern County supervisors' districts faded into obscurity Tuesday night while another new map rose to take its place. Speaker after speaker told supervisors that a map that handed all of East Kern County to a single supervisor -- rather than the current two -- was unacceptable.

ASUC pushes for student-majority district
The Daily Californian
In an attempt to gain a stronger student presence on the Berkeley City Council by allowing for the creation of a student council member, the ASUC has asked the council to extend the deadline for public redistricting proposal submissions in a letter dated July 5.