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Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Be Prepared

The chatter of a Redistricting Referendum and likely court challenges has encouraged Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye to begin finding judges that can take on the workload.  This should be an ominous backdrop for the commission as they complete their work this week.

The commission plans would go to the Supreme Court if enough signatures were gathered for a referendum.  This means that opponents could see what a court plan would look like by just completing that first step.  But how serious is the referendum possibility?  It’s easy to talk about gathering signatures to overturn a redistricting plan, particularly if you are one of the 67 elected officials that find themselves drawn into a district with someone else.   But who would be willing to front a couple million dollars for that first phase?  Is the differential between the commission product and possible new lines great enough to justify that cost, let alone the eventual campaign?  Clearly, the political consultants who aren’t on the Amazon dime right now are one community of interest that would benefit.

And as the commission process nears the end some are already assessing the wins and losses for their community.  A little kvetching from about the lack of the Jewish community involvement in the line drawing is explored today in the Jewish Journal.  And the African American community is entering the first stage of grief over their potential loss of voting power – based in part on a strategy where the African American leadership argued that there is no need to protect them from racially polarized voting.

The final line drawing hearings starting tomorrow.  As new maps become available we will post them with the full data, including ethnic and partisan breakdown on the Redistricting Partners website.  To get updates follow us on Twitter @udrawthelines and if you need a map at three in the AM just send a DM to @chrischaffee – he loves handling those requests!


Dan Walters: Will California remap give Democrats two-thirds majorities?
The Sacramento Bee
Paul Mitchell, a Democratic political consultant who runs Redistricting Partners, is one of several analysts who have tracked day-to-day changes in the maps being drawn by the 14-member Citizens Redistricting Commission. He concludes that the Democrats' 27/54 goal is within fairly easy grasp, with several additional seats in both houses considered "swing" or winnable by either party.

An Odd Possibility – County’s two Senators would face each other next year
Ventura County Star
If one were to spot Sens. Fran Pavley and Tony Strickland at a roulette table this week, there'd be no question about the bets they'd be placing. Both would put their chips on "odd."

Capital Accounts: Chief Justice Seeks Help for Redistricting, Just in Case
The Recorder
For weeks now, political pundits have been sniping at the Citizens Redistricting Commission, questioning the ability of these Average Joes to draw California's new political lines by Aug. 15. It looks like they're not the only ones having doubts.

Citizens redistricting commission: (Almost) no Jews involved
“I think Jewish voters would’ve been lumped in with white voters in general. They’re not a Voting Rights Act group.” But Paul Mitchell, a Democratic political consultant whose firm Redistricting Partners has been closely monitoring the work of the commission, has seen evidence that even groups not protected under the Voting Rights Act can get the attention of the commission.   For more information on some of the Jewish Congressman, see: Berman vs. Sherman?

California vs. the Gerrymander: Why Republicans Are Quaking
Time Magazine
Matt Rexroad, a Republican consultant in California who has run numerous campaigns, says a draft released last month by the commission suggests Republicans may lose as many as five seats in the U.S. House in 2012.

Stockton redistricting commissioner Michelle DiGuilio feels satisfaction in work
Lodi News Sentinel
As far as she’s concerned, the commission is starting from scratch, correcting what she considers abuses in the system in 2001, which included Lodi being in the same congressional district as the San Ramon Valley and Morgan Hill.

Redistricting panel expects court fight after it delivers maps.
The Sacramento Bee
California's first-ever citizens redistricting commission is bracing for a half-million-dollar court fight over new legislative and congressional districts it hasn't finished drawing yet.

Dan Walters: Los Angeles County to see a big shuffle under redistricting
The Sacramento Bee
Los Angeles County has about a quarter of California's residents, but it is generating at least half of the angst associated with redrawing the state's 177 legislative, congressional and Board of Equalization districts.

Supervisors approve letter voicing concerns over state redistricting process
Lake County News
County Administrative Officer Kelly Cox, who – along with Supervisor Denise Rushing – went to Sacramento last Thursday to give testimony to the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, told the board, “I've been advised that we may have one last opportunity to provide input to the commission.” He added, “I'd like to have a discussion with the board about what that input would be.”  Also see: Redistricting Nightmare and Redistricting discussed for more from Lake County News on the impacts of statewide redistricting.

Chinatown, Leimert Park, Rolling Hills Estates, Topanga Canyon and Brentwood, Peas in the Same Legislative Pod?
If the re-drawn districts that include the Brentwood area become final, our community will be represented in Congress and the State Legislature quite differently compared with the past 10 years. In broad terms, the demographics of Brentwood’s Congressional and one of its State Assembly districts will be much more ethnically and socio-economically diverse.

Herdt: Be careful untying 'ribbon of shame'
Ventura County Star
For 10 years, the congressional district along the San Luis Obispo-Santa Barbara-Ventura County coast has been the statewide poster child for redistricting reform. Long and narrow, it takes in every inch of beach (and in some places, nothing more than beach) from Cambria to Port Hueneme. Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a champion of the move to create an independent redistricting commission, famously called the 23rd Congressional District "a ribbon of shame."

Kelley: The shape of things to come in California
Ventura County Star
If Jefferson had had his way, the 163,695-square mile landmass that is the state of California would have consisted of five equilateral rectangles with no meandering curves or unexpected projections.

Legislative redistricting proposals taking shape
The Press Enterprise
California Republicans say they are ready to challenge the handiwork of the state's independent redistricting commission, although there have been no specific objections to proposed Assembly, Senate and congressional seats in Inland Southern California.

Is Redistricting in California a Step Backwards for Blacks?
Apparently the preliminary maps, if allowed to become final, would irreparably devastate the African American community politically. According to a nine-page letter sent to the California Citizens Redistricting Commission (CCRC) by AARC, "Our main source of concern is the guidance supplied by your counsel, which has apparently led to some very disturbing map visualizations at the June 30th and July 2nd meetings. From what we gather, these visualizations ignore the hard work by AARC, CAPAFR and MALDEF to harmonize their interests into mutually agreeable configurations..."

California redistricting maps draw angry response
Los Angeles Wave
The African-American Redistricting Collaborative, an advocacy group fighting to protect Black representation in the redrawing of California’s political map, is holding a press conference Thursday to protest what it sees as the “evisceration of traditional African-American communities.”

Redistricting panel drops San Francisco from Marin legislative districts
Marin Independent Journal
A plan to lump Marin County in a legislative district that includes San Francisco has been dumped by a citizens committee redrawing political boundaries. Vince Barabba, a member of the California's Citizens Redistricting Commission, a 14-member, nonpartisan panel established by voters to redraw legislative districts, told the Independent Journal the panel tossed out a proposal that included a slice of north San Francisco in a district with Marin.

Knabe discusses redistricting and state budget at Cerritos Republican Club annual picnic
Los Cerritos Community Newspaper Group
Supervisor Don Knabe told members of the Cerritos Republican Club this week at its annual barbecue that the Los Angeles County Redistricting Commission is trying-by way of moving three million people into different districts-to create two Latino seats on the Board of Supervisors. He said there are several plans out there right now being reviewed.

Cities protest lines
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Rancho Cucamonga and Upland are among the cities joining a vast number of municipalities and ethnic groups disappointed at the current maps released by the Citizens Redistricting Commission. The maps, which are being updated this week ahead of the commission's Thursday meeting, split Rancho Cucamonga into two Senate districts and put Upland in Senate and Assembly districts with Los Angeles County cities.

Newest Congressional Redistricting Plan Splits Up Valley Village
Patch Network
Rather than dividing a line down the 170 Freeway, the new congressional boundary runs down the middle of Colfax Avenue, separating the section between Burbank Boulevard and Riverside Drive from the rest of Valley Village.  This would affect approximately 464 homes and a few dozen apartment buildings, as well as businesses including Riverside Pharmacy, Yum Yum Donuts and Taco Bell. Faith Presbyterian Church, St. David’s Anglican Church, Oakwood School, and Valley Village Park are also located in this area.

From the Twitterverse

@dailycal: RT @thejdmorris: At the last #Berkeleycouncil meeting, @Cal students speaking for & against extending #redistricting proposal deadline.

@d_meyer: RT @redistrictUS: #Redistricting and the 2012 election...everything is on the table http://t.co/KjUMgPx Stay tuned to @RoseInstitute all year for analysis

@GaySD: Redistricting update: http://t.co/O6qZdDw

@Karoli: @DesertBeacon they’re all twisted up here because the citizens’ commission is actually drawing (gasp!) fair redistricting maps.

@anthonyjsanchez: Victory for students! We get Wozniak's redistricting delay to be shortened so we dont disenfranshise 4295 voters, including many students!

@KristenSanFran: RT @marklainer: Partisan #redistricting is fucking nuts. Along with campaign finance laws, it must be changed if democracy's to have a chance.

@CivicRafa: RT @ABC_PolicyLA: Redistricting Commission's deadline for public input this Wednesday http://fb.me/tPQzZbOo


El Dorado supervisors to devote a session to district remapping
The Sacramento Bee
Seemingly moved by complaints from El Dorado Hills and Cameron Park residents, El Dorado County supervisors unanimously decided Tuesday to postpone a decision on a redistricting map under discussion.

County to review more redistricting options Wednesday
Desert Dispatch
As Barstow’s redistricting fate remains in question, San Bernardino County residents will have another chance to have a voice in the supervisorial redistricting process at a special meeting on Wednesday.

Fresno Co. officials narrow redistricting options
The Fresno Bee
Fresno County supervisors began debate Tuesday over how their legislative districts should be redrawn, making clear a protracted battle may be in store as they try to figure out who will represent Clovis, southwest Fresno and other parts of the county.

SLO board weighs redistricting plans
Santa Maria Times
The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors wants to keep future supervisorial district boundaries as contiguous as possible, while still balancing the number of voters in each geographical area.

Supervisors Want a Second Look at 1st District Borders
Voice of OC
Members of the Orange County Board of Supervisors Tuesday asked their aides to reexamine the proposed new borders of the 1st Supervisorial District, where Vietnamese argue they should have better representation.

District revision would shortchange Willits area
The Ukiah Daily Journal
Discussion took a decidedly "political" turn at the second-to-last meeting of the county's citizens redistricting committee Wednesday. Several members of the county's ag community turned up to support Option E2, which would put the town of Mendocino into the Fourth District with Fort Bragg.

Supervisors, why the rush to redistrict us?
The Butte County Board of Supervisors has made the decision on redistricting. Barring persuasive arguments by citizens at the next meeting on the issue where it will receive a final vote, Option 4 will serve as the guide for redrawing boundaries.

Salinas City Council opposed to county's redistricting
Salinas City Council members voiced clear opposition Monday to the proposed 2011 supervisorial district map, as they say it divides a large and politically cohesive Latino population. The City is concerned that the proposed supervisorial district map recommended to the Monterey County Board of Supervisors by the county's redistricting committee may violate statutory and constitutional requirements under the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965.

County to review more redistricting options Wednesday
Daily Press
As Barstow’s redistricting fate remains in question, San Bernardino County residents will have another chance to have a voice in the supervisorial redistricting process at a special meeting on Wednesday.