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Friday, July 29, 2011


State Plans, now Lying in State

The commission just voted out the new state lines on a 12-2 vote (with two Republicans voting no) and placed them on the Agenda for an official August 15th final vote.  Until then feel free to whine, complain, cuss and gripe to commissioners about their failures.  They can hear you, but they’re probably done listening.

On August 15th the only option is an up-or-down vote on the maps.  You cannot have your city reunited, get your Assembly Member back.  The plans are final and the only option now would be for the commission to vote the plans down and send them directly to the courts.

The game now transitions from the 14 members of the commission to the 67 members of Congress and the Legislature that have been drawn out of their seats, nested with other incumbents, or generally screwed over by the citizen process.  A preliminary look at the data on the Redistricting Partners site will show some fun potential pairings and political drama.  The site is now updated with maps (showing partisanship and incumbents), summary data for all districts in just a few pages, and extremely detailed datasheets from PDI for the  Assembly, State Senate and Congressional districts.

If the overload of information isn’t enough, feel free to browse through the longest list of Redistricting Articles we’ve ever run in one report.  It is likely that this amount of reporting exceeds all the coverage for Redistricting in 2001.  So, if the goal of Prop 11 was getting redistricting more ink, then job well done!


Members Brace for California Map
Roll Call
"In California, it has been sacrilege to even suggest that you would run against an incumbent," Democratic redistricting expert Paul Mitchell said. "Contrast that with now, state legislators are announcing all over the place." As examples, Mitchell pointed to Hall running against Richardson and Hahn in Compton, and Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson (R) challenging Rep. Ed Royce, who is involved in a GOP incumbent logjam in Orange County.

Not Everyone Wins in Redistricting
Fox and Hounds Daily
Cue the music: "You can't always get what you want." Republicans, Democrats, blacks, Latinos, mayors, county supervisors and local activists across the state already have complained that the lines drawn by the new California Citizens Redistricting Commission, all boiling down to a single beef: They just aren't fair.

Citizens commission releases final maps
After months of speculation and discord, California's "citizen" mappers Thursday unveiled nearly final congressional and legislative district lines that portend significant changes in the state's political landscape. The California Citizens Redistricting Commission's new maps suggest that Democrats could easily gain a two-thirds majority in the state Senate and that minority groups will gain more clout, political analysts say.

As Redistricting Commission Finishes Their Work, One Hopes Their Product Is Somehow Better Than Their Process
Flash Report
The Commission is likely to spend a good portion of the today patting themselves on the back for a job well done. They certainly do deserve credit for spending as much time as they did on this project over the past eight months, and it does appear that their just is, well, just about done.  However, the process was not a smooth one at all. First, it is clear that some of the Commissioners focused on their own personal agendas.  Why is it that San Joaquin County is whole in a Senate (SD 5) and Congressional District (SD 9)?  That would be because Stockton was lucky enough to have a Commissioner that prioritized her own community at the expense of others.  Rancho Cordova is with Death Valley as a result of this.

Commission Final Draft Maps Would Diminish Latino Opportunities in California's State Senate
The Sacramento Bee
California's Latino community will face significant challenges with achieving fair representation in the State Senate and in the Central Valley according to an analysis (attached) conducted by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund of the final draft maps released today by the state's Citizens Redistricting Commission.  The analysis reveals that the draft Senate map reduces the number of districts where Latinos can effectively choose their elected leaders.  In addition, Latino communities in the San Fernando Valley and Orange County would be located in Senate districts with a weaker Latino presence than their current districts.

The Redistricting Commission's Primary Failure
Fox and Hounds Daily
Race and ethnicity are difficult in California, a state with no racial/ethnic majority – far from it. And Latinos, who suffered from the 2001 gerrymander that denied them fair representation, deserved additional seats as this commission has created. But over the last month the commission has made race and ethnicity almost the only factors in its line drawing, and the final product can be accurately called a racial gerrymander.

State redistricting plan released; lots of changes facing Valley, Whittier
Whittier Daily News
The California Redistricting Commission on Thursday released reapportionment maps for the state's congressional and legislative districts that could change the political landscape of the San Gabriel Valley and Whittier areas. The 14-member commission is expected to vote today to approve the maps for public review, with a final vote required by Aug. 15.

New maps would force GOP showdown in O.C.
Orange County Register
Incumbent GOP Reps. Gary Miller and Ed Royce face a showdown to represent the single district they've been drawn into, according to the proposed final lines for new congressional and state legislative districts unveiled Thursday. The maps are expected to be approved by the Citizens Redistricting Commission Friday, followed by a public review period and an Aug. 15 certification.

Final political maps create 4 wide-open districts in county
Ventura County Star
Four of the eight districts that include parts of the county — two for Congress and one each for the state Senate and Assembly — would be wide-open, so-called "swing" districts in which candidates from either party could win and in which partisan control could swing back and forth depending on national trends.

Final redistricting vote set
Our Weekly
It is down to the wire and leaders in the African American community continue to remain vigilant about the redistricting effort being conducted by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission (CCRC). In fact, this past weekend, a pitched battle ensued as some of the commissioners attempted to condense all of the African American districts into one.

Redistricting and the Fate of the Environmental Community in California
After months of anticipation, the 177 almost-final new legislative, congressional and Board of Equalization district maps were released today. These maps have the potential to shake up California’s political forces and greatly impact the environment.

CA Redistricting Maps Near Completion, Several Issues Still Looming
Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce
Amidst a tremendous volume of public testimony and interest in their work and progress, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission is nearing completion on a selection of maps that will reshape political representation in California within both houses of the state legislature and the congressional House of Representatives. In a process that has been characterized by numerous revisions of map visualizations and adjustments to the its own internal deadlines, the Commission is nearing completion of this massive undertaking with critical questions and interested parties still to be addressed.

Redistricting Commission grapples with challenge of minority representation
As the California Citizens Redistricting Commission works to redraw the state’s political maps, it has grappled with changing demographics and how those changes impact the state’s minority populations. The commission has been directed to be sure the new congressional, legislative and Board of Equalization district maps stand up to the Voting Rights Act, which outlaws discriminatory voting practices. Minority groups representing Latinos, Asians, African-Americans, and others have been closely following the historic, citizen-led redistricting process – commenting, submitting suggested maps, and staying vocal.

California redistricting commission costing more than estimated
The Sacramento Bee
California's creation of an independent panel to draw legislative and congressional district boundaries is costing millions of dollars more than voters were told it would, records show. Initial estimates were that the panel could draw legislative and Board of Equalization districts for the same $3 million, adjusted for inflation, that the Legislature spent a decade ago to handle that task and to draw congressional lines, too.

California District Lines to be Announced Friday
Roseville Patch
Ted Gaines' Senate 1 district, may be moved to district 4, according to the latest draft released Wednesday at 11:30 p.m. Losing its association with communities of interest, such as Rocklin, Auburn, and other northern communities Placer County, switching districts has shifted the district inland and north to incorporate Mendocino County, Yuba City, Chico and more to the north.

California Redistricting Map Could Mean Big Win for Dems
The State Column
A new map of California is about to take shape later this month. A meeting will be held by the citizen’s redistricting committee on July 28th with a vote taking place the following day. Lines will be drawn and, presumably, power will be shifted.

California Map: Much Better than the Last
Daily KOS
To start, I'm gonna list my overall impression.  D+3.5.  Except for the numbering system and the split of lancaster, i like this map much better than the last from a COI standpoint. I'm going to go district by district, excluding the Safe Dem or GOP ones with no competitive primaries.

Redistricting pressure off for now as redrawn maps allay San Francisco politicians' fears
San Francisco Examiner
Earlier drafts had created concerns in San Francisco about whether gays would lose their influence and politicians would lose their jobs. But the final maps released this week by the commission — which is redrawing district lines for state and congressional districts — have allayed most of those fears.

Your Political Power is at Stake
Inglewood Today
According to the latest map draft released last week, it could mean a slight increase in African American voters within Rep. Karen Bass’ 33rd District by just .2% (from 24.8% and 25%), However, the number of African American voters in Maxine Water’s 35th District could be reduced by about 6% (from 30% to 24.2%). Laura Richardson’s 37th District could lose about 4% of its African American voting public (from 22.1% to 18%).

Plan Calls for SCV to Divide
The Santa Clarita Valley would be split between two state Senate districts if the latest maps for California’s electoral landscape stand. Despite continued lobbying by Santa Clarita Valley residents to keep the valley whole, recent maps from the California Citizens Redistricting Commission show a split community in the state Senate.

New Political Maps Mean Big Changes for Incumbents
KQED Radio
The California Redistricting Commission is meeting this afternoon to make the final tweaks to new political lines for Congressional, State Assembly, Senate and Board of Equalization districts. The maps are supposed to create compact districts that respect county and city lines while preserving the voting power of some minority groups. One thing they're not doing is preserving the seats of incumbents -- as redistricting did 10 years ago for Democrats and Republicans alike.

California remap gives Democrats more districts
SF Gate
California will have more political districts dominated by Democratic voters over the next decade, according to the latest version of the state's redrawn political map set to be released today. But more of those Democrats will be facing competitive races. After looking at the maps, some Latino organizations are concerned that the state's fastest-growing group isn't being accurately represented in some parts of Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley.

Community Members Push for Racial Justice in Redrawing LA District Lines
Ahead of Friday’s release, a draft of the proposed boundaries was made public, sparking anger and even accusations of racism from a multitude of sources. The African American Redistricting Collaborative, AARC for short, strongly opposed plans to break-up African-American strongholds in the 33rd, 35th, and 37th congressional districts.

Citizens panel to vote on Calif. political maps
Sign on San Diego
"We think these are good maps," said Angelo Ancheta, a Democratic commissioner from San Francisco. "I think all of us feel that one, it's certainly worth supporting if you're a voter, and two, that we followed the criteria and we've exercised good judgment." Even before the vote, the maps were being heavily scrutinized by political parties, communities and minority groups because they will be used in state elections for the next decade, helping shape the composition of the 120-member state Legislature and California's congressional delegation.

Stakeholders weigh in on Friday's controversial California redistricting maps
Southern California Public Radio
In addition to the new citizens' commission, this is first time in California's history that the state is not gaining any new Congressional seats, leaving is with 53 districts. That makes the political stakes even higher.  “We’re prepared for hearing a lot of the response we’ve already been hearing all along," said Redistricting Commissioner Jeanne Raya, who spoke with KPCC's Patt Morrison. She acknowledged that some interest groups have raised concerns, but said the commission expected that.

Yolo sticks together in new districts
The Davis Enterprise
The state commission that’s redrawing California’s political boundaries has unhinged Sacramento and Davis, which one commissioner called “a suburb” of the capital city. It’s a victory for local politicians who lobbied to put Yolo County in a single district for each body. Splitting it up into two, or even three, districts would diffuse the county’s power, they told the state Citizens Redistricting Commission.

How Redistricting Might Hurt California’s African Americans
LA Progressive
As far as the congressional seats go, the goal of the collective African American community statewide is to hold on to what it has, despite a population that is in decline. Blacks in California, according to the 2010 Census, represent 6.2% of the state’s population, or 2.3 million (out of 37 million residents) who identify themselves as being of African American descent. That is down from being 7.65% of the state’s population after the 2010 Census.

Lawsuits await new election district maps due out Friday
North County Times
Come Monday, attorneys for various groups who feel the voter-mandated wholesale redistricting left them without a fair shot at equal representation are expected to be drafting lawsuits. No one doubts that challenges await the work of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, least of all Gil Otai of San Diego, one of the panel's 14 members. "We've anticipated litigation from the very beginning, but we've also made sure that every step we've taken is legally defensible," Otai said during a telephone interview last week.

California redistricting panel got earful about draft maps
Los Angeles Times
Residents and civic leaders in Fremont, which sprawls from San Francisco Bay to the golden-seared folds of Sunol Ridge, say their desert-hued bedroom community should be in a congressional district with its neighbors, Newark and Union City. The three cities, they explained, share such interests as planning, transportation, policing, healthcare, water, education and jobs. And they also offered a more unusual argument.

From the Twitterverse

@RoseInstitute Yao says he put personal interests aside for interests of the state. (No wonder Claremont's so badly treated!). #wedrawthelines

@d_meyer Huh? RT @RoseInstitute: Q2 says it takes "2 days" to make change to any of the plans and generate equiv files. #wedrawthelines

@sacbee_news The Sacramento Bee- City Beat: Should city follow state's lead on redistricting? http://bit.ly/nxzuAu

@KQED_CapNotes John Myers, KQED- RT @CalChannel: 9AM Citizens Redistricting Commission Business Meeting in Sacramento today watch live @ http://ow.ly/5ODBB#CaRedistricting

@christineiger Christine Iger- RT @PEcom_politics: Final draft redistricting maps unveiled: Democrats would outnumber Republicans http://bit.ly/qObRVN

@slonews SLO News- Los Osos woman to speak to South County Democratic Club about statewide redistricting commission http://dlvr.it/d3QTD#sanluisobispo

@jwaggo jwaggo- #LWVC release: Celebrate CA #Redistricting #Reform lwvc.org “this first-ever commission will be a model for the entire nation”

@TracyVOC Tracy Wood- Citizens Redistricting Commission votes 13-1 to approve new Assembly districts. No vote from Republican OC commissioner Michael Ward.

@CalWatchdog CalWatchdog- NEW: Series Exposed Redistricting Sham http://dlvr.it/d4QN2


Second Thoughts: The public deserves more out of county’s redistricting
Tracy Press
So to take as much politics as possible out of redistricting, a citizen commission was created to redraw Congress, Assembly and state Senate boundaries in 2011. That didn’t stop the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors from deciding two of its own members should lead the way when it comes to drawing the district boundaries for that elected body. Now, on the eve of what is likely the approval of the new borders, it’s a decision at least one supervisor has come to question.

Hearings set on county redistricting maps
The Tulare County Redistricting Committee on Tuesday presented Tulare County supervisors with three draft maps that alter the boundaries of the county’s five supervisorial districts. Supervisors set two hearings, Aug. 9 and 23, for public input on the mapping options before the lines are officially redrawn.

End of Round 1
San Diego City Beat
The opposition includes two commissioners from opposite ends of the political spectrum: progressive Teresa Quiroz and her conservative panel mate Ani Mdivani-Morrow. They both trained their barbs at the proposed map’s representation of San Diego’s Asian / Pacific Islander community, which they found unacceptable. “I cannot vote for a map which does not have a district which allows the sizable Asian-American community to feel that they are a part of this city, that their vote counts and that their vibrant and multifaceted culture is a strong part of San Diego’s future,” Quiroz said.