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Friday, September 30, 2011


Bow-Tie Up

Today is a big day for Redistricting Groupies.  UC Berkeley, the home of unbiased redistricting analysis and the birthplace of Q2, the commission’s line drawing team, will host their post-redistricting get together to discuss what just happened and what it all means.  Panelists include commissioners, some of the “Hidden Hands” in redistricting, the bow-tie wearing author of the measure, and the Good Government groups that started it all. 

The discussion should be framed by the recent ProPublica article on how the hidden hands of corporations and unions influenced redistricting.  This meme is apparently taking fire with CNN Recently doing a round of interviews in California and other reporters inquiring about just how this outside advocacy really worked.

The only folks missing from the Berkeley discussion are the Republican insiders that championed the measure and are now funding a referendum against the new lines… so we will be left to “interpret” what they are thinking.  The latest and last minute legal filing by former Congressman George Radanovich is based on the Commission’s inability to draw better lines for African American residents in Los Angeles.  Are those lines perfect or a total mess?  We don’t know… but to find out we would definitely ask a 60 year old White Republican from Mariposa.

On a Redistricting Partners personal note, the youngest of the “Hidden Hands,” Brittany Hernandez, turns 21 today.  She’s unwittingly become a redistricting dork, got a chance this year to testify before the commission on Racially Polarized Voting, and she’s the only 21 year old who would ever get up at 6am on her birthday to put together this collection of articles.  Someone please buy her a drink! 


A Brave New World
UC Berkeley Institute for Governmental Studies
Did the reform produce results? What was the process like? What were its advantages and disadvantages? Are the districts different than those that would have been drawn under the old system? Will the Legislature or the Congress change as a result? We examine California's bold redistricting experiment.

Assessing the Redistricting Process: What It Means for Our Communities: Fall Quarterly - September 23, 2011
Urban Habitat
On September 23, 2011, a panel of redistricting experts to discuss why and how was the Citizens Redistricting Commission created, how has this redistricting process differed from other processes?  How well were low-income people and communities of color represented? And more… [site has podcast with video coming]

Suit filed against new California congressional districts
The Sacramento Bee
A former Republican congressman and four others filed suit Thursday with the California Supreme Court alleging that that state's newly drawn congressional districts are illegal and unconstitutional. The suit by Mariposa Republican George Radanovich, who left Congress last year, asks the court to throw out the 53 new congressional boundaries and appoint a special master to draw new ones. The legal challenge comes nearly one month after opponents of the congressional maps announced a referendum drive aimed at letting voters decide the fate of the new maps.

New Lines in the Sand: Redistricting in the Golden State
State of Elections
“All politics is local.” The truth of Tip O’Neill’s famous quip may sting some senior California House members as the state’s redistricting efforts land them in newly-formed districts that they might not be able to carry. The new district map is the product of a bi-partisan citizen’s commission established by Proposition 11. Enacted directly by voters in 2008 and expanded in 2010, the law amended the state constitution to move redistricting authority from the legislature to a bipartisan commission of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. Tasked with redrawing not only congressional districts but State Senate, Assembly, and Board of Equalization districts as well, the commission’s work will go into effect for the 2012 election.


Giving redistricting a little respect
The Los Angeles Times
This year, the supervisors are split over whether the rapid growth of the Latino community during the last decade requires them to create a second Latino-majority district. Supervisors Gloria Molina and Mark Ridley-Thomas both believe it does and have proposed maps that create one. Supervisor Don Knabe has proposed a map that would essentially retain the current districts.

County Approves Redistricting Plan; Lawsuit Likely
Santa Monica Patch
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a redistricting plan on Tuesday that opponents say violates federal voting laws. But it appears that one board member who voted for the plan is actually hoping to see the issue decided in court. The plan that the board passed, called the "A3" plan, would minimize the movement of communities from one Board of Supervisor district to another, keeping the electoral boundaries very close to how they are.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas: Let the Courts Decide Redistricting
County of Los Angeles
My support for two Latino-opportunity districts has not been about race, but rather about principle. It is about following the law. Since the beginning of the Board’s redistricting efforts, I have steadily maintained that adhering to the Voting Rights Act should be the primary goal of this body. This also has been the driving force behind the courageous and tenacious leadership of Supervisor Gloria Molina. Supervisor Molina worked tirelessly these past few months not to seek any special advantage for Latinos, but to ensure that upholding civil rights for all of the County’s citizens was the central focus of the Board’s debate.

Menifee Redistricting Committee reveals ten map drafts
Menifee 24/7
The Menifee Redistricting Committee held their second meeting Friday afternoon, where each member presented maps that balanced population and maintained communities of interest. A total of ten potential maps were shown, all of which aimed to keep communities together. Oasis, a senior community that’s currently divided between two districts, was kept intact in every map.

Redistricting: It's a Done Deal
Mountain News
Following months of behind-the-scenes redistricting wrangling-and in spite of emotional appeals made by many mountain residents against the change-the board of supervisors Tuesday voted to extend the 2nd District's boundary eastward past Green Valley Lake. With Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt voting no, board members voted 3-1 in favor of the new county-wide redistricting plan that includes taking Lake Arrowhead, Running Springs, Arrowbear Lake and Green Valley Lake out of the 3rd District, and moving those communities into the 2nd.

Supervisors approve status quo redistricting map
With political futures at stake, possible discrimination against Latino voters alleged and a lawsuit imminent, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a largely status quo redistricting map. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, whose district includes the inland South Bay cities, changed his vote in favor of an amended map that tweaks district boundaries to account only for population changes.

San Bernardino County supervisors adopt redistricting plan
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday adopted a San Bernardino County redistricting plan that continues to draw opposition from mountain and desert residents as well as a Latino advocacy group. The plan continues to split communities in the San Bernardino Mountains into two supervisorial districts. It also moves Barstow into the same district as Redlands. Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Josie Gonzales defended the plan. "The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors is here to serve every resident," she said. "A line on a piece of paper does not exclusion make. We are about inclusion."

800 show up before Board of Supervisors redistricting vote today
Contra Costa Times
As hundreds of people waited to speak today on competing plans to redraw the county's five supervisorial districts, the Board of Supervisors indicated it would discuss the matter behind closed doors before a vote is taken. More than 800 people showed up to speak on the issue. The overflow crowd sat outside the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration waiting their turn.


Area assemblyman joins race for 3rd District supervisor
Desert Dispatch
Paul Cook, California’s 65th District assemblyman and a retired Marine from Yucca Valley, threw his hat into the ring for 3rd District Supervisor on Thursday. Cook is the third candidate so far running for the open seat for the San Bernardino County 3rd District, where Barstow will be moved because of county redistricting. Incumbent Neil Derry is running for re-election and James Ramos, chairman of the San Manuel tribe, announced his candidacy in May.

Redistricting brings new choices
Take Congresswoman Laura Richardson, a former Long Beach City Council member. She would have had a fairly easy ride back into office, despite some messy problems with personal finances and a House ethics investigation. But instead of breezing to re-election, she has ended up with a choice between two districts that would be anything but easy. She chose the 44th, which includes San Pedro, Carson, Gardena, Compton, and just part of her old home ground in North Long Beach.