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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Moving on...

The drama in San Diego and partisan bickering with the state redistricting commission has finally taken a backseat to the actual drawing of maps.  (Ok, maybe not a back seat, but at least the passenger seat.)

Last week the state commission held packed hearings with four stops in LA that included everything from local elected officials and business leaders to the head of a local Boy Scouts troop.

Also taking center stage on Friday was the release from Columbia Law School of a new California Congressional map that they claim could be immediately used by the commission.

Redistricting Partners took the time to convert these maps into Maptitude and analyze based on incumbent addresses and voter information from Political Data Inc’s redistricting database.  The results show a plan that has some significant flaws, but does remind us how tough it is to meet the commission’s criteria and draw maps that make sense.  In the end the plan pairs 18 members of congress into the same seats, creates 9 new vacancies, and flips four Republican seats Democratic and one Democratic seat to Republican.

See all the maps and analysis here: Columbia Law Plans Analyzed

State

Redistricting Partners Analyzes New Statewide Plan
Columbia Law School announced last week that they were releasing state-by-state redistricting plans that would include Non-Partisan, Legally Defensible Maps That States Can Use.  Redistricting Partners dove right in to see how useful or legally defensible they were.  This analysis includes where incumbents live, partisan breakdowns and the Brown/Whitman vote in each district.

Columbia Law School draws new California congressional maps
Sacramento Bee
Students at New York City's Columbia Law School have taken a stab at redrawing California's 53 congressional districts to comply with new census data and state and federal guidelines, beating the state's new redistricting commission to the punch.

Redistricting Commission tries to repeal one-person one-vote

Tony Quinn, Fox and Hounds
You would think the law would be clear to the new Citizens Redistricting Commission, but you would be wrong.  On April 28, the Commission voted to allow deviations up to five percent among legislative districts.  A five percent deviation will amount to 46,567 people in Senate districts and 23,284 people in Assembly districts.  That's a lot of folks.  Apply this standard in a growth area like Riverside County and you can effectively disenfranchise 200,000 people.

Respect integrity of the Asian American community
Asian Journal
Asian American residents made their voices heard and made one thing clear to the 14-members of the state’s Citizens Redistricting Commission: “Respect the integrity of the Asian American community,” said Joanna Lee, senior research analysts in the demographic research project at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) during the commissions visit at Long Beach City Hall earlier in the week.

Senate budget hearing a gerrymanding special
Sacramento Bee
When the state Senate announced the location of today's 1:30 p.m. budget hearing at the Cal Poly Pomona, it was hard for us to tell whose district it was in. Senate maps show the Pomona campus right on the edge of the dividing line between districts represented by Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Chino, and Sen. Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar.

Redistricting panel seeks public’s advice
Marin Independent Journal
It may be the most important public political meeting of the year. A state citizens commission that is drawing up new legislative boundaries that make logical sense regardless of politics wants to hear what you have to say.

No partisan redistricting
Riverside Press-Enterprise
When the Legislature redrew congressional, state Senate and Assembly boundaries 10 years ago, cynics dubbed it the "Incumbent Protection Act of 2001." Even partisans now admit the process was dominated by political interests, not the interests of the voters.

Ami Bera pins CD3 rematch hopes on name ID, new district
Sacramento Bee
Despite attracting big bucks and lots of buzz, Democrat Ami Bera's 2010 challenge to GOP Rep. Dan Lungren fell seven percentage points short of a win last November.

Local

Redistricting Partners Offers Professional Redistricting Services to Local Governments
PublicCEO.com
Redistricting Partners works for Democrats on statewide legislative and congressional redistricting, but its local government work is decidedly bi-partisan.  The local government side is dedicated to good governance and assisting clients with the incredibly complex process of redistricting. I can't say enough good things about the service they provide.

San Diego City Council district boundaries to be redrawn
San Diego Gay & Lesbian News
With the 2010 U.S. Census complete and the recent release of local data, the City of San Diego has begun the process to create City Council districts as equal in population as “possible and practicable” – meaning, according to the data, representing about 144,624 San Diegans.

Lobbying builds up in redrawing of San Diego council districts
San Diego Union-Tribune
It happens once every 10 years and influences local politics for at least a decade. This year, though, the intrigue of redrawing San Diego’s City Council districts involves something not seen since the 1960s — the creation of a new council district.

Redistricting Task Force seeks community help at May 2 hearing
San Diego LGBT Weekly
The Community Leadership Council’s LGBT Redistricting Task Force is working to ensure the survival of an LGBT-friendly district, and is asking the community to make a strong presence at the May 2 public hearing.

El Dorado County colors outside the lines to redraw supervisor districts
Sacramento Bee
As El Dorado County works to draw new supervisorial districts to match 2010 census figures, one of five draft maps is drawing attention – good and bad.

Walnut Creek wants one county supervisor, not three
Contra Costa Times
Walnut Creek leaders want the city represented by one county supervisor, and any of the three whose districts cross city limits would be fine. Supervisors Karen Mitchoff, Mary Nejedly Piepho and Gayle Uilkema each represent a portion of Walnut Creek.

Fix Contra Costa’s ugly political boundaries
Contra Costa Times
It’s time for the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors to fix the redistricting mess it created a decade ago. In 2001, in a brutal display of power politics, a majority of the board shafted one of their colleagues by creating a district for her that stretched around Mount Diablo from Walnut Creek and the San Ramon Valley all the way to Knightsen and Discovery Bay.

Political districts raise questions for local voters
Ventura County Star
It's no wonder that fierce opposition greeted a county plan that called for slicing up Oxnard and putting the pieces in four different Ventura County supervisors' districts. The idea, which the supervisors discussed and rejected during a public hearing Tuesday evening, represented the county's initial effort at drawing up new district boundaries for the five members of the Board of Supervisors.

City Redistricting Website Established
Everything Long Beach
On Thursday, April 28, 2011, the City of Long Beach unveiled the City’s Redistricting Website and provided population data for the City of Long Beach. Population data was generated by the United States Census Bureau as a result of the 2010 Census.