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Monday, May 23, 2011

Speak Now or Forever Hold your Musket

Today is a “deadline” of sorts for the state’s Citizen’s Redistricting Commission based on their internal timeline for creating draft maps.  After today their official response to public testimony will be 9 of the 14 commissioner plugging their ears and singing “Hakuna Matata” so loudly that residents of San Joaquin will be begging to be split into eight different legislative districts.

Tea Party Patriots, who apparently woke up to this redistricting thing a couple weeks ago will attack the commission for singing a clearly socialist song, born in Africa, and embraced by liberal Hollywood insiders.  This sounds crazy, but they’ve already come out in opposition the alphabet.

With the Commission permanently closing the books on public comment (at least until their next public meeting, tomorrow in Oakland) observers will begin the countdown to June 10th.  Proposed maps from groups traditionally involved in redistricting should be released in the coming days, giving a glimpse at how lines may look.  Of course, those will be analyzed by Redistricting Partners and sent out via this friendly email later this week.

State

Look out liberals: Conservatives, Tea Partiers coming to Bay Area redistricting meetings, too
San Francisco Chronicle
Bay Area Tea Party organizers have been rallying folks to be at the Bay Area meetings to make sure conservative voices are heard instead of, as the conservatives put it "the alphabet groups of the left." (See the slide from the Fair the Lines website that uh, spells this out.)

Take time now to tell panel that common sense should play role in redistricting
Los Angeles Daily News
What is the San Fernando Valley? Seems like an obvious question, dictated by actual geography. Yet, it is not so clear to some of the people who are charged with redrawing state and congressional district maps.

Marin Voice: Marin must be its own strongest redistricting advocate
Marin Independent Journal
REDISTRICTING has been a euphemism for keeping political power — and it served that function well for many years — too many as far as voters are concerned.

State panel urged to keep Marin-Sonoma electoral marriage intact
Marin Independent Journal
Marin and Sonoma County voters share several state and federal representatives, and dozens of residents from both counties turned out at an unusual public hearing Friday night to say they wouldn't have it any other way.

Commissioner talks about redistricting work
Ventura County Star
It sounds like the schedule of a very hard-working rock band still looking for a break: Thursday night in Auburn, Friday in Santa Rosa, Saturday in Oakland, Sunday in Salinas and Monday in San Jose.

Redistricting draft gives county fewer representatives, more influence
The Stockton Record
When politicians last carved out California's political boundaries a decade ago, pieces of San Joaquin County ended up in four state Assembly districts, two state Senate districts and two congressional districts.

Citizens urge status quo in North Bay legislative districts
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
How to divvy up Sonoma County in drawing new legislative district lines emerged as an issue at a public hearing by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission on Friday night at Santa Rosa City Hall.

From the Twitterverse

@eastbaycitizen: Citizen Redistricting was meant to cut out special interests. All I'm hearing is testimony from special interests, esp. minority groups.

@sfgate: Look out liberals: Conservatives, Tea Partiers coming to Bay Area redistricting meetings, too. /via @joegarofoli http://sfg.ly/leB5FZ

@stgeller4: OK, how's this? Neither liberal nor conservative groups should have ANY say in redistricting. They'll just gerrymander.

@dphoward Salinas CRC hearing wrapping up. The SLO team gave it a valiant try; but doesn't seem to have worked.

Local

Putting together the Downtown Puzzle
The Los Angeles Downtown News
Every 10 years, as population shifts dictate a change in the borders that define City Council districts, a game of political puzzle making begins. Sometimes it’s polite, with well-mannered horse trading. On other occasions it’s fractious, marked by conflict and naked power grabs.

Bullying, Railroading and Other Opinions on Redistricting
Voice of San Diego
So far, city redistricting in 2011 reminds me of the comedian Jerry Clower's tale about two dogs fighting over a dinner of boiled okra.  That slick slimy boiled okra went down one dog's throat so fast that he thought the other ate it and they commenced to snapping and thrashing.

City Attorney To Investigate Redistricting Commissioner
San Diego Channel 6
City Attorney Jan Goldsmith promised Friday an investigation into whether a member of a commission that will redraw City Council boundaries is actually a resident of San Diego.

Redistricting exposes the fault lines of elitism in San Jose
San Jose Mercury News
A couple weeks ago, I attended a meeting of San Jose's redistricting commission at the Willow Glen Community Center, a converted school on Lincoln Avenue. It didn't promise to be a barnburner. At its previous meeting, on the East Side, the commission drew only about 20 people.

Does anyone in Contra Costa County care about redistricting?
Oakland Tribune
If the hottest issue right now in Contra Costa County government is the redrawing of supervisors' districts, someone needs to tell the voters. They seem to be as captivated by the process as a lecture on the Dewey Decimal system.

An improved plan for supervisors’ district lines
Ventura County Star
Voters and residents can find much to like in Ventura County's latest plan to draw up new boundaries for the five county supervisors' districts.

Yuba County to redraw lines of supervisor districts
Appeal Democrat
Yuba County will have a series of meetings in the next three weeks to get residents' thoughts on how a committee should redraw lines for supervisorial districts.

District lines in spotlight
San Bernardino and the Inland Empire Sun
Supervisor Neil Derry and his campaign manager say challenger James Ramos, chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, might not live in Derry's district once the boundaries of county supervisorial districts are redrawn later this year.