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Friday, May 27, 2011


That’s how one redistricting expert characterized MALDEF's presentation to the state’s Redistricting Commission.  The hour and a half long unveiling of maps and data gave the commission districts that shocked and baffled, but ultimately created 17 Assembly, 11 Congressional and 9 Senate districts tha were Majority Minority and, according to MALDEF, had protection under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.  That’s 16 more majority-minority seats than under the current lines!

The audience, many of which were also presenting statewide plans and deeply involved with redistricting, were vacillating from outrage to envy.  Republican redistricting expert Matt Rexroad immediately tweeted it a “MALDEFmander,” only 10 minutes later to tweet his amazement with an impressive presentation.

In the process they created seats like these doozies that put nearly elected Janice Hahn in a Congressional District with Isadore Hall and created two of the ugliest Senate districts you could probably imagine.  Their plans also give Democrats registration advantage in 54 Assembly, 37 Congressionals, and 29 State Senate seats.

If you’re a sitting member of the Assembly or Senate and hoping that MALDEF gave you a Congressional seat, check here for the maps.  You can also find data tables with the partisanship and 2010 gubernatorial election results by Assembly, Senate and Congressional districts.

Crazy or brilliant, MALDEF set an extremely high bar, and it is possible that they have completely changed the game.


Redistricting Win, Lose, or Draw
KQED: Capital Notes
More competition. More moderate politicians. Less sleazy deal making. More good stuff. Less bad stuff.  Listen to the story here.

Interest groups give differing viewpoints on how new political districts should be drawn in region
Daily News
Schlepping maps, laptops and briefcases, a steady stream of groups stood before the panel in hopes of putting their own mark on the map.

"The current district lines don't respect the Valley," said Stuart Waldman, president of the Valley Industry & Commerce Association, presenting three new legislative and congressional maps.  "Our perfect world is not to have the Valley districts be a little portion here and a little portion there," explained Waldman in an interview at his Van Nuys office Wednesday. "But to be the majority."

Asian Pacific Legal American Legal Center proposes new legislative districts to commission
Pasadena Star-News
The Asian Pacific American Legal Center presented its proposed redistricting maps - including a plan for the state's 80 assembly districts and a regional plan for 24 of the state's 40 senate districts - to the California Citizens Redistricting Commission at a Thursday hearing in Northridge.

Redistricting proposals would put Capps, Gallegly in tougher districts
Ventura County Star
Ventura County's two congressional representatives would find themselves in vastly reshaped districts next year — and more politically competitive ones — under a variety of proposals submitted this week to the Citizens Redistricting Commission.

California Redistricting May Not Excite, But Is key To Black Power
Los Angeles Wave
The imminent redrawing of California’s political map may — according to the head of an advocacy group that seeks to ensure that African-American representation is not “wiped out” — be like watching paint dry, but many are urging the Black community to get fully involved in the process.

Un-Gerrymandering Los Angeles
LA Weekly
For decades, except when the courts stepped in, entrenched California legislators drew up the electoral maps, creating bizarrely shaped, heavily gerrymandered voting districts that marched over mountain ranges and chopped neighborhoods to bits — all to ensure that the incumbent got re-elected.

California’s Latino population booming, Census Bureau finds
Sacramento Bee
California’s Latino population grew nearly three times as much as the state as a whole in the last decade, making the state home to more than a quarter of the nation's Latinos, according to a new Census Bureau report.

Keeping Marin and Sonoma together unites political foes
Marin Independent Journal
THE STATE's independent redistricting commission found something on which local Democrats and Republicans agree — the new legislative lines should keep Marin and Sonoma counties together.

From the Twitterverse

@RoseInstitute: All eyes are on the MALDEF/NAACP/Asian-Pacific CA #redistricting maps being unveiled today: http://bit.ly/iKPwFV (expand) #wedrawthelines

@KQED_CapNotes: Central Coast grp, advocating 4 minorities 2 #redistricting comm., calls current SD 19 (Strickland) example of "racial gerrymandering"

@KQED_CapNotes: MexAmer Legal F'ndation #redistricting proposal 2 citizens commish puts Rancho Palos Verdes & Compton in same congressional district

@michelledreams2: IE African Amer #Redistricting Coalition wants to keep "Ebony Triangle" together #wedrawthelines #ca

@ EdGuess: June 10 release of redistricting maps is wild card in talks with possibly vulnerable GOP lawmakers over budget


City Council to review redistricted maps on June 8th
Elk Grove Citizen
The city of Elk Grove on May 23 wrapped up its series of community workshops aimed at getting public feedback on how the city should proceed with creating a new Elk Grove City Council district map following the 2010 Census.

Redistricting commissioner’s residency to be determined by Registrar
San Diego News Room

An investigation into whether redistricting commissioner Carlos Marquez is a resident of the city of San Diego has been transferred to the San Diego Registrar of Voters, the City Attorney's office said Thursday.

LGBT redistricting: Keep your eyes on the prize
LGBT Weekly
Every ten years, following the national census, city council district boundaries must be adjusted to keep, as closely as possible, the same number of people in each district. Normally this does not require big changes, but this year San Diego is adding a new 9th District, so every single district is on the chopping block, including District 3.

City Council wants as few changes as possible in redistricting
Long Beach Press-Telegram
The city's political divisions should be kept as close to their current form as possible, the City Council decided Tuesday.

Oxnard residents support redistricting plan but still see flaws
Ventura County Star
Oxnard residents supported a plan shifting portions of the county's largest city out of the heavily populated Fifth Supervisorial District at community meetings Wednesday but still saw flaws.

Solano County resident get first look at plan to draw district lines
The Vacaville Reporter
Lines have moved and smaller districts have become bigger as Solano County looks at options for redistricting.

Editorial: Solano County’s moving too fast
The Vacaville Reporter
This week's series of evening meetings to unveil three ideas for how to redraw the district boundaries for the Solano County Board of Supervisor is being called a "public outreach effort," but it's a weak one.

Southwest County can expect more clout on county board

North County Times

With Menifee's anticipated shift into another supervisor's district, Southwest County will wield more clout on regional issues decided by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors next decade, a political analyst said Thursday.