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Tuesday, May 31, 2011


A Sign of Things to Come?

The three most anticipated contributions to the Citizen’s Redistricting Commission process were to be the maps from the NAACP, MALDEF and CAPAFR.  These groups, representing African Americans, Latinos and Asians, have traditionally been some of the most active in redistricting, and it was expected that they would collectively show the way for the State’s redistricting process.  Did they?  And if so, did they show the Commission something that can be mirrored in their June 10th draft maps?

NAACP did not end up producing maps, but the MALDEF Plans, including where incumbents live and partisan breakdowns, can be found at http://redistrictingpartners.com/MALDEF-redistricting-plans/ along with CAPAFR maps with incumbents and political breakdowns at http://redistrictingpartners.com/capafr-redistricting-plans/

The MALDEF Plans show an incredibly aggressive redraw of the state, one that creates 19 Assembly vacancies, 9 Senate Vacancies, and decimates the districts in LA through an “unpacking” of seats that are, in MALDEF’s viewpoint, too concentrated with minority residents.

The CAPAFR maps have their share of districts bound to upset a few incumbents.  Highlights include the 29 nested members, even nesting API Caucus member Yamada with Nielsen and Pan with Dickinson.  They also mess with partisan balance in several seats - putting Blumenfield in a competitive district and Tony Mendoza in a Republican one.

CAPAFR didn’t draw congressional seats, and seemed to run out of steam in the Senate, drawing only 24 districts.  They did, however, manage to draw Juan Vargas and Christine Kehoe together in a Republican district!

Many incumbents and politicos who check out these maps will hope these are not a sign of things to come…


Grover’s Corners Comes to the Redistricting Commission
California Progress Report
The great refrain of the sixteen public hearings that the California Citizens Redistricting Commission has held to date and the hundreds of documents submitted to it sounds like nothing so much as a sequence of Thornton Wilder moments: Keep Grover’s Corners intact as we know and love it.

Will redistricting pair Issa and Bilbray?
North County Times
Republican Reps. Brian Bilbray and Darrell Issa could be forced into a delicate conversation soon if a state panel redrawing congressional district maps places the two inside the same district.

Latinos propose new Kern County political lines
Bakersfield Californian
As the statewide redistricting countdown to June 10 -- when the first official stab at California state Senate and Assembly, and U.S. Congressional boundary lines is released by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission -- rolls on, groups are beginning to offer their own version of political maps, hoping commissioners will adopt them.

Larger Latino numbers play big role in redrawing California’s districts
Fresno Bee
California's Latino population grew nearly three times as much as the state as a whole in the past decade, making it home to more than a quarter of the nation's Latinos, according to a new Census Bureau report.

Defining Districts
Contra Costa Times
Chino and Chino Hills share a Fire Department, a school district, a chamber of commerce and a freeway.   But all that sharing aside, the two San Bernardino County cities have deep differences. One is working-class, the other well-to-do. One is a century old, the other isn't quite 20. One is home mostly to Latinos, the other has a large Asian population.

Redistricting Commission Still Relies On Special Interests Input
East Bay Citizen
In the not so distant past, California judges, then legislators crafted peculiarly drawn districts maps up and down the state. Some took circuitous routes around areas containing minority groups with the potential to swing control of entire districts to other party.

From the Twitterverse

@KQED_CapNotes: Sat mtg/ RT @udrawthelines: Redistricting commission won't use race as a factor in Inglewood?!? Maybe NAACP should have presented a plan!

@markos: So Dems could net 4-6 seats in IL. Non-partisan redistricting will net D seats in CA and FL. GOP redistricting gains looking less likely

@KQED_CapNotes: Burn the Golden Gate Bridge! Citizens #Redistricting Comm. debate focuses on testimony that Marin wants 2 be separate from SF.

@KQED_CapNotes: Citizens #Redistricting Comm. won't number CA Senate districts in 1st draft maps issued on 6/10. Assembly & Congressional dists. will be.


Editorial: Downtown Sacramento deserves to be a single district
Sacramento Bee
The citizens panel helping to vet new Sacramento City Council districts is getting down to serious business. During its initial meetings, two issues have already emerged.

Panel recommends few changes to San Jose council disticts
San Jose Mercury News
There's some good news for people who prefer tradition over change.  After months of often contentious meetings, San Jose's Redistricting Advisory Commission has unanimously decided to keep San Jose's 10 city council districts pretty much the way they are.

Keep Downtown Together in Redistricting Process
Los Angeles Downtown News
The City Council redistricting that erupts every 10 years in Los Angeles is one of the most tumultuous and tension-filled processes inside City Hall. In terms of potential for conflict, it probably trails only elections and budget battles. This is neither unexpected nor unreasonable, considering that the horse-trading and power grabs impact the city for a decade at a time.

Residents express concern about potential district boundaries
Danville Express
More than 30 people attended a county redistricting meeting in Alamo on Thursday night to voice their concerns and learn more about changes to district lines and voice their concerns.

Merced Supervisors eyeing plans for reshaping district boundaries
Merced Sun-Star
New supervisorial district boundaries are starting to take shape in Merced County.  Supervisors are mulling over three draft maps that were presented to the board during Tuesday's meeting.