California Redistricting Commission tells public to ‘Shut Up’

Tony Quinn, in Fox and Hounds, reports that the California Redistricting Commission (CRC) has gone dark. The CRC, nagged by hundreds of alternate maps from electeds, special interests, and a quagmire of race-based voting rights laws, voted to not release its second draft of redistricting maps and to shut down future public input. Worse, the CRC consultants paid over $3M now don’t have time to review anymore maps from the public.

Their line drawing staff also has announced that the Commission must be done with its directions by July 20; they will accept no more directions on districts after that — despite the fact it is three and a half weeks until the Commission is supposed to adopt its final maps. This will allow for no public input on the final maps since their staff will have stopped working. California will get whatever districts their consultants concoct over the next nine days — like it or not.

What should they have done? All they needed to do was to look at the Supreme Court Masters plan enacted in 1991. The Masters divided the state into natural regions; in the north state, they ran one district down the coast; one district combined the rural counties, and one district followed the Sierra Range. Sacramento got two compact districts, exactly as it deserved.

Had the Commission regionalized the coast and Bay Area, as they were urged to do but refused, they would have seen that the area is due exactly 18 Assembly districts and nine Senate districts. They could have been easily drawn, but this Commission refused to do so because it has a partisan agenda to create Democratic districts along the coast and deliver a two thirds majority to legislative Democrats. I warned this would happen when they excluded Republicans from their line drawing process, and now it has happened.

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Comments

  1. Allen Payton says

    Having testified at today’s (Tuesday) meeting of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission in Sacramento, as Chairman of the Contra Costa Citizens Redistricting Task Force (which is working to create common sense Assembly, State Senate and Congressional Districts for Contra Costa County and the East Bay), along with 30 other citizens, I can tell you the CCRC hasn’t told us to shut up. In fact, they’re awaiting our newest proposed Congressional District plan, which is being completed right now and will be presented, this afternoon. There will be more opportunity for public comment before their afternoon session, today and at the beginning of their meeting, here, tomorrow, too.

    Part of their biggest problems is following the Voting Rights Act, Section 5, which includes Yuba, Monterey, Merced and Kings Counties – and the districts they’re in have to be at the same minority population levels as they were 10 years ago. That’s ridiculous when Kings County, which is in a 65% Hispanic district is only 50.5% Hispanic. So, they have to grab heavily Hispanic areas of other counties to meet the requirement resulting in gerrymandering and creating districts which impact the rest of the districts in Northern California.

  2. Edi Birsan says

    “they excluded Republicans from their line drawing process…” seems the committee was balanced with equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats even though their state registration numbers are not close.