An historic event occurred in Sacramento today when the State Auditor drew the names for the first eight commissioners who will sit on the Redistricting Commission for the state’s legislative districts. Many League members recall that the League was instrumental in supporting Prop. 11, which was passed by the voters in 2008. Prop 11 authorized the setting up of a Citizens Redistricting Commission. During the past two years a lengthy process of inviting nominations, screening applicants, allowing legislators to eliminate some candidates finally developed a list of 36 candidates for a final choice. Today the California State Auditor drew names at random from three separate lists. One was a list of twelve registered Democrats; one of twelve registered Republicans; and one of twelve independents, either “decline to state” or members of smaller parties. The process was completely transparent, with the entire event open to the public and screened live from the We Draw the Lines website. You can view a tape of the event at this site http://www.wedrawthelines.ca.gov/selection_meeting.html
The final six members of the commission will be selected by the eight members who are now in the group. According to the rules of Prop 11, the commission should include representatives from all areas of the state and an appropriate mix of gender and ethnic background. Judging by the list of the first eight members as published here, the geographic, gender and ethnic mix seems quite representative of present day California. Remember to visit the We Draw the Line site frequently to keep up with the work of the commission. Newspapers and other media should be covering the commission too, so if you do not see coverage in your local outlets, consider calling or emailing them to let the news people know we the citizens want to be informed about how the Redistricting Commission is working.
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