Redistricting Commission Holds First Meeting
With the partially-formed Citizens Redistricting Commission scheduled to hold its first meeting today, the eight members selected still need to fill the six remaining seats.
On November 2, Californians voted down Proposition 27, which would have eliminated the commission, first established by Proposition 11 in 2008. Instead, voters approved Proposition 20, which established that the commission would create boundaries for not only the state legislature, but the congressional districts as well.
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The deadline to fill the commission’s empty seats is December 15.
The first eight commissioners were chosen by lottery on November 18. According to the Greenlighting Institute, a multi-ethnic policy and research organization, the commission currently includes one Latino and one African American, yet no representatives from San Diego or Orange counties and the majority of the Central Valley.
In the end, the 14-member commission will seat five Democrats, five Republicans and four independent voters.
The commission must decide on the new districts by August 15.
“For people to have faith in this commission, it needs to look like California,” said Tunua Thrash of the Greenlining Institute, in a statement.
“If the commissioners do feel they need to ask more questions of the candidates, we hope they’ll ask about their understanding of the history of voting rights, the Voting Rights Act, and obstacles to fair representation,” she said.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the commissioners will select a temporary chair and vice chair and receive basic orientation. Before the week is done, the commission is expected to establish procedures for picking the other six commissioners and begin the selection process.