Part of the Bay Area News Group

CA passes new maps for legislature, congress

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Monday, August 15th, 2011 at 10:34 am in redistricting, Uncategorized.

The first voter-approved California Citizens Redistricting Commission finished its No. 1 job this morning and adopted new maps for Congress, state Assembly and Senate and the Board of Equalization.

The boundaries will be in effect for the next decade until the 2020 Census triggers a revision.

Passage was never really in question despite grumbling from a few corners.  The Several commissioners expressed frustration with some of the maps but conceded that wholesale perfection was unattainable in a state with so many competing interests.  (I confess, I couldn’t hear everything that was said. The webstream kept cutting out; perhaps the site was overtaxed.)

Click here to see the maps.

The commission’s vote clears the way for possible legal challenges, which would send the maps to the California Supreme Court. Opponents could also mount a signature drive and place the maps on the June 2012 ballot. The U.S. Department of Justice must also determine whether the maps comply with the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits the use of political district lines as a means of diluting the voting clout of minorities.

California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Becarro, in an opinion piece that ran in the Sacramento Bee on Sunday, spelled out what he views as a possible  challenge of the senate maps.

Commissioner Mike Ward, who voted no on the maps this morning, told CalWatchDog.com that he believed the group engaged in partisan gerrymandering and failed to follow federal law. Ward intends to deliver a full statement at noon today at the commission’s scheduled press conference in Sacramento, according to CalWatchDog.com.

Whether or not any of the critics mount a legal or ballot challenge remains an open question. Lawsuits cost a great deal of money and so do signature drives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

  • http://calwatchdog.com John Seiler

    And check out Commissioner Mike Ward’s contention that the redistricting is illegal:
    http://www.calwatchdog.com/2011/08/15/redistricting-commissioner-panel-broke-the-law/

  • John W

    I’m not happy about San Ramon being cut off from the central Contra Costa Congressional district with Danville and Alamo. Also, I tend to agree that the “community of interest” stuff was a bit abstract, leading to such concepts as “Gayborhoods.” However, there was no way to make everybody happy. The process was independent and bi-partisan (non-partisan would be even better). A key goal was to have voters pick their representatives rather than having politicians pick their voters. Seems to me that was accomplished.

  • John W

    There was no way to make everybody happy. I’m displeased about a San Ramon Valley-centered Congressional district that doesn’t include San Ramon. Some of the “community of interest” concepts seemed a bit Saturday Night Live-ish. E.g., “Gayborhoods.” But the process was non-partisan, or at least bi-partisan, and got rid of the business of politicians selecting their voters rather than the other way around. That, to me, was the main goal. We should call it a day and get on with life.