League of Women Voters Helps Educate Redding on Redistricting

The Redding Area League of Women Voters recently hosted a presentation by Margarita Fernandez of the California State Auditor’s Office about the upcoming California state election redistricting.  The event was held Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010, the at Lema Ranch in Redding.

Margaria Fernandez

Margarita Fernandez, chief of Public Affairs for the State Auditor’s Office.

“Before the Voters FIRST Act, California lawmakers were charged with drawing their own legislative and Board of Equalization districts. But California voters changed all that when they authorized the creation of the Citizens Redistricting Commission  in the November 2008 General Election. Now YOU can apply to serve on an independent Commission that will draw district boundaries for the state Senate, Assembly, and Board of Equalization.”

You can learn more at the redistricting commission website: wedrawthelines.ca.gov

At the website, you can learn more about the new redistricting process. Plus, you can even apply to become a commissioner, to help set non-partisan election district boundaries for upcoming elections. You can also follow their progress as they select the new commission members. Transparency is the key word to their selection process.

The intention is that the commission will draw election districts with compact geographical boundaries, and population demographics that are not skewed to favor any political party or incumbent.

Soup Supper with Mary

Redding City Councilor Mary Stegall gets ready to sample some soup. Attendees bring soups and bread. It makes for wide variety of tasty fun.

Susan Wilson and Patrick Jones

Susan Wilson, president  of the Redding League of Women Voters, speaks with Redding Mayor Patrick Jones.

Missy Kehoe Hartman Moty

Redding City Councilor Missy McArthur with Shasta County Supervisors David Kehoe, Linda Hartman and Leonard Moty.

Wilams Wilson Dickerson Murphy

Ray Williams, Susan Wilson, Redding City Councilor Dick Dickerson, Erin Murphy and Mary Stegall.

This year’s Soup Supper was another informative community event put on by the Redding League of Women Voters. Their mission to provide non-partisan voter education continues. You can join them, or learn more about the group at the Redding LWV website, and their online newsletter, The Voter. The Redding LWV also encourages you to become a friend at their growing Facebook group.

Here is a fact sheet about redistricting and the Citizens Redistricting Commission:

  • California must redraw the boundaries of its Senate, Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts every 10 years, to reflect the new federal census population data.

  • In November 2008, California voters authorized the creation of the Citizens Redistricting Commission when they passed the Voters FIRST Act, which appeared as Proposition 11. Prior to 2008, California legislators drew the districts.

  • The Act requires the California State Auditor to initiate an application process for selecting the members of the Citizens Redistricting Commission.

  • The voters gave the California State Auditor’s office the responsibility of initiating the commission application because they wanted a nonpartisan entity – without political ties or conflicts of interest and who understands how government works – to be in control of selecting the first eight members of the Commission that will ultimately redraw the boundaries.

  • The Citizens Redistricting Commission must draw the district boundaries in conformity with strict, nonpartisan rules designed to create districts of relatively equal population that will provide fair representation for all Californians.

  • Eleven other states currently utilize non-partisan or bi-partisan redistricting commissions composed of non-office-holding citizens. The states include: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington. Arkansas and Ohio use redistricting commissions that are wholly composed of elected officials.

  • The commission will comprise 14 members – five members who are Democrats,  five members who are Republicans, and four members who are neither Democrats nor Republicans.

  • In California, registered voters are eligible to serve on the commission if they have been continuously registered in California with the same political party, or with no political party, for the five years immediately prior to being appointed to the commission; and they have voted in at least two of the last three statewide general elections.

  • A voter may not serve on the commission if the voter or a member of his or her immediate family has been appointed to, elected to, or been a candidate for a California congressional or state office; served as an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a California political party or of the campaign committee of a candidate for California congressional or elective state office; or has been a registered lobbyist.

  • The commission will vote to approve the three maps — one for the Senate districts, one for the Assembly districts, and one for the Board of Equalization districts. Once the commission has approved the three final maps, the maps are certified to the Secretary of State with a report explaining the basis on which the commission made its decisions.

skipmurphySkip Murphy and his daughter, Erin, are Redding area Realtors with Coldwell Banker. Skip’s blog is at ReallyRedding.com

Skip Murphy

and his daughter, Erin, are Redding-area Realtors with Coldwell Banker. Murphy’s blog is at ReallyRedding.com

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