SACRAMENTO, CA -
With four 14-0 votes, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission has released its first round of draft maps for Congressional, State Assembly, State Senate and Board of Equalization districts.
The Commission is now soliciting public comment on the draft districts. Testimony can be submitted online to firstname.lastname@example.org, by mail to the Citizens Redistricting Commission, 901 P Street, Suite 154-A, Sacramento, CA 95814 or by FAX at 916-651-5711. The Commission will be holding 11 public input hearings in June on the draft maps. The hearing schedule and the draft maps can be found at the Commission's website at www.wedrawthelines.ca.gov.
Message from the Citizens Redistricting Commission
On Release of Draft District Maps
Today California takes another step toward reforming the redistricting process and returning electoral power to the people. The California Citizens Redistricting Commission is releasing its first round of draft maps for Congressional, Assembly, State Senate and Board of Equalization Districts. The maps will be online tomorrow at www.wedrawthelines.ca.gov.
California voters created a Citizens Redistricting Commission in order to be able to elect more accountable Legislative and Congressional representatives. In the past, district lines were drawn behind closed doors, producing districts which divided communities, sometimes running hundreds of miles in indescribable shapes, with their only purpose being the protection of incumbents. The Commission prepared these drafts maps without regard to current districts, incumbents, candidates or political parties
Now a Citizens Commission is drawing districts in a transparent process, adhering to a rank-ordered set of criteria that is designed to produce sensible and fair districts. The Commission has asked the public to join them on this journey and has held 23 input hearings throughout the state, receiving testimony from 1,533 Californians. Thousands more have submitted testimony online, by fax and in the mail.
The Citizens Redistricting Commission has heard people in every corner of the state describe the characteristics of their communities and what makes them distinct and unique. They shared their thoughts on what other communities they would like included in their districts and which communities should not be included. A constant theme was their hope that the Commission succeeds and delivers on the promise of true reform.
The Citizens Redistricting Commission releases the first preliminary district maps based on balancing the needs of all Californians. These preliminary maps restore integrity to California's Constitutional mandate to redistrict to ensure fair representation. Where possible, the Commission worked to keep communities whole to maximize their voices under these proposed districts.
These maps have three advantages over existing districts:
1) Districts are drawn without regard to political incumbents and partisan considerations.
2) Districts reflect geographic and common sense boundaries.
3) The districts balance the needs of different communities of interest across California.
In contrast to previous redistricting, the Citizens Commission is releasing draft maps long before its final August 15th deadline, giving the public time to collaborate with the Commission to develop final maps that truly represent California. That is why the Commission will hold another round of public input hearings in June and will welcome written comment by e-mail, fax and mail.