Yesterday the Greenlining Institute launched a state-wide initiative that seeks to ensure that the new Citizens Redistricting Commission represents California’s diverse population. The redistricting commission resulted from Proposition 11 which was passed by voters last year. This commission will redraw the lines for the state’s Assembly, Senate, and Board of Equalization. Previously, this duty was held by members of the legislature.
Orson Aguilar, Executive Director of the Greenlining Institute, expressed his hope that the new commission will be accessible to all Californians, especially those that have historically been underserved by past redistricting efforts.
“We decided to launch our redistricting initiative, Line Up California!, on national election day as a statement that California will never regain its status as the golden state while voter apathy and low turnout still plague our state. We believe the Citizens Redistricting Commission is an antidote to this apathy and a great opportunity for all Californians to become involved in the political process.”
Greenlining, in partnership with community-based organizations throughout California, will be holding town hall-style meetings to educate communities about the commission, and work with qualified applicants to submit strong applications.
The application process will be administered by the California State Audit Board. It is scheduled to begin December 15th and end. February 12th. Any Californian that has been registered with the same party for the past 5 years and has voted in the last 2 out of 3 state elections is eligible to apply. One of the key criteria candidates will be judged on is their appreciation for California’s diverse demographics and geography.
Paul Turner, a member of the Los Angeles Ethics Commission, pointed out that since communities of color represent 60% of California, including their voice in this process will benefit the entire state.
“A diverse redistricting commission will not just benefit communities of color, it will help to strengthen our state as a whole,” Turner said. Mr. Turner went on to say that, “California is the leader in technological and environmental innovation and, done right, the Citizens Redistricting Commission could be the first step in making our state the leader in good government as well.”