A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute

Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Coordinator, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA — The just-released list of 120 finalists for 14 positions on the Citizens Redistricting Commission is far more diverse than the original applicant pool and represents significant progress toward fully representing all of California’s communities, policy experts at The Greenlining Institute said today.

“The original applicant pool didn’t look much like California, so this list of finalists represents real progress,” said Greenlining Institute Director of Innovation Tunua Thrash.
People of color represent 64 percent of the final 120, and 47 percent are women – figures which closely match the diversity of California’s population, which is 58 percent people of color. Of some 4,300 applicants who completed the secondary application process, roughly 71 percent were white and 67 percent were male.
The redistricting commission, created by Proposition 11, will draw new state legislative districts and is set to begin meeting in 2011. Prop. 11’s text declared that the commission should be “reasonably representative of this state’s diversity.”

“We applaud the Applicant Review Panel for their efforts so far, and urge the members to continue putting together a commission that all Californians can believe in,” Thrash said. “Low-income Californians and people of color have been left on the outside far too often when important decisions are made, and we can’t let that happen again.”

The Greenlining Institute is organizing grassroots efforts around the state to ensure that citizen input from California’s diverse communities is heard throughout the redistricting process. Greenlining’s California Community Redistricting Leaders program is currently seeking dynamic grassroots leaders to organize communities around redistricting and promote diversity and representation for minorities. For information on how to apply, click HERE.