A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute

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

New Push to Ensure District Lines Fairly Represent People of Color, Low-Income Communities

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA — The Greenlining Institute is seeking dynamic grassroots leaders from around California to spearhead a new push to ensure that redistricting — the process of drawing new boundaries for legislative districts — fairly represents communities of color and low-income Californians.

“Simply put, redistricting is about who represents you in government and whether our communities have a voice,” said Greenlining Director of Innovation Tunua Thrash. “It affects everything from money for our schools to job creation in low-income neighborhoods. If people of color don’t take an active part in redistricting, our neighborhoods and communities could be divided up and we could lose our voice in these critical decisions for the next decade.”

The boundaries of legislative districts are redrawn every decade following the federal census. Before Proposition 11, passed in 2008, redistricting was done by the state legislature and governor. Prop. 11 gave that responsibility to a 14-member Citizens Redistricting Commission, which is now being selected. Greenlining is pushing to ensure that low-income communities and communities of color are adequately represented throughout the redistricting process.

To make that happen, Greenlining’s California Community Redistricting Leaders program seeks dynamic grassroots leaders to organize communities around redistricting, promote diversity and representation for minorities in the redistricting process, provide technical assistance to local communities to draw their own district maps, outreach to local media, prepare community leaders to testify at Redistricting Commission meetings, and help provide public comment on maps drawn by the commission. Participants will receive leadership and technical training, and will have the backing of Greenlining’s extensive advocacy resources.

The application can be downloaded at HERE, and information about the Citizens Redistricting Commission and Greenlining’s earlier efforts can be found HERE . The completed application packet should be submitted by postal mail to: Greenlining Academy, 1918 University Ave., 2nd Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704.