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Monday, April 11, 2011

CALIFORNIA REDISTRICTING

REDISTRICTING: How often do you find issues that are only relative to one section of the community and not to another although we are all affected by the change? Well there is a commission that will be shuffling the deck. Do you want in? First of all, Proposition 20 did pass! Now there is an opportunity to have fair redistricting allowing communities to draw their own lines that denote their city, culture, ethnic, economic and county lines and to make their communities whole instead of "gerrymandered". There is no guarantee that the "incumbent protecting plan" will adhere when fair redistricting is put into place. However, the purpose is to represent population changes as derived from the census which is taken every ten years. The hope is that the commission will eventually draw lines that strengthen voters' voices as well as make our leaders accountable to our needs and reflective in the Congressional, Senate, Assembly and Board of Equalization districts. We believe the Santa Clarita Valley should be one district. The commission hopes to encourage communities to send in their recommendations and to encourage the citizens to show them where the lines should be around communities instead of through them. There will be public hearings throughout the state. Assistance will be provided to help those who may require services such as wheelchair access, translation, sign language for the hearing impaired and other auxiliary services. Notice is required five days in advance, if you require any of the above services. And foremost, you need to participate. Thursday, April 28, City Hall, 200 N. Spring Street, 3rd Floor, LA From 6:00pm to 9:00pm Saturday, April 30, City of San Fernando Hall, Council Chambers, 1117 McNeil Street, San Fernando 91340 From 2:00pm to 5:00pm Sunday, May 1, Sierra Toyota, Antelope Valley Room, 43301 12th Street West , Lancaster, CA 93534 From 2:00pm to 5:00pm Again, the commission requests that you call in your particular need, when you go, five days in advance! The commission consists of a 14-member commission, with 5-Democrats, 5-Republicans and 4- independents. The concern is that the commission will weaken both current political sides because of this equitable weigh-in. Nonprofit groups are strongly being asked to participate in this process. Check out their website: http://www.wedrawthelines.ca.gov/ Phone them at : Janeece Sargis (866) 356-5217 or email them at votersfirstact.crc.ca.gov. No matter how you slice and dice it, yes it is a contest between the Democrats and the Republicans to beat one another back in hopes of gaining leads in federal, state, and local contests. Maybe by also unifying communities the competition will increase in those supporting causes and candidates. The LA TIMES calls the selection process of the commission as a "semi-meritocratic lottery process" and says no matter how you slice it California is a Democratic state and adds that, "Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer defeated their gazillionaire opponents by 1.3 million and 1 million votes, respectively. Democrats held every one of their congressional seats, and actually increased their margin in the Legislature." And what does this say locally, according to the Swing State Project: California's 25th District Buck McKeon (R) Obama 139,488 50% McCain 132,660 48% Change: McCain +0 Demographics: 9% African American, 5% Asian, 27% Hispanic, 55% White Old Demographics: 8% African American, 4% Asian, 27% Hispanic, 57% White Communities of Interest: Santa Clarita, Palmdale, Victorville Status: Likely Republican SUMMARY: This district shrinks as it loses rural areas in the desert and eastern Sierras. It still resembles a tossup because Obama barely won it but this district is strongly Republican. Kerry won only 40% here and McKeon is highly popular. When he retires, a strong Democrat against a weak Republican can win here but although this area is trending Democratic, it is still Republican at a local level. But I do want to note that the Signal article only reflected the opinions of the current Republican leadership. I just thought that I'd add my Democratic voice to the discussion. The final maps are to be presented to the Secretary of State by August 15, 2011. REFERENCES: http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/08/matt-angle-texas-redistricting http://articles.latimes.com/2010/dec/19/opinion/la-oe-meyerson-redistricting-20101219 http://www.wedrawthelines.ca.gov http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-early-candidates-20110411,0,1629259.story