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From the Los Angeles Times

A bookstore owner from Yolo County, a retired engineer from Claremont, an insurance agent from San Gabriel and an attorney from Norco are among those who will determine how legislative districts are drawn as part of an experiment that promises to drastically change the state’s political landscape.

Until now, the boundaries of legislative and congressional districts were drawn every 10 years by state legislators in a process that critics said was often skewed for partisan advantage or to protect incumbents. Many officeholders have been able to skate from election to election without much in the way of serious competition.

But through a series of ballot measures, California voters have set the state on a radically different course with an unknown outcome. In 2008, voters gave the job of drawing legislative district lines to a new Citizens Redistricting Commission. This month, voters gave the commission additional powers, handing them authority over congressional districts. And Thursday, the first members of that new commission were picked by lottery.

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Last Updated on Friday, 19 November 2010 10:59

From the Stockton Record

About 300 Californians remain from the 30,000 who answered the call to join a citizens’ panel to take over the job of drawing the borders of the districts making up the political landscape of the state.

Six of the remaining applicants live in San Joaquin County. Some of them are surprised they made it this far, and all five reached by The Record say they realize they have a long way to go if they are going to be one of the 14 members of the first Citizens Redistricting Commission, authorized when voters approved Proposition 11, the Voters First Act, in 2008.

It’s been challenging, dynamic and interesting to be a part of the process so far, said Joan Matthews of Tracy. She was a trustee when San Joaquin Delta College redrew its district lines, and she’s been reading up in case she does go the distance. “I’m curious to how things work. I like to see things operate. … I would look forward to the challenge,” said Matthews, 74 and an owner of the Tracy Press.

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Last Updated on Monday, 19 July 2010 07:44

From the Associated Press

The California secretary of state has certified a measure for the November ballot that will ask voters if they want to eliminate a state redistricting commission.

Secretary of State Debra Bowen said Thursday there were enough petition signatures for the measure, which would also require populations of all districts for the same office to be the same.

The measure is the tenth to qualify for the Nov. 2 ballot.

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Last Updated on Friday, 25 June 2010 08:14

From John Wildermuth at Fox and Hounds Daily:

When it comes to redistricting, $2.7 million may trump $280,000.

The $2.7 million is what Charles Munger, a Palo Alto Republican, has anted up to qualify a “Son of Prop. 11” redistricting measure for the November ballot.

The initiative is simple enough. It allows the Citizens Redistricting Commission created by the 2008 initiative to also draw the lines for California’s congressional districts after this year’s census.

The $280,000, on the other hand, is what Democratic politicians and their allies have put aside for a November initiative that would kill Prop. 11 entirely, putting redistricting back in the hands of the Democrat-run Legislature.

Most of that money comes from California Democrats who are either in Congress or who want to be in Congress – that would be Karen Bass, who has given $50,000 to the initiative. But under Prop. 11, only legislative districts will be redrawn by the committee. Munger’s measure, though, would take redistricting out of the comforting hands of the Legislature and give it to a multi-partisan commission that won’t care nearly so much about putting more California Democrats in Congress.

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You can see the initiative here.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 05:42