California State Auditor Elaine Howle (left) in Sacramento announcing the opening of the application period this week (Photo: Susan Lovenburg/CAFwd)
The 2020 California Citizens Redistricting Commission—which will redraw California’s Congressional, Legislative and State Board of Equalization districts—is open for business.
The first order is to find up to 14 qualified Californians to undertake the redistricting to reflect the new population data after the 2020 federal census is completed.
California State Auditor Elaine Howle announced this week that online applications to the Commission are now open and will remain so until August 9, 2019. To apply, visit http://shapecaliforniasfuture.auditor.ca.gov/
In 2008, Californian voters decided to take redistricting out of the hands of politicians and gave it to the people. Nearly 30,000 people applied for the first Commission.
“We are confident that this new Commission will be just as successful in one of the most and important democratic processes—the drawing of district lines of those who will represent California,” said Howle, who added that she hopes applications with either match or exceed the number of applications from a decade ago.
Here are some facts about the Commission:
The Commission will be composed of 14 members – five members who are Democrats, five members who are Republicans and four members who are either registered without a political party, “independent” of any political party (decline-to-state or no party preference), or with another party.
Registered voters are eligible to serve on the Commission if they have been continuously registered in California with the same political party, or with no political party, for the five years immediately prior to being appointed to the Commission; and they have voted in at least two of the last three statewide general elections.
A voter may not serve on the Commission if the voter or a member of their immediate family has been appointed to, elected to, or been a candidate for a California congressional or state office; served as an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a California political party or of the campaign committee of a candidate for California congressional or elective state office; or has been a registered lobbyist.
“CA Fwd worked on the initiative in 2008 and believe it was a key reform that improved our representative democracy process in the last decade. We urge people who qualify to apply,” said Susan Lovenburg, deputy director for CA Fwd.
It will be work—but it’s worth it, according to Howle, whose office is a state entity that is independent of the executive bran and legislation control.
“The work of these commissioners can be challenging but it’s also rewarding and an invaluable opportunity to participate in direct democracy,” she said.