The California Citizens Redistricting Commission has voted to approve all 177 district maps, capping the state’s first citizen-led redistricting process in history.
The vote for the 80 Assembly district, 40 Senate district, 53 congressional district and four Board of Equalization district maps was largely uneventful, with strong majorities on the Commission supporting all of the maps, although there were one to two ‘no’ votes on each map by two Republican Commission members.
For the maps to be approved, at least three Republicans, three Democrats and three independents on the 14-member commission had to vote yes.
The vote came as a culmination of the months-long, transparent process of research, community comment, public hearings, and redrawing of California’s gerrymandered districts, as mandated by two voter-approved initiatives – Prop 11 and Prop 20.
The next step is to allow for any legal challenges. The maps have drawn criticism from some Republican Party officials and Latino Rights activists.
Republicans could lose ground in the Legislature and Congress. However, observers say that outcome was inevitable, based on the most recent census data. GOP officials are considering a referendum to ask the public to vote on the maps next year.
Latino rights activists are concerned that the Senate maps do not fully represent the large increase in the Latino population since the previous census in 2000.
If a lawsuit or referendum is successful, then the California Supreme Court would step in.
California Forward has been closely following the redistricting process and encourages all Californians to stay engaged. For more information on redistricting, see the CA Fwd redistricting page.