Forward Thinker Kathay Feng reinvigorates citizens to participate in democracy

150 150 Cheryl Getuiza

California Forward has named Kathay Feng as a Forward Thinker for her role in Proposition 11—authorizing the formation of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission to redraw legislative lines.

Kathay Feng has spent most of her life on election reform—making sure every person’s voice is represented and heard at the polls.

In 2005, Feng joined California Common Cause—it’s here she moved full steam ahead.  Two years later, voters approved Proposition 11, which she co-authored.  She believes this was the voters way of telling elected leaders, they wanted “equally represented communities.”

“Democrats and republicans are used to dictating their outcomes behind closed doors, and it scares them now there’s a process that’s 100% out of their control,” says Feng.

She can’t help but feel proud—mainly because Californians got involved in civic discourse and shaping our government.

“We didn’t create the commission as a way of dismantling government—we really created it with the intention of reinvigorating citizen participation in our democracy.  The jury’s still out on whether the maps drawn can be improved or not—but the greatest thing about this process—every generation has a right to come back at it and try to improve it.”

To read Kathay’s full profile, go to our Forward Thinkers page. You may also tell us about a Forward Thinker in your community.


Cheryl Getuiza

All stories by: Cheryl Getuiza